EU Shows Support to Startups

It was a show of force both from the startups and European communities. At the Startups Festival on 24 September 2016 at the Amphitheater of BGC, Taguig City, 22 startups presented their products and services not only to the Filipino public, but also to Europe. The European Union Delegation to the Philippines, the European Chamber for Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), and the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industries (GPCCI) were vocal in their support for the startups, saying that they showcase what the Philippines is capable of.

"The more you are competing with each other, you'll see that you'll not be only successful in the Philippines but you'll be successful everywhere in the world," said Walter van Hattum, head of the Trade Section of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines.

Vin Dancel, Founder of Joomajam, a learning lab for children, and Samantha Kapunan, CEO of iWantSeats, an online booking platform, presented tokens to the EU partners on behalf of the startups community. Both recently came back from Germany after attending startups programs that allowed them to exchange experiences with their counterparts abroad. Aisa Mijeno, CEO of SALt, in her video message echoed van Hattum's statement: We have to collaborate more and help each other because collectively, our voices will be louder and we will be able to get the support that we need.

The startups that participated in the event were:

The Startups Festival was organized to promote inclusive innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), a German foundation that promotes free market spearheaded the event. The occasion was part of the programs for Freedom Week, a celebration of good governance, human rights, and economic freedom in countries in the South East and East Asia region.

"We're sharing with you EU's secret to success - that is its vibrant startups. This is why we have no doubt that the Philippines will be successful, too, because of your energy and commitment to innovate," said FNF Country Director Wolfgang Heinze.

The activity was supported by the European Union Delegation to the Philippines, and in cooperation with Globe myBusiness who was represented by Marketing Communications Head Miko David. ECCP President Guenter Taus, GPCCI Executive Director Peter Kompalla, and Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) Startups Development Program Director Atty. Kristine Alcantara were part of the opening ceremonies where blue, yellow, and magenta balloons were set off as a symbol of startups flying high.

Ransom Collective livened up the evening with their music performance. The night ended with a pub quiz.

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