Mobile apps could be huge export product for Phl
- Grace Melanie L. Lacamiento (The Philippine Star) - October 5, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The tremendous growth of smartphone usage in the country makes the creation of mobile applications a lucrative option that local developers and start-up technopreneurs should look into.

Alvin Gendrano, director of Microsoft Philippines’ Developer and Platform Group, said that now is a ripe opportunity for the creation of mobile applications. Software products such as games, musical content and applications, backed up by the great talent of local software engineers, could be a huge export market for the Philippines.

“Software development is a one billion industry with 50,000 employees. If we grow four or six times more, it would increase the Gross Domestic Product of the country per employee and we would get six times better by 2020,” he continued.

Even with the lack of financial resources, he said that Filipino software engineers could start with a small team to take advantage of the demand for digital products in the global market along with other developers in advanced countries.

“If we have more Filipino apps in the market, there is a higher chance that one will make it big. We still don’t have something similar to Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja but once we have a Philippine application that is world-renowned, then we would make it,” he added. 

Exist chief executive officer Jerry Rapes said that there are different segments in the mobile application that developers could exploit. They must consider developing apps for   lifestyle, entertainment, enterprises, healthcare and gaming.

He further said that success in the industry depends on the skills, determination and passion to build software products.

“You have to work more, fail more, and produce more. Don’t be scared of failing since failure gives you a higher opportunity towards success. Software development doesn’t need a lot of investment. It just requires what’s within your brain and your passion,” he said. 

On October 5 to 7, a group of Filipino developers chaired by Morphlabs chief executive and Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) trustee Winston Damarillo and co-chaired by Gendrano will conduct its first “Hack2Hatch, from Hacker to Founder, the Grad School for Start-ups” at Radisson Blu Hotel. 

Serving as a banner event of 2012 ‘Silicon Valley Comes to the Philippines” and kickstarter of PhilDev 2012 Economic Forum, Hack2Hatch is a series of pitching and presentation sessions that Microsoft is supporting where young, existing start-up groups will receive one-on-one mentorship from leading global entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley investors.

“I believe that global success stories like Facebook and inspiring Filipino heroes like DoyVea (Smart), Dennis Mendiola (Chikka), RJ David (, Diosdado Banatao, Winston Damarillo, among others, have created a wave of technopreneurial interest. Hack2Hatch aims to translate this interest into well-executing start-ups with funding potential by providing them access to mentors and instant seed-funding,” Gendrano explained.

Out of 50 applicants, 17 start-ups qualified to participate in the Hack2Hatch. Thes are CodeToki , SpellDial, Bolooka, Bronze Age Media, H1red, SulitApps, Orchestrack, PayBilis, MRTTrackr, MiiMove, Pinoy Auto Trader, RocketLabs, Pancake, FamilyKo, Spicy Deals, Tweet Candy, and UnliFM.

The top 6 start-up groups will receive P100,000 as seed fund to grow their business and a trip to Manila to attend the PhilDev Economic Forum 2012: Harnessing Filipino Innovation and Entrepreneurship and meet top global technopreneurs such as Google’s Vice President for Infrastructure Eric Brewer on October 8 at Manila Peninsula.--- (FREEMAN)

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