Summer Mixer

AllAboard’s Summer Mixer: Cebu Startup Founders Share Stories and Insights

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This year’s Summer Mixer, hosted by AllAboard, was a whirlwind adventure for attendees. The day began with a founder focused session, then transitioned to a lively startup mixer filled with networking opportunities. The event featured inspiring talks from two prominent Cebu-based founders: Norman of Xeleqt AI and Jude of Code Chum.

Founders Share Their Journeys

Norman, whose company Xeleqt AI utilizes artificial intelligence to streamline operations in disconnected worksites, offered a glimpse into the challenges faced by startups. He revealed the difficulties encountered during the pandemic, where Xeleqt’s services weren’t considered essential. The additional hurdle of large enterprises requiring at least two years of financial records, something Xeleqt couldn’t provide at the time, further complicated their situation. However, this obstacle turned into an opportunity. The team focused on honing their coding skills and persevered through the hardship.

Jude, founder of Code Chum, a platform dedicated to programming education in the Philippines, highlighted the emotional challenges that come with being a startup founder. He spoke about the loneliness that can set in and the tendency to compare oneself to others. Both founders emphasized the importance of wearing multiple hats and maintaining humility as essential traits for navigating the startup journey.

Summer Mixer

Establishing Goals and Strategies

The discussion delved into the strategies employed by these successful founders. Norman shed light on his strategic approach to pitching competitions, a tactic that has proven effective for Xeleqt. Jude, on the other hand, prioritizes measuring the impact of Code Chum’s work, ensuring a lasting positive influence on the future of students.

The Philippine Startup Ecosystem: Thriving and Full of Potential

The event wasn’t just about individual founders. Ganzo of DTI provided valuable insights into the Philippine MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) landscape. She also introduced an exciting initiative called “Malikhaing Pinoy,” aimed at supporting Filipino creatives. The evening continued with recognition for Cebu’s homegrown startups, including Sugbodoc, Oh My Grocery!, and Laundrive. Most importantly, Ganzo emphasized the Philippines’ position as Southeast Asia’s most exciting venture ecosystem. The country’s digital economy is anticipated to experience significant growth, reaching double-digit rates by 2025.

Summer Mixer

Roundtable Discussion: A Catalyst for Collaboration

The Summer Mixer culminated in a dynamic roundtable discussion moderated by Joy Garingo of The Company Cebu and April Vano of Quest Ventures. This session brought together startups, enablers, government representatives, and other stakeholders to foster open dialogue. A thought-provoking remark came from Benjamin of Startup Grind, who emphasized that starting a startup doesn’t require a substantial amount of money; a good mindset and a solid strategy are often sufficient. This statement sparked lively debate among the participants, highlighting the diverse perspectives within the Cebu startup community.

The Future of Cebu Startups: A Glimpse into Endless Possibilities

The Summer Mixer left attendees with a sense of optimism and a thirst for further discussion. The event showcased the resilience, innovation, and collaborative spirit that define Cebu’s startup scene. While time constraints prevented a deeper exploration of all the intriguing topics that emerged, the energy and enthusiasm were undeniable. The future of Cebu’s startups is undeniably bright, brimming with potential and fueled by the collective drive of its founders, enablers, and supporters.

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