Pinoy technopreneurs return home to help local techies
- Jovan Cerda (The Philippine Star) - September 11, 2012 - 11:27pm

MANILA, Philippines - With the Philippine economy becoming a sweet spot among investors, Filipino technopreneurs from the Silicon Valley are turning their focus on Manila and key cities in an effort to help budding businessmen through entrepreneurship and innovation.

"We're going to focus on the software industry... it's where we think we can be number one in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)," serial entrepreneur Winston Damarillo, co-founder and chief executive officer of cloud computing firm Morphlabs said.

On Oct. 8, 2012, Damarillo and other Filipinos from the Silicon Valley will come to Manila for the 2012 PhilDev Economic Forum, themed "Harnessing Filipino Innovation and Entrepreneurship."

"Based on the experience we gathered from the Entrepreneurship Camp we held in Ceby last May, the time has come for all to discover, highlight and harness the talent of the Filipino," Philippine Development Foundation Chair Diosdado Banatao said.

Aside from Banatao and Damarillo, attending the event are other US-based Filipino technopreneurs, foreign experts, and executives from Facebook, Google, Oracle and Dell, among others.

Three days before the conference in Makati, the group is zooming in on Cebu for "Hack2Hatch: from Hacker to Founder," a competition among local technopreneurs for a chance to win seed money for a novel business idea they will pitch.

"The message we want to relay in Cebu is that we have all these opportunities... it is time to take advantage of it now," Damarillo said.

"That's my big thing: build products designed by Filipinos in the Philippines. So for example, Exist is a company in the Philippines that won Red Herring Asia as one of the top software companies in Asia. Morphlabs is a forerunner in the industry of cloud computing in the world. So we need more of those. There are probably more of those, we just need to show that in these events," he added.

Damarillo has a track record of building technology start-ups, with some of his companies growing into profitability and sold to IBM, Iona Technologies and Intalio.

In 2011, he was selected as a commissioner of the TechAmerica Foundation Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in the US Deployment of the Cloud/State and Local Government, enabling the government to use cloud computing technologies to serve the citizens.

Damarillo holds a degree in industrial and mechanical engineering from the De La Salle University. 

ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS BANATAO AND DAMARILLO CEBU DAMARILLO DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY DEPLOYMENT OF THE CLOUD ECONOMIC FORUM ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAMP FOUNDATION COMMISSION SILICON VALLEY
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