Freeman Cebu Business

Ng: Tech startups need to match industry needs

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Technology startups must respond to the needs of local businesses to stay relevant and possibly get support and funding.

In a roundtable discussion with The FREEMAN yesterday, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Melanie Ng said there’s a need for tech startups to understand what they can offer to the business community.

One of the issues discussed during the Slingshot forum in Cebu last Saturday was that tech startups are not getting enough support from local businessmen.

“We have to match them (tech startups) to the business needs,” Ng said when told about this.

“You have to understand the intent. If a tech startup will come up with a solution that answers a need, so it will be easier to match them with businessmen,” she said.

The Department of Trade and Industry-Cebu is creating a database of Cebu-based startups and it plans to create an angel group that would help fund local startups with the help of Cebuano businesses.

“Definitely there’s a need for technology to come into play for businesses to move to the next level,” said Ng. “Tech startups must have a solution they can pitch to possible investors.”

In terms of technology advancement, Ng said most businesses now need tech solutions that enhance back-office operations and apps that digitalize overall business operations.

Ng pointed out that many enterprises are still operating traditionally.

With the increase of social media usage, she said online presence becomes a necessity for businesses to reach to more customers.

“A lot of businesses may need social media as part of their marketing tool,” she added.

In an earlier interview with the press, Filipino tech innovator Diosdado Banatao cited key factors that may prevent local businessmen from investing in tech startups.

These factors include the absence of research and development effort in technology which, he said, is a responsibility of academe and government in terms of support; the lack of stories of successful Filipino startups; and the culture of being afraid to take risks.

Banatao emphasized that businessmen in the Philippines need see that startups can rise and succeed in the country.

The Filipino tech innovator has been active in Silicon Valley which is home to the world’s largest technology and startup companies such as Facebook, Google and eBay, among the other tech giants. (FREEMAN)



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