Top executives from corporations in the startup ecosystem enjoy cocktails at Terrace 33 of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati for QNNECT: The QBO App launch. (From left) DDB chairman and CEO Gil Chua, Smart Communications CFO Chaye Cabal-Revilla, Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim, QBO president Rene ‘Butch’ Meily, United Nations Development Program resident representative Ola Almgren, PLDT Global’s Katrina Luna-Abelarde and Albert Villareal with newly elected Philippine Olympic Committee head Victorico ‘Ricky’ Vargas.

The QBO App: A virtual shelter for startups
PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2018 - 12:00am

QBO (pronounced “kubo,” the Filipino word for “hut”) Innovation Hub, the Philippines’ first public-private sector platform for startup companies today, launched recently the QBO App, a new and convenient way for QBO’s community to connect with each other and access QBO’s programs and services, at the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City.

The QBO App is a virtual hub that allows startups to connect with a broader range of entrepreneurs, investors, partners and other potential resource persons. It’s also an avenue for users to engage in startup-related discussions as well as stay updated with QBO’s events and services. Not bound by geographical or physical limitations, the QBO App enables users to discover and connect with potential partners from regions outside of Metro Manila.

There is an actual kubo in the QBO hub, where people have meetings and brainstorming sessions.

QBO is supported by a consortium composed of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), JP Morgan and IdeaSpace Foundation Inc., a leading incubator of early stage startups established by the First Pacific, PLDT and Metro Pacific group of companies.

The launch was headlined by speakers such as Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, JP Morgan Philippines senior country officer Roberto Panlilio, Chikka founder Chito Bustamante, Justin Hall, principal investor at Singaporean venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures; and QBO director Katrina Chan. These speakers represent the bleeding-edge pioneers in the local startup ecosystem.

The QBO Innovation Hub team. (From left) Content specialist Dominique Natividad, program associate Rosstyn Fallorina, operations head Natasha Bautista, Butch Meily, program associates Alea Ladaga and Adrian Villaroya, Katrina Chan, Talja Tupa and creative associate River Strauss Jacob.

The event was attended by both notable startups in the local ecosystem and top executives and officials from QBO’s partners including QBO president ReneButch Meily, IdeaSpace Foundation Inc.’s Diane Eustaquio and First Pacific’s Chris Young among others.

“This is an exciting time for us, and indeed for the local startup community as a whole. With our app, never has it been easier for our entrepreneurs to access the essential services and resources that will help them take their companies to the next level,” said Katrina Chan. She also added that the app will act as an avenue to more conveniently connect with QBO’s roster of experienced mentors and consultants.

The QBO App features three primary functions. Its QNNECT feature provides access to QBO’s network and connects users with people with whom they can create meaningful partnerships. Through QNNECT, founders can meet other industry players and potential partners; startup enthusiasts can find ways to get started in the industry, or otherwise stay on top of the latest news; and mentors and investors can find new businesses and other potential investments.

The QLLABORATE feature enables a more active startup community through the QBO App. Through it, users can discover startup-related events across the country, participate in groups to seek advice, discuss trendy topics, and communicate with special guests and speakers. Important resources like government forms, speaker presentations, and other documents can also be downloaded through QLLABORATE.

Finally, with QNTRIBUTE, users can become active members of the startup ecosystem, sharing their news, pushing their own products, and posting photos, links, videos and other startup-related content on a social media-like timeline, as well as give feedback to QBO’s programs and services.

“Our goal is to help provide opportunities and mentorship for our budding startups, especially those driven by young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs. The convenience of an app will be very appealing to them, and eminently helpful,” said Science and Technology Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara.

QBO’s partners share their passion for supporting local startups. Its collaboration with JP Morgan has led to the creation of the elite INQBATION Program that seeks to develop select, high-potential startups, empowering underserved founders and creating impact for the community.

“With mobile technology continuing to disrupt the business landscape, connectivity helps level the playing field for many of our startups — in terms of access to resources and partners that they can tap as they develop and grow their business. Launching this app is certainly a step in the right direction,” said Roberto Panlilio.

The QBO App is only the latest development in QBO’s vision of Filipino startups changing the world, and it is available and ready for use on both iOS and Android devices.

Founding partners of QBO Innovation Hub. (From left) Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, QBO director Katrina Chan, Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba, JP Morgan executive director and head of communications Patricia Javier-Gutierrez, IdeaSpace Foundation Inc. executive director Diane Eustaquio and Butch Meily.

(For more information about QBO, visit )

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