“Given both your extensive experiences, why do you want to join Ideaspace?,” Miss Diane Eustaquio, Executive Director of the Ideaspace Foundation asked Dex (our CTO), Alex (CFO), me and my husband, as we went through the first round of interviews. I’ll share with you what we answered, but let me tell you more about Ideaspace’s story and our story before we joined.
Ideaspace’s mission is to encourage, develop, and nurture innovation and entrepreneurship by delivering a multi-faceted support program for science and technology entrepreneurs in the Philippines and in the ASEAN region. Their vision is to build a new Philippine economy that is driven by technology, innovation and entrepreneurship as a path to nation-building. We also asked startups if they knew what Ideaspace was and they told us that Ideaspace is a prestigious incubation program offered by the MVP group which everyone practically wanted to get into.
As CMO of Taxumo, since we started working on the idea January of this year, my role was really more of to take care of looking for possible partnerships for our business and to look for investors. Funding was what most of the people in this industry needed, and at first, I couldn’t understand why. I was used to doing business the traditional way, where you either put in a small amount of capital and grow it little by little or you loan from the bank or from family. But seeing how fast things are in the tech industry, I know now that funding hastens the process of developing your product. So like probably 80% of the startups in this industry (I have yet to validate this figure! haha!), I did what was expected of me — I started looking for funding.
The way people look for funding in this industry is so cool. They join pitch competitions (which we did). They sign up in different platforms visited by different VCs, angels, etc. (which I also did) and they apply to incubator and accelerator programs (which, obviously, I did as well). When Ideaspace called for applications, I sent out our application. We got through the first round and we then had to submit this video for the second round.
Luckily, we were chosen to be one of the top 20 startups who advanced to the incubation program! Yehey! The incubation program is a 6 week intensive program that will really test our limits as entrepreneurs. It kicked off with a 5 day bootcamp at First Pacific Leadership Academy in Antipolo. Since I got back last Friday, my friends have been asking me if the program (so far) has been worth it. I have been ecstatically saying that “it was so worth it!”
During the 5 day bootcamp, 3 founders should attend. I was there with EJ and Lex.
The first day was about of getting to know each other (the other startup founders) and getting to know more about your self. The second day was about getting to know more about the other members in your startup. We all took a test that assessed our strengths and weaknesses and then we were given tips on how to assign roles and how to work with other members of the team based on the assessment (which was so cool!). BTW, our team won the Amazing Race challenge for that day (super fun, btw, and super tiring! haha!). We learned more about planning for our startups the LEAN way, and for the next two days, we had a customer validation challenge which taught us tools, tricks and tips on validating our ideas using the Javelin Board (which will now be a fixture on our sala walls! haha!). On the last day, Ideaspace invited key partners, investors and advisors — key people who were important in implementing our ideas. It was one of the best experiences in my life, even if EJ and I had to drive to Antipolo everyday (we had the option to stay there but we needed to get home to see our daughter every day).
Our reply to Miss Diane was that during the few months that we have been part of the tech community in the Philippines, we have learned more about starting and maintaining a successful business. We both want to learn more and we think Ideaspace can help us learn more about putting up a tech startup specifically.
Yes, we have had experience working in corporate and that gave us the ability to come up with structured processes and streamlined strategies, but working to build a tech startup requires speed and hustling. For the last five days, it really taught us more about coming up with work fast and taught us how to hustle more! Plus, we have gained a new family! Ms. Diane, Miguel, Goldy, Brenda, Dustin, Ping, and all the other members of the Ideaspace team have really shown that now we are part of their family. It’s such a great feeling! 🙂
I’ll be writing more about my startup experience and lessons that I have learned in these coming months!