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IGNITE 2017: A Showcase of Startup Innovation

IGNITE, the innovation conference organized by TechShake in collaboration with dentsu X and Industrial Growth Platform, Inc. (IGPI), came to a successful conclusion last July 1 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City.

The conference, which united startups, venture capital firms, media and other notable guests, was attended by more than 500 people and featured distinguished speakers from different fields of innovation.

Dentsu Aegis Network Philippines Country CEO Donald Lim delivered the keynote speech which delved into the constant state disruption and chaos of everyday life and how companies must anticipate future needs of customers in order to maintain success and relevance.

Other speakers were: Director of Corporate Innovation for 500 Startups Arnaud Bonzom; Chief Lab Officer at Dentsu’s dXlab Kei Shimada; and Agency Business Lead for Google Philippines Willy Kühne. In line with the keynote address, the speakers discussed how startup companies and technology in general have shaped the current market’s landscape, and how startup companies and aspiring developers can be part of this shaping.

A panel discussion moderated by Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines (ICCP) – Strategic Business Innovator Group (SBI) Venture Partners Director Jennifer Alcabao was held after the talks. The panel included Kalibrr Co-Founder and CEO Paul Rivera, Reapra & Coent Ventures Investment Lead Vikram Bharati, Flyspaces Founder and CEO Mario Berta, Endeavor Philippines Managing Director Manny Ayala, and Draper Nexus Associate Yuma Tanaka.

IGNITE also served as the stage for a pitch competition in which 10 finalists from a pool of 100 startup pitchers presented to their ideas to a panel of judges for the chance to win USD 5,000 in prize money. From the ten finalists, cross-border billing and payment platform QWIKWIRE took the honor of being the winner of the competition as well as the USD 5,000 check.

“Winning was definitely a good thing. We’re in the middle of raising money so exposure will be very useful in getting more investors. Thank you to the organizers of Ignite. The event was great. There were a lot of investors and start-ups. It was a great place to network. Even without the win, it was well worth it,” said QWIKWIRE CEO Ray Edison Refundo.

An exhibit was also set up at the theater lobby and featured 20 local and international startups, which gave guests a chance to see their products up close and test out some of them.

Kazuo Koike, Executive Director of dentsu X commented, “It was a huge success due to the close cooperation of all stakeholders. I am extremely confident that the event was able to contribute in sparked the interest of local and international investors towards the growing startup community in the Philippines, and gathered first-hand information about the quality of startups and investors in the country. I felt the power of start-ups and would love to see them grow. I see a lot of opportunities here.”

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