Launchgarage bets on QC to lead Philippine tech innovation


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Launchgarage, the country’s largest tech accelerator, last week organized the first Quezon City Tech Day, a community-building event aimed at bringing together and empowering the innovative startups of the nation’s largest city to solve some of its most complex problems.

As part of Philippine Startup Week 2019, Quezon City Tech Day served as both culmination of and launching point for Launchgarage’s efforts to turn their city into an innovation capital. CEO Jay Fajardo believes Quezon City’s startup scene, often lumped in with the rest of Metro Manila, doesn’t get enough attention.

Based in the largest city in the country (approx. 2.7 million citizens) and second biggest in terms of assets (roughly P68 billion in 2018), Fajardo envisions a thriving ecosystem that goes beyond the traditional formula that was once used to measure business and industrial centers. Today’s startup ecosystems put a huge emphasis on community and a healthy human resource potential from the grass roots. “When one looks at today’s startup ecosystems, they are defined not just by a tech culture but also by a creative culture. This creates a new type of innovation culture that will take us right into the fourth industrial revolution.”

Along their home in Calle Industria alone, Eastwood City’s riverside business hub, many of the country’s most exciting startups have set up shop. These include PayMongo, the Y-Combinator acceleratee that recently hauled in one of the largest recorded seed-stage investments in the Philippines earlier this year, and Dragon’s Nest, a newly established venture builder.

At Quezon City Tech Day, Jojo Flores, co-founder of Launchgarage and Plug & Play Tech Center (a Silicon Valley pioneer often touted as the largest accelerator in the world) expressed much delight and enthusiasm in light of the recent developments around the area. Flores claims that there is much potential in local startups, and that Launchgarage can help bring these products and services to the global market through their resources and extensive network. Local software industry veterans Joey Gurango and Jun Lozada were also present in the event.

Launchgarage, now in its fourth year of operations, has housed over 40 of the most recognizable companies in the Philippine startup industry. It began as a joint program with Kickstart Ventures before branching off to become its own entity in 2016. Since then, the accelerator has created measurable and integral impact through its services, events and partnerships forged in both the public and private sectors. Recently, EXPAND PH, an intensive four-week long market access program for Malaysian companies, was conducted in partnership with UnionBank and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). It was announced during the event that the collaboration with MDEC would continue for at least four more years.