Cobonpue to entrepreneurs: Try to be always different

July 18,2016 - 09:43 PM

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“INNOVATE and always be different.”

Award-winning designer Kenneth Cobonpue gave this advice to participants of last week’s 2nd Mentor Me Innovation Forum at the University of San Carlos-Cebu South Campus.

“In everything I do, it always has to be different. We have a lot of designers and companies here in Cebu and the country, but probably the reason they do not move forward is they lack innovation. We always have to be different,” said Cobonpue, who is a Cebuano and the 2014 MASON&OBJET ASIA designer of the year awardee.

“Every designer has inspirations. In my case, leaves, flowers, cars, noodles, dimsum steamers, and even a crashed Coke can, they inspire me a lot,” said Cobonpue, who was one of the speakers in last Thursday’s forum.

Aside from being innovative and creative, Cobonpue also highlighted the value of hard work in achieving success.

This too was Paul Rivera’s advice to the Mentor Me forum participants.

Rivera, Kalibrr’s chief executive officer, cited the qualities of a true innovator and one of them was that he or she would be a risk taker.

Kalibrr is a Makati-based business process outsourcing startup, which has worked with Mintme.com and Tripadvisor.

Rivera, a Filipino-American entrepreneur, said it was always those who were not afraid to take risks who would become successful with their businesses.

“If you don’t reinvent your business, then someone else will,” he warned forum participants.

Rivera was a former employee of Google Inc. for eight months, but he resigned and decided to return to the Philippines to become an entrepreneur.

“Entrepreneurs take calculated risks and tolerate uncertainty. Sometimes, you need to be out of your comfort zone to become successful,” he said.

He said that anyone could be an innovator and anyone who could do it better than it was done before would indeed be amazing.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who gave the keynote speech, encouraged the participants and each growing company to start thinking of an innovation with a heart.

Lopez, the former Go Negosyo executive director, also said that Go Negosyo aimed to create an entrepreneurship revolution and prosperity for all Filipinos.

The Mentor Me forum was part of the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop and was organized by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship or Go Negosyo and the United States Embassy in Manila./UP Intern Amy A. Macalinao

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