For the second year in a row, local tech accelerator Launchgarage hosted EXPAND Philippines, a structured three-week market access program for Malaysian companies seeking to test and validate their products and services in the country.
In partnership with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and UnionBank, the program culminated in a Demo Day taking place on Aug 30, in UnionBank Plaza, where six Malaysian companies showcased their products and services.
“We are happy to host MDEC and look forward to opportunities to enable foreign companies entering the Philippines. Through collaboration we can Tech Up the Philippines,” said Arvie de Vera, UnionBank’s senior vice president and Fintech Business Group head.
This year’s cohort was a collection of seasoned entrepreneurs running late-stage companies that underwent a month-long selection process, an intensive week of mentor-led webinar sessions about the local ecosystem, online introductions to key stakeholders in their respective industries, and an on-site immersion comprising of deal flow facilitation between them and potential investors, clients and strategic partners in the Philippines.
Following last year’s successful pilot, Jojo Flores, COO of Launchgarage, announced in his welcome address a five-year partnership with MDEC which will enable seamless cross-border collaboration as the group’s exclusive partner running various market access programs. “We are proud to announce that we have inked an exclusive deal with our Malaysian counterparts to continue co-hosting these market access programs, which provides value and accelerates their validation process when entering the Philippine market,” he said.
Keasavan Hari Krishnan, market engagement lead of MDEC’s Growth Ecosystem Development group, said “the cross border collaboration between Launchgarage Philippines and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has created market access opportunities for Malaysian startups to expand their network and services to the Philippines. MDEC is extremely honored to have been part of these startups expansion into the Philippines.”
Also at last week’s event was Hon. Arth Bryan Celeste, Mayor of Alaminos City, Pangasinan who said he is eager to integrate various projects from the crop of companies into his ecosystem and avail of services that would benefit his constituents.
The 2019 cohort features a diverse set of elite-tier companies which include:
- Persuasion Technologies, a business intelligence and marketing analytics servicing platform for retailers and ecommerce sites,
- CK Group, an Integrated Property Marketing Agency specializing in digital design solutions using the latest media and visualization technology,
- Sometime by Asian Designers, an e-commerce bag and accessories specialist company that co-designs with very select established Asian designers and icons to conceptualize and produce exclusive and iconic designer bags,
- NEXPlatform, a data-driven Proptech company that provides smart marketing solutions to help property developers digitalise their processes and improve customer experience,
- Accendo, a Talent Experience platform designed to help with deep people analytics and career pathing
- and SonicBoom, an all-in-one open payment terminal for parking, vending machines and retail stores.