Startup dreams

By: Editorial June 05,2014 - 10:42 AM

Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook. These names are among the strongest brands in the world.

These companies didn’t sprout overnight as shown in biographies and countless movies about their founders Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Larry Page and Sergei Brin (Google) and Mark Zuckerberg and erstwhile partner Eduardo Saverin (Facebook).

In fact, all of them started in dorm rooms and garages. Their pipe dreams turned into multi-billion dollar businesses.

Top entrepreneurs in in Cebu Business Month’s conference on Information Communication Technology-Business Process Management (ICT-BPM) shared their ideas on how Cebu’s startup businesses can raise their profile among the world’s leading service providers.

The ideas were sound and boiled down to three things: support, market access and opportunity.

They said traditional investors and the corporate world need to extend financial support and to mentor young creative minds in how to market their technology and ideas to the public.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it was designing a national roadmap as part of government’s efforts to generate employment for Filipinos.

While some members of the academe lamented the meager government assistance to schools, there is a real need for a clear national plan to encourage the right eco-system for IT-based startup enterprises that may one day bloom into the next Facebook.

It also means having to define opportunities available in the marketplace here and now.

Right now, tech startups are limited to BPO services and some apps here and there.

Online companies like Lendo for quick loans and for retail have sprouted along with mobile applications like Grab Taxi and Cebu’s version, My Cab.

Aside from providing employment, success in IT-driven startups could also address poverty in the country if the business model is geared as a social enterprise and not just a profit-driven activity.

This means partnering with communities and schools to provide sustainable livelihood and services.

Big dreams to be sure, but as successful founders of big name startups that dominate the world like Google have shown, the dreams start somewhere – a small beginning in a bedroom, a musty garage, a dorm room or office.

It’s up to the government, big business and the public to help nurture and make them a reality.

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