Union Bank of the Philippines’ fintech arm UBX brought together industry players with the hopes of accelerating the development of the local startup scene through its UBX Lounge 48 Mixer.
The first UBX Lounge 48 Mixer brought in more than 100 participants across different sectors — from startup founders to venture capitalists, from industry leaders to upstarts.
“The key to getting through the ever-changing business landscape globally is to be open and to collaborate. We are all part of one ecosystem that supports each other. It is important that we continuously engage and collaborate with the community,” said John Januszczak, president, UBX.
UBX invited several speakers to the first UBX Lounge 48 Mixer, including former Finance Secretary Gary Teves and Carlo Delantar, founding partner, Gobi-Core Philippine Fund.
Teves discussed how alliances are essential to succeed in the local startup scene, given the delays in implementing key laws and policies that support the development of startups. He also underscored the need for the Philippines to focus on developing science-based education programs to meet the growing demand for research scientists and engineers — two of the most in-demand posts for startups.
“The bulk of funding in the last two years was focused on three key sectors: e-commerce, fintech, and media tech,” Teves said. “We need to further support other important sectors like agritech, edutech, cleantech, and healthtech —- all of which are essential to nation-building.”
Delantar, on the other hand, talked about the funding landscape in the Philippines. Gobi-Core, he said, believes that “the time is ripe for the Philippines to take its place in the world as a key player in the technology sphere.”
“The Philippines is at a critical point for technology innovation. Investments, talent and ecosystem building remains a cornerstone for development. This mixer provided the avenue for the community to meet after over two years of lockdown with a diverse mix of the audience represented by government, corporations, NGOs and startups,” Delantar said.
UBX managing director Jaime Garchitorena highlighted the importance of collaboration in the startup community, likening it to how UBX’s open finance framework works.
Open finance entails the collaboration of different players to share data to build new products, develop existing services, and tailor solutions to the finance-related needs of individuals and organizations.
“As an individual organization, it would take decades to make a difference, but if a vision is pushed by a community — an entire ecosystem — the impact of our collective efforts will be felt at a much faster and more sustainable pace,” Garchitorena said.