If the Philippines is to blast forward towards progress, it needs to foster a welcoming and nurturing environment for budding startups and new technologies. That is the goal of TECHtonic: Manila Tech Convention 2017. The technology conference was held in SMX Convention Center in Pasay City last July 29-30, 2017.
Gathering startups, angel investors, media, and tech enthusiasts; the first-ever TECHtonic aims to be an annual meeting point for technology makers and users here in the Philippines.
One of the event’s highlights is a startup pitching competition, where local and international startups competed for the honor of Startup Arena Champion (and a PHP 500,000 cash prize!). There were also guest speakers from both the private and public sectors, as well as networking opportunities for the guests and participants.
I was able to take a sneak peek during day 2 and I was happy with what I saw. I loved the buzzing energy of the room. Walking around made me feel hopeful for the future of the Philippine startup scene. I was able to talk to some of the budding local entrepreneurs and was impressed with the creativity that their products and solutions offer. Most of them are young professionals- smart and easy to talk to, all of them passionate about their new companies and the direction in which they intend to grow.
One of them is Joel Casimiro, Cofounder and Chief Information Officer of ImagineAR. The “A.R.” in their name stands for augmented reality, and it’s their specialty. They create mobile apps and AR mobile games, with creative visualizations for whatever purpose their client has. For example, he showed me a simple condo flyer, scanned the floor plan printed on the paper using their mobile app,and then poof!The drawing came to life. It became an interactive 3D rendering. It’s zoomable, movable and you can even get a 360-degree view of the environment.
I couldn’t help but think, hey it’s Pokemon Go! for businesses. It’s pretty cool!
According to Joel, the background of their founding members lies mostly within AR, VR, and game development. Most of them studied Computer Science in UP Diliman. ImagineAR plans to reach out not just with real estate companies, but also with museums and different learning institutions.
You can visit their website here: www.imagine-ar.com
Another company that I got to talk to was TAXUMO. Evan Tan (Co-founder, Marketing) and Eugene Arboleda (Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer) happily explained to me that Taxumo answers the woes of freelancers and self-employed professionals who are either too confused or too busy to do their taxes. As a creative freelancer myself, I can attest to this. Doing my taxes is one of the most tedious (and daunting) things that I have to do! Haha.
When you’re subscribed to Taxumo (they have a monthly subscription fee), you just have to give them the necessary details and they will do the rest- from filling out forms, to computations, to even paying at banks. The goal is to make tax-filing as hassle-free as possible.
Their founding team has a mixed background of IT, Marketing, Law, and of course Accounting.
To know more about them, visit the Taxumo website: www.taxumo.com
I wish I had time to talk to each and every one of the startup founders in TECHtonic. It’s fascinating to discover their different backgrounds. Seeing their creations unfold is exciting! I do hope that these companies become successful and that more ventures will sprout up after them.
I believe that in a few years, events like TECHtonic will grow much bigger, with more interesting startups and with more people walking around with wide-eyed curiosity and fascination. I think that the Philippines is ripe for technological advances and our people are savvy enough to embrace innovation.
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