Two days ago, the fastest and one of the most important 3 minutes of our lives happened. During that day, our team had to deliver a 3 minute pitch for the Philippines Qualifiers for Echelon Summit Asia 2016. We didn’t even expect to be part of the top entries in the Philippines, since we really didn’t have any basis on what the judges were looking for. This was the first time that we were going to pitch after several years. Looking at the list of startups, we felt like babies pitted against the pros who have done this several times before. All we had were the business experience of each member of the team, confidence and a lot of preparation. It may seem very trivial to spectators, but let me help you understand how important these pitches are for startups.

Echelon Asia Summit Philippine Qualifiers

Pitching is basically summarizing the time and effort spent in your business in 3 minutes. We started conceptualizing our business late last year, but some of these businesses have even been in the industry for a year and already gaining revenue. We have gone through brainstorming, idea generation, choosing what brand or product name to go with, purchasing hosting or even dedicated servers. We have gone through hours and hours of coding to create product prototypes and user friendly websites. We have gone through market analysis, market strategies, market research. We have analyzed the market sized and have come up with the best business model that we could think of after deciding that thinking about it too much caused analysis-paralysis. We have gone through all those and more and in pitches, they expect us to relay all of these things that we have done in 3 minutes. Can you just imagine that?

Taxumo Pitch

Ej, CEO of Taxumo.com

Echelon Summit Asia

Pitches open doors. Startups pitch business ideas for different reasons. They pitch because they want funding and pitches shows investors a little bit about who and what you are as an entity. Some startups use it to validate ideas and some use it as a testing ground to learn more and to improve their product by hearing what the investors and judges have to say.

Lyle from Cape

Lyle, CEO of Cape

As mentioned. we haven’t attended a pitch since 2010 and this is the first time again that we are actively joining this scene. I haven’t been in touch with this industry for several years, but since two years ago, I have joined friends who wanted to make a difference by putting up a tech startup. And recently, I have become even more attracted to this community and I’m beginning to love it.

Carlo of Klaseko.com

Carlo of Klaseko.com

As far as I have seen, people are very nice and are willing to share ideas and input that would further improve your product. They are also very helpful and are willing to share contacts for resources that you might need. Of course, you still have to protect you ideas, but so far, I’m loving the vibe of the Philippine Tech Startup Scene.

Taxumo Team: EJ - CEO, Ginger - CMO and Dex - Lead Developer

Taxumo Team: EJ – CEO, Ginger – CMO and Dex – CTO

What I have noticed is that a lot of Filipinos have new and great ideas and not a lot of them have access to things like these pitches. I have been helping my fellow entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs come up with solid business plans and marketing strategies for a couple of years now and it was only recently that I got to absorb and see with my own eyes what articles or what people meant when they said that the Philippines is the up and coming startup scene in SEA. I have my own start ups in the Philippines and it was just fairly recent that I got to realize that there are already quite a number of incubators, angel investors, venture capitalist who are willing to invest in startups with good, unique and revenue generating ideas.

I highly recommend people to check out this industry and if you have new ideas, just go and check out its feasibility and its potential.

Time flies so fast. I barely even noticed that Holy Week is about to end with the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus this Easter Sunday. What are your plans for this week? I love staying home during these days because it allows me to reflect and the entire mood and vibe of this week encourages silence and thinking about your life and how have you faired in this world.

On Sunday though, I will be bringing my daughter to an Easter Egg hunt event. She hasn’t experienced one and I think she will now get to appreciate it. But before going to this Easter Egg Hunt event, why don’t you join me as we join the Grand Easter Feast (GEF) 2016, which will happen on Easter Sunday, March 27.

Grand Easter Feast 1

The GEF will have two sessions: 8:00 AM – 12:00 NOON (morning session) and 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM (afternoon session).

Grand Easter Feast 2

As we celebrate the year of mercy, we realize that one of God’s greatest gifts to us is His forgiveness. Our Easter celebration invites us to understand the depth of God’s mercy and breathe in His love, so that we may, in turn, extend mercy and love to other people.

In the Grand Easter Feast, there will be an Easter Mass by Fr. Joel Jason and Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite, life-changing talks by Bo Sanchez, Fr. Bob McCognaghy and Monching Bueno, and powerful worship by the Kerygma Worship Team. You definitely don’t want to miss this!

Tickets are only at PHP 200.00. You can buy your tickets now at www.smtickets.com or at any SM Tickets outlet nationwide.

Working has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I loved working, but the problem is, with working, there is a cap on what you can financially achieve for yourself and for your family. Earnings increase only when you get promoted or when you get bonuses. Working for a bank really helped me a lot in seeing the value and importance of saving and investing. We are lucky that there are different kinds of investment vehicles that we can use to grow our funds.

Business is something I want to earn from. Business is a form of investment, but it is an active investment. You need to put in time and effort in order to reap financial rewards. What I like about a business is that the more you put in these things, the higher the likelihood that you will achieve greater financial rewards and there is no ceiling on how much you can earn. I like it also because I know that as I grow older, I want something to keep me busy and something that would practice my brain (too much Grey’s Anatomy! haha!).

But I also use another kind of vehicle that I use for my investments. It’s called Mutual Funds. A mutual fund is an investment vehicle that makes you invest with other people (pool funds together) so that you can invest it on securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets. What I like about Mutual Funds is that the minimum investment is normally just around Php 5000 and you can just add and add without having to worry about the funds. This is because mutual funds are operated by money managers, whose main responsibility is to manage the pooled funds to help us, investors, earn income from the funds that we put in.

Sounds interesting? 🙂 Lucky for you! You can learn more about Mutual Funds during this one day celebration of Mutual Funds Awareness Week (I didn’t even know this existed until recently!). You can attend the free sessions that will be put up by the Philippine Investment Funds Association or PIFA on April 9, 2016.

12799220_1076581389051316_5114688883657423916_n

 

All you need to do is to sign up here: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/pifa-mutual-fund-awareness-week-2 It’s free, so why not take advantage of this?

Let’s learn more about Mutual Funds! See you on April 9!

 

February is usually associated with hearts, lovers, and Valentine’s Day. It’s fitting, therefore, that February is also observed in many countries – including the Philippines – as Heart Month. In this month, where the aim is to promote heart disease awareness and overall wellness, let’s show some love in the home by taking care and preparing an important health tool: the family medicine kit.

Here are a few top tips:

Wilkins

1. Check all medications to ensure that they’re all still up-to-date and safe to consume. – Throw away those that have expired already. It might feel like a waste, but taking pills past their expiration dates is never a good idea. Set a regular schedule for doing this to prevent further wastage. Hey, doing this step also shows love to the family budget! 😉

2. Trust only medicine, food, or drink that are prescribed by your child’s pediatrician – It’s so tempting to self-medicate, what with all these information readily available at our fingertips (hello Google!). It’s still best to consult medical and nutrition matters with trusted experts, though. They know your child’s unique issues and can offer the best professional advice. For example, for food/medicine, our pediatrician advised… And for my kids’ water needs, we use only Wilkins distilled water because I keep me at ease and I know that the water she takes in is safe and clean. Feel free to ask them any concerns you might have about your child’s health as well.

3. Make sure you know how your child’s medications interact with each other. – Some kids need to take more several medications on a regular basis that it becomes hard to keep up with the dosages and indications of each. More so if new medications have been added to the mix. If this is the case with your child, then you might want to gather all his/her prescription medications, OTCs, and multivitamins in a bag to show during his/her next medical appointment. This will enable the healthcare professional to screen the medications for potential duplication of therapies, side effects, or interactions.

It pays to know what your body is absorbing. I am very particular about this and I really want my family to take only the safest and the trusted brands, like Wilkins for water. Do you have any other tips to share? Feel free to join us in our conversation at the Wilkins Facebook page. Talk to you there!

Yesterday, I watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that just broke my heart. It was a little girl of 6 with a terminal disease. I couldn’t stop crying. Watching this episode made me remember Courageos Caitie and an email that I have received from a lady names Melly a few days ago. Honestly, I am drowning with stuff to do now, but I know that wouldn’t forgive myself if I failed to tell others about this.

The lady who emailed me is Melly Ng. She’s a triathlete that will take on 12 Hours of Indoor Cycling for the Benefit of Caitlyn Soleil Lucas or Caitie. On March 13, Sunday, Melly will attempt to complete 10 consecutive Sufferfest sessions, a collection of high intensity cycling interval training programs presented in an instructional video. The entire attempt makes up to a total of 12 hard hours of continuous indoor cycling.

catie poster 3 (1)

The goal of this fundraising activity is to raise the highest amount possible to help Caitie and her family handle Caitie’s rising hospital expenses. The event will be held at WattUp Indoor Cycling Studio, 36-B Scout Ybardolaza St., Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City.

You might be wondering who Caitie is. Courageous Caitie is a three-year-old who has recently been diagnosed with JMML, a rare form of leukemia, after three previous diagnoses which were eventually ruled out. She’s been in the hospital for 60+ days and counting and has undergone multiple tests and procedures that would make adults 10x her age cringe.

caitie_feliz

The expenses that her hospital stay (both in Manila and now in Singapore, where she is currently being treated) plus procedures have incurred are soaring, and her parents and relatives would gladly appreciate any monetary support that people could extend to them.

Let’s all help raise the highest amount possible to encourage Caitie and her family to continue fighting this tough battle.

Click on the link below to fill out the donation form and know the many donation options that you have to help this family.

There are Two (2) Steps to Donate:

1. Fill-up the online donation form: https://goo.gl/S0Rm2P
– This will help us track the donations and thank you appropriately.

2. On the form, select a donation type:
– Pledge Php100.00 per cycling video (Melly will do 10cycling videos in 12 hours).
– Donate a Fixed Amount – choose to donate however much you are willing to share.

Donation may be made via bank deposit (BDO/BPI/Chinabank) OR through the gofundme account set for Caitie (ideal for overseas donations). Details will be provided upon form submission.

There’s also a space allotted on the form should you wish to send words of encouragement to Caitie. We will collate these messages and forward them to the Lucas family after the event. 🙂

 

For questions and other details, you may send an email to padyakparakaycaitie@gmail.com

For fundraising event updates, please follow the event page: https://web.facebook.com/events/194331837597232/194382144258868/

To follow Catie’s inspiring story and her courageous battle with a rare form of leukaemia, pleas like: Facebook.com/courageouscaitie