Slingshot has brought together startups, innovators, investors, corporations, academe and government from across 10 nations. Anchoring the ASEAN 2017 theme: “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,” Slingshot ASEAN is driven by the vision of thriving innovation economy across the region. Participants were able to connect, showcase and build linkages throughout the conference powered by engaging talks, panel discussions and more.
KDCI is the mind behind Slingshot's website, creating it from scratch. This collaboration gained us access into the event that became home to numerous ambitious startup Filipino companies and some Southeast Asian businesses as well. We were represented by our very own Mellany Marcaida and Sam from HR, and Juan Carlos Mercado from Marketing.
One part of the event is the Startup Alley where companies showcased their business, creating exposure and network with other companies. This became a their platform to move and introduce themselves. We aimed to create connections and find startups that could be our potential clients.
One notable company that KDCI was able to talk to was Markedshot, an online photo marketplace based in Singapore. Markedshot, just like KDCI, has collaborated with Slingshot before and hopes for future collaborations with us.
The second part was the ceremony which included various panel discussions revolving around this year's theme. Some notable speakers were DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Manny Ayala (of Endeavor Philippines), Penny Low (founder of Social Innovation Park Ltd), Katarina Szulenyiova (COO of Seedstars World) and many more.
Two points that we could highly learn from during the talks were:
The role of innovation in our live is great, often leading us disrupt a society's status quo, thus bringing forth change. This same mindset has a great effect on startups and those with brilliant minds. Mindfulness is often an oriental mindest where a person looks into one's self and thinks about how their actions affect others. In the same way, if businesses adapt to this mindset, they will be able to either destroy or build up a society.
Southeast Asia is foreseen to be the next China in terms of business success. But are Southeast Asian countries ready for this? Will companies be able to keep up?
It is hoped that startup companies could build an ecosystem where a company can invest into creating other innovative startups in the future, thus creating more value to its name and widening the resources and people that we offer. Imagine a future where foreign investors wouldn't even need to start anything in this region, but rather look for our services instead. If this happens, in the next 10 to 20 years, Southeast Asia can have the same potential as China is now.
"Being a startup isn't based on your longevity or resources. It is more relevant to be agile and flexible. Startups must be ready to take risks. It would be help companies to adapt this mindset - promoting innovation and collaboration. Good things can only come with that," said Mendoza as he reflects on the impact Slingshot has left.
"Be more familiar of yourself before promoting. Businesses should have core values, goals and visions to be able to work around. But even more important is to not sway from it," Marcaida added.
Innovation, collaboration and mindfulness are values a startup company can work on and live by. Thanks to Slingshot and ASEAN, more companies will be able to learn and create new opportunities for growth and collaboration.