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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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Phl, Singapore strengthen partnership in accelerating digital transformation in the country

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Enterprise Singapore and Filinvest Group are in talks about layout and development plans for future collaborations

Growing a business in these challenging times requires a tremendous amount of effort, patience and skills. Beyond the impact of the pandemic, rising inflation and the weakening Philippine peso are making it increasingly harder for enterprises and startups to make significant progress in an unpredictable market. Premier corporate-led venture builder F(DEV) believes that innovation is key to helping companies accelerate their transformation and achieve sustained growth. With this in mind, F(DEV) is deepening its work with global and regional partners to foster synergistic collaborations to help bring forward its vision to boost the country’s digital economy and its local tech startup ecosystem.

Accessing innovative solutions from Singapore companies

F(DEV) has shown strong support for Enterprise Singapore’s (EnterpriseSG) Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) Manila Acceleration program, in partnership with Plug & Play, by introducing Singapore startups to stakeholders in the Philippine startup and innovation ecosystem. EnterpriseSG is the Singapore government agency championing the development of Singapore enterprises. Through the program, Singapore startups can get connected with the tech and business networks in the Philippines to further expand their presence in-market.

F(DEV)’s Managing Director Xavier Marzan, and Chief Product Officer Louie Bernardo, as well as other startup specialists, served as mentors and speakers to participating Singapore startups from various sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, and proptech. F(DEV)’s investment team also served as digital innovation advocates during corporate panel interviews, held as part of the program curriculum. Through these sessions, Singapore startups gained valuable insights on how to engage with corporates and partners in the Philippines.

The program has also allowed F(DEV) to identify and partner with Singapore startups with relevant solutions to pilot their technologies in the Philippines. For example, F(DEV) worked with Kinobi, a Singapore ed-tech startup, to tap on its career management platform to create a curriculum for student entrepreneurs on web3 and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The win-win collaboration allowed Kinobi to address knowledge gaps in the growing field of NFT, while F(DEV) was able to connect with young entrepreneurs and web3 advocates whom they can work with for current and future web3 projects.

F(DEV), EnterpriseSG and partners at the recently held executive meeting in Beaufort, BGC Taguig City From left, Front row – Christine Wong, Executive Director of Urban Solutions & Sustainability Enterprise Singapore; Eunice Koh, Assistant Chief Executive of Officer Enterprise Singapore; Png Cheong Boon Chief, Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore; Josephine Gotianun-Yap, Director and CEO of Filinvest Development Corporation; Second row – Xavier Marzan, Chief Executive Officer of FDEV Digital Innovations and Ventures Inc.; Juan Eugenio L. Roxas, President and Chief Executive Officer of FDC Utilities Inc.; Don Ubaldo, First Vice President for Townships.; Jerry Ngo, Incoming Chief Executive Officer of EastWest Bank; Jonathan Gotianun, Chairman of EastWest Bank & Filinvest Development Corp; Koh Suwen, Deputy Director, Southeast Asia-Philippines & HQ Enterprise Singapore; Gerard Ho, Singapore Ambassador to the Philippines; Kow Juan Tiang, Executive Director of Southeast Asia Enterprise Singapore; Joseph Yap, Former Philippine Ambassador to Singapore; JP Yap, Chief Technology Officer of Corporate Technologies Inc.; Melody Yapson, Vice President – Group Strategic Planning Filinvest Development Corp; Isabelle Gotianun Yap, Board Director of FDEV Digital Innovations and Ventures Inc.; Diana Bulawit, Senior Strategic Finance Manager of Filinvest Hospitality Corp; Mark Mulingbayan, Chief Sustainability Officer of Filinvest Development Corp.

Deepening partnerships to bring new technologies to the Philippines

Given the success of the program, F(DEV) has recently deepened its partnership with EnterpriseSG to explore more initiatives to collaborate with Singapore enterprises and bring their innovative solutions to the Philippines. For a start, EnterpriseSG will match Singapore enterprises to F(DEV), specifically those with innovative solutions that can address the interest areas of F(DEV) and its parent company Filinvest Development Corporation, such as in fintech, smart cities, and sustainability. These enterprises can then work with F(DEV)’s network of seasoned entrepreneurs, product specialists, venture operators, data mavens, designers, and engineers to run pilots with the conglomerate. F(DEV) will also draw on its extensive experience and network established through its parent company to support Singapore enterprises in their market entry and to facilitate the launch of new digital services and businesses in the Philippines.

“The Philippines is emerging as one of the fastest growing startup and innovation ecosystems in the region. Over the past two years, more than 50 Singapore companies have expanded into the Philippines and deepened their market knowledge and networks through our Global Innovation Alliance program in Manila, that has been run in partnership with Plug & Play and LaunchGarage. The strong support from corporates including Filinvest and its corporate venture building arm F(DEV) in providing their extensive networks and valuable partnership opportunities, has enabled Singapore companies to offer complementary and innovative solutions that can accelerate digital transformation in the Philippines. This will contribute to the growth of the country’s vibrant technology and innovation landscape,” shared Mr. Kow Juan Tiang, Executive Director for Southeast Asia, Enterprise Singapore.

“We share the same vision with Enterprise Singapore to enable and empower promising tech startups and provide the means to launch and grow their businesses in a new market. We believe that this partnership and the subsequent collaborations enrich and diversify the Philippine startup ecosystem, which has been one of F(DEV)’s fundamental goals since its inception. Through open innovation, we open up the country to international businesses and ventures who are keen to operate in the underserved Philippine market. We see boundless opportunities and possibilities here in the country in terms of digitalizing various products and services, elevating our digital infrastructure and opening up partnerships with corporates. In addition, with Singapore at the center of Southeast Asia’s growing digital economy, this partnership connects Philippine startups to the entire APAC region,” shares Marzan.   

F(DEV) remains committed to helping tech startups flourish in the Philippines and driving the growth of the country’s digital economy, which is anticipated to be one of the fastest growing in Southeast Asia. It is a community partner in the upcoming Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) 2022, an annual innovation festival that provides a global platform to catalyse innovation collaborations between different industries and markets. The event features pitching competitions, conference tracks, market access sessions as well as networking opportunities and exhibitions. Through this participation, F(DEV) hopes to connect with multipliers and startups globally, foster more cross-border innovation partnerships and further demonstrate its commitment to creating a sustainable future through innovation and technology.

Visit www.teamf.dev to know more about F(DEV) Venture Studio.

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