“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.

Taxumo Team

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).

Taxumo and Nanica won 2nd for the V-Challenge (validation challenge)! Woohoo!

Taxumo and Nanica won 2nd for the V-Challenge (validation challenge)! Woohoo!

 

Taxumo with the super great and inspiring Prim Paypon!

Taxumo with the super great and inspiring Prim Paypon!

 

With our mentor Jojy Azurin at the Ideaspace Bootcamp 2016

With our mentor Jojy Azurin at the Ideaspace Bootcamp 2016

 

Paul Pajo, Gabe Mercado and Arin were guest speakers at Ideaspace Bootcamp 2016

Paul Pajo, Gabe Mercado and Arin were guest speakers at Ideaspace Bootcamp 2016

 

EJ telling the other Co-Founders about Taxumo

EJ telling the other Co-Founders about Taxumo

 

Last Day at the Ideaspace Bootcamp 2016

Last Day at the Ideaspace Bootcamp 2016

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!

Hustling,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Yesterday, I had a really itchy palm and I thought something great was about to happen. They say that if you have an itchy palm, you’re about to receive money. Well, nothing out of the ordinary happened. Haha! Then, today, I’m sitting in this coffee shop in BGC with huge number 8’s on the wall. Just by seeing this number, I feel so lucky already! But obviously, all of these – lucky numbers, horoscopes, etc., are not guaranteed to bring you Startup success this year. What brings you success is really more of the positive feeling and the energy that you get from believing that things will be great and awesome.

Coffee Otto - Cafe Italia

Having the right mindset in business is crucial. I have noticed that whenever I feel like a winner or whenever I feel positive, that’s when I get to book deals and get to do something productive. Also, I have noticed that there are particular things that I do that make me feel a Startup Winner. I know that things can get you down easily so today, I’ll be sharing with you 8 things that I do to make me feel positive and vibrant oftentimes.

1. Start the day early. When I start the day early, I get to do more things. If I feel that I have done so much before the clock strikes 12 noon, I become even more inspired and do a whole lot more after.

2. Set aside time for “moving”. Noticed that I used moving, instead of working out. I don’t know. Working out just seems too heavy. I have noticed that in the morning, when I decide to walk and do get to walk (not hurriedly) to a bakery shop or a café a few buildings away, this activity puts me in a brighter mood.

3. Always fix your work space in the evenings or right before you retire to bed. I noticed that when I wake up to a clean desk, I feel energized to work. It just makes me feel “ready”.

4. Update your vision board. My vision board is right across my bed. When I wake up, that’s the first thing I see.

5. Have ME-time days. Schedule a once or twice a month day for yourself. On that day, do everything that you want to do, but never really get the chance to do because you’re just too busy (book a massage, cut your hair, have a manicure or pedicure, etc.).

6. Do something, be somewhere, be with someone or eat something that puts you in a good mood. Sometimes, I just like to sit alone in a café and just write because writing puts me in a good mood. It also helps me focus more after.

7. Help others. I’m sure you know this and I know you’re familiar with the feeling. When you help others, without expecting anything in return, it makes you feel more alive. The feeling that you are part of the community and the feeling of giving back to society is something that makes us feel good.

8. Connect with someone. Write your hubby a letter. Invite a friend for coffee. Call your sister or brother and just talk about random stuff. Call a business partner or a supplier and don’t talk about business. Try to build relationships by going for things that goes beyond what is expected from you.

I don’t believe that people are born lucky, but I believe that all of us are born to be winners. I believe that luck and success comes from the way you feel about yourself. I believe that whenever you feel good, all things positive gravitate towards you.

Hope you like my tips! Be a winner!

I am in the process of reviewing and ‘re-reading’ some of the books that I have read before. I am not much of a reader, to tell you honestly. The books that I love reading are those that give tips for entrepreneurs, personal finance management books, entrepreneur/start-up guides and branding books.

My collection in my IPAD :)

My collection in my IPAD 🙂

One of the books that I am reading now is Stephen M. Pollan’s Die Broke released in 1997. And in the first few pages of the book, specifically in page 23, he discusses the change of attitude towards work based on socioeconomic patterns. He suggests that we adopt what he calls the Mercantile Ethic.

Die Broke by Stephen Pollan

Die Broke by Stephen Pollan

Most of us are defined by our work. I remember the time when I was still working for a corporation as an employee. I would obviously be proud that I was a product manager in one of the stable banks in the Philippines. In each seminar or event that I would go to (even if it wasn’t related to work), I would introduce myself as a banker. And in my day-to-day job, I would think of what’s best for the company even if it meant going home really late at night or sacrificing weekends just to finish a presentation or even skipping meals just to meet deadlines.

Now, what Stephen Pollan says is that in this day and age, their is no such thing as corporate loyalty. This is a reality that we all have to face. He suggests that we try ‘quitting in our minds’ today. What does quitting in our minds today mean? We need to start thinking of ourselves, too. This is one of the tips for entrepreneurs that I believe in.

Why did I bring this up? A lot of people ask me, how did you make the jump from the corporate world to become a momtrepreneur. It wasn’t an overnight thing, believe me. You don’t just wake up and resign and then viola! You start your own business. It will take a lot of thinking, self-control, decision making, analysis, reflection, self motivation and will power.

In January 2012, I already probably (in Pollan’s terms) quit in my mind. I knew that I wanted to have a baby already, so I was taking steps to start my own business and create extra income — income that would eventually take the place of my monthly pay. I was ‘intentionally’ steering towards that direction of being a work-at-home-mom. Being a workaholic, it wasn’t easy. I was still working late and working during weekends, but time management was a strength of mine. What I did was I created a schedule that would allow me to work on the things that I wanted to do in the future while still working for my employer. I was still doing a great job at work, mind you, but I was INTENTIONALLY thinking of my own bottom-line, too. Do your job exceptionally well during work hours and then go home and do what you love.

Weekends and evenings should be all about you. No working… stop yourself! And there are no such thing as dues to be paid to your company for providing you pay and benefits. This was one thing I had to learn. I’m a nice gal and at the back of my mind, I always think that I have dues to pay to other people for things that I should actually be expecting and getting. Your pay is the ‘pay’ment for the job that you do well. You don’t owe your employer anything, in fact, for those days that you needed to work more than the required time, they should have paid you more. I know it’s easy to say, but difficult to absorb.

Changing your attitude towards work will definitely be the first step if you are still working and thinking of becoming a work-at-home-mom or a momtrepreneur. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but it can be done.