“Your network becomes your net worth,” Paul Rivera tells the crowd of 200-odd aspiring student entrepreneurs at the 2015 YouthHack Manila Startup Challenge. Rivera, Founder and CEO of Kalibrr, challenges participants from different high schools and universities across the metro to “go where [they’re] not supposed to be.”
“I want you to realize that a small group of people that can understand technology really well can disrupt and take down every established industry in the Philippines,” he adds. The business world is constantly shifting, he explains, and “if you don’t reinvent your business, someone else will.”
Rivera was joined by other prominent members of the local startup community during the weekend startup event held last July 25 and 26 at Xavier School Greenhills, in San Juan City. Veterans in the industry took charge of the plenary sessions and workshops on marketing, ideation, and product development. Then students got to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges on the second day.
In preparation for the participants’ pitches, workshops on developing startup-worthy ideas were led by design maverick Brian Tenorio, Kalibrr’s Joan Magno and Roxanne Lim, ASES President Jaime Young, Raymond Castillo of Uber, Mark Panganiban of Shopinas, IdeaSpace’s Goldy Yancha and Andrew Cua, and Joe Maristela and Pinky Natividad of Katalyst.ph.