In line with its advocacy to bring small businesses in the front and center of global and regional trade, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Philippine startup community, has organized Slingshot MNL, a conference featuring top international figures in the field of startups.
“Equitable and inclusive growth can only be attained when an enabling environment promotes the full participation of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in global trade,” DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo said.
Domingo, as chair of the recent APEC 2015 Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT), advocates the promotion of MSEs as an integral part of the country’s pursuit to enhance regional economic integration and the attainment of equitable and inclusive growth.
“In organizing Slingshot MNL, we aim to gather promising startups in the region and present them with potential mentors, investors, and business partners,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo Jr. said.
SlingshotMNL will take place on July 6 to 7, 2015 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila. The two-day conference will feature discussions with leading figures in the international startup community such as Startup Chile founder Nicolas Shea, Hugh Mason from leading Asian investment firm JFDI Asia, and professor Richard Dasher from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
The conference will also exhibit the products and services of local startups. Apart from plenary sessions, workshops, and fireside chats, it will also feature a pitching competition and a lineup of local startup exhibitors.
The conference hopes to attract heads of industry, startup incubators, business accelerators, investment and venture capital firms from the United States, Latin America and Asia, as well as successful startup businesses such as UBER, GrabTaxi, Ashoka, Rags2Riches, and AirBnb.
SlingshotMNL is set to cover a variety of topics to help startups engage meaningfully in international trade. These topics include understanding hubs of innovation, opportunities in tech startup investing, redefining scale in the global market place, impact entrepreneurship; startup ecosystem support, and the role of universities in the startup community.
“At the heart of every successful startup is a great idea. Slingshot MNL will be a showcase of the greatest of those ideas –a showcase of the incredible things that have already been achieved by startups, and of all that we can still achieve together,” said Earl Martin Valencia, co-founder and President of IdeaSpace Foundation, an accelerator for Philippine tech startups.