Why I Need a Personal Robot?

I have a terrible headache and I know it’s because I didn’t take coffee today. It must be my system telling me that I lack caffeine. I wonder how I was able survive sleepless nights way back in college. Staying up later than 1 pm in now impossible for me. When I do stay up beyond 1 am, rest assured that I will be needing that long siesta the day after. Oh my! I sound like a ninety-year old lady. Hey, but seriously, I think I need a personal robot to help me keep up with the things that I need to do.

This got me thinking, If I had a robot, what would I make it do? What does Ginger need help with?

Personal robot

Here are the gazillion things that I need my personal robot to do:

1) Blogs – I need my robot to type my article for me, proofread and edit it, look through my all of my files for the appropriate picture and post it on my site. This will allow me to just dictate and say my thoughts, and focus on thinking and researching about what my next topic will be. I will need my robot to suggest related topics also that will matter. Oh! And I need my robot to occasionally send out questions to my readers on what topics do they want me to talk or write about.

2) Schedule – I need a personal robot who can arrange and rearrange my schedule for me. I need it to be automatically set aside time for ME-time and maximize my time by grouping meetings in the same geographical location. It will keep tabs on what is the most convenient time of the day and location for me and for the person I am meeting, so that no one will waste anyone’s time. It will tell me when to leave the house so that I arrive in that location just in time — not too early and not late. It will also notify me if I need to do something else in that location before going home, based on previous “wishes” — like wishing to see that fabulous dress in a mall and how much it costs or picking up a loaf of bread from the nearby grocery store since we are running out of it soon, etc.

3) Work – My personal robot will list down all the deliverables of each member of the team and will remind them of the deadline. It will also give them tips on the project itself, like where to research for information or whom to talk to based on how I would do the project or based on whom I would go to. It will also automatically schedule one-on-one meetings with my team (using my personal scheduler’s feature) and would automatically track progress of each one and give me a clear metric on how far my team members are from their defined personal and entrepreneurial goals. I would also ask it to fix all of my files at home, and arrange it per startup and tell me if I need to do anything with that file.

My list could go on and on…

So there, is is the reason why I need a personal robot. How about you? If I were to give you a robot, what would you need for it to do?

Share your thoughts on Facebook and use #personalrobot and #mommyginger so that I can reply, too!

Newbie Technopreneurs in Amazing Conference

As I gazed from across my seat, looking at the multitude of people riding the MRT in Singapore, I realized that the episodes from my favorite TV series, Silicon Valley, were actually true. In this case, however, they were in the US and I was in South East Asia.The stories if the technopreneurs in that show were almost very close to reality. This weekend proved to be an amazing experience. It wasn’t because we won that pitch competition or we got to raise seed funding (because we didn’t but we’ve been getting emails already from VC’s since this morning!), but because I learned so much about myself, about our team, and about this interesting world encapsulated in one word — tech.

Taxumo in Echelon Asia Summit 2016

Thank you, Tasha of ASpace for the photo!

Thank you, Tasha of ASpace for the photo!

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

We went to Singapore to showcase our web/mobile application called Taxumo. Our flight from the Philippines left at 10:00 PM and we arrived at Singapore at 1:00 AM the following day. There were four of us, Ej (CEO), Alex (CFO and the CPA in our team), Dex (CTO) and yours truly. We arrived hungry so we had to eat at the nearby McDonalds, a brand familiar to us. We left the airport after and arrived at our hotel around 4AM. We had to be at Singapore Expo (the venue at 7:30 AM) to set up so that meant we had to leave at 7 AM (yup, since traffic wasn’t really evident in Singapore). EJ and I woke up to the messages of our colleagues at 7 am and hurriedly rushed so that we could leave right away. We really thought we were late, but lo and behold, we were actually one of the earliest ones there at 8:00 AM.

Taxumo Booth: We probably talks to more than 500 people!

Taxumo Booth: We probably talks to more than 500 people!

Being early in conferences, gives you the advantage. You get to practice your pitch to a few people (mostly co-tech startup founders), so that when investors come in, you have already amazingly mastered your pitch after saying it a dozen times over. Also, you already have prepared answering questions, and these questions will probably be the same questions repeated over and over again from different people.

Pitch, Listen and Participate

We have seen that in conferences like these, the people who ‘win’ (not used literally) are the people who maximize their presence in the conference. How do you maximize your presence? One is to share your idea to as many people as possible. Don’t be scared to share your idea as there may be investors who will be willing to help out, potential brand partners who might be willing to partner with you, existing solutions providers that may be able to integrate with your system, potential users who will have great insights and other enablers who may speed the process of launching or expanding your idea.

Taxumo Echelon

With the lovely Bev from e27! :)

With the lovely Bev from e27! 🙂

We thought that Echelon Asia Summit was great because we got to meet with various venture capitalists. We also got invited to join totally awesome incubator and accelerator programs. We also got offers for help if we want to expand to other ASEAN countries.

Taxumo with our friends from No Coinz

Taxumo with our friends from No Coinz

Also, I have learned to be willing to listen to other people’s ideas, too. I got to meet a lot of interesting people with unique ideas and it was so inspiring to hear them. We mad new friends, like our Indian friends from NoCoinz and we got to bind with the other Philippine delegates, too.

Make Calculated Risks Fast

Taxumo with UnBum :)

Taxumo with UnBum 🙂

I have always been exposed to how traditional businesses and how large corporations in the Philippines operate. I grew up with a family whose main business was putting up brick and mortar stores where we sell food. Preparations for these kinds of businesses would take years. My family was lucky since what we entered was a food franchise business; otherwise, planning, preparing and building wouldn’t have gone that fast.

Our CEO, EJ, pitching at Echelon Summit Asia 2016

Our CEO, EJ, pitching at Echelon Summit Asia 2016

We have noticed that in this industry, everything seems to move so quickly. A large number of the businesses there have only started with the idea less than a year. Prototypes have already been built, whether it be software or hardware, and these groups and entities have already validated ideas with customers. Most of the companies that have received seed funding where those that have shown some form of traction from paying customers.

Taxumo meeting after the conference!

Taxumo meeting after the conference!

It’s no wonder that concepts like the Lean Methodology and tools like the Javelin board and also methods like Agile and Scrum have taken this industry by storm. In this industry, all of the founders of the your company need to act fast and work fast while still working on the grounds that your ideas have been validated by your target market. We have noticed that some ideas are great ideas but don’t seem to get much attention since the problem and pain point wasn’t validated enough. We have also heard stories about great and validated ideas but since execution was slow, the idea never really flew and they were beaten by competition. Both are crucial. Check that your start-up has done or can do both.

Learn to Hustle

I never really understood what the term meant when I first encountered the word during our incubator program in Ideaspace. At first, I felt that the term was too ‘hard-core’ and ‘rough’ to be used in a business environment (lol! I thought that they should have used a more business-y term). But man, this week proved me wrong! Hustling was definitely what we did. In the two days that we were in #ECAsia2016, we probably talked to more than 500 people and pitched our idea to close to 10 investors.

Hustling! Taking our picture in between train rides!

Hustling! Taking our picture in between train rides!

In front of my dream office! This will go up on my vision board!

In front of my dream office! This will go up on my vision board!

And that wasn’t all, the day after the conference, we visited 2 VCs and made a courtesy call to DTI – Philippine Trade and Investments Council Singapore. It was inside of the MRT in Singapore in between meetings where I found myself thinking about our country and our future. Both Venture Capitalists also mentioned that they haven’t had any visits yet from any startup from the Philippines.

Taxumo with Commercial Counsellor Glenn Penaranda and Ms. Cris Lacuna of DTI - Philippine Trade and Investment Centre in Singapore!

Taxumo with Commercial Counsellor Glenn Penaranda and Ms. Cris Lacuna of DTI – Philippine Trade and Investment Centre in Singapore!

I know that we all know that we have talented people in the Philippines. What we know and what we have as a Taxumo, may even be nothing in comparison with what you, my readers, may be capable of doing or are capable of creating. We just have to try to achieve our dreams and try to make a difference. We may not be the best startup out there, winning competitions and all, but we will never stop trying.

We will never stop believing that we can create solutions that will make your lives simpler! Onwards we go!

We will never stop believing that we can create solutions that will make your lives simpler! Onwards we go!

Love lots,




PS. Thanks for the tip, Bianca Medina to not wear heels! haha! My feet hurt so bad! 🙂 haha! It was worth it though.

PPS. For Angels, VCs, Investors and possible partners, please email me at ginger(at)taxumo.com 🙂

Tech Babies who Pitch

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.