The Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) is an initiative of Enterprise Singapore (ESG), in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). Comprising a network of Singapore and overseas partners in major innovation hubs and key demand markets, GIA programs focus on technology and innovation. Together with Plug and Play, the third run of the Global Innovation Alliance Accelerator Program in Manila builds on its past successes and will be launching in April.
As one of the largest markets within ASEAN, the Philippines is increasingly becoming a hotspot and prime location for market expansion.
With the objectives of de-risking the risky nature of market expansion and to shorten startups’ learning curve, this five to eight week market-sensing program aims to support early-stage, growth-driven tech companies that wish to gain a deeper understanding about the Manila market by providing them a soft-landing into the market. Startup companies that already have a presence in Manila may also wish to tap on the program to accelerate their access to capital, customers, and talent.
Program Content: What to Expect?
The main pillars that make up the GIA Manila Program are content workshops, targeted mentorship sessions, and sales and fundraising pitching opportunities to Plug and Play’s corporate and investor network.
The interactive content workshops are led by industry experts who discuss a variety of essential topics ranging from the ins and outs of Manila Business Culture, Sales Environment, Investment Landscape, Enterprise Legalities, and Talent Acquisition–all of which are accompanied by focused one-on-one discussions with the speakers through office hours sessions. Secondly, throughout the duration of the program, each startup will be matched with a mentor who will provide each startup with tailored and relevant professional guidance, whether in marketing, product development, partnership building, pitch and investment assistance, or overall business development. Lastly, the 8 weeks will culminate in the APAC Summit, Plug and Play’s largest 3-day summit where startups will be able to pitch and showcase their solutions to Plug and Play’s regional network of corporate partners, investors, and other ecosystem enablers. Pitch polishing workshops and pitch video production will be provided in preparation for these events as well, and Plug and Play will facilitate introductions with business leads post-event.
While the program and its benefits are open to businesses from any sector, a special look-out is placed on Proptech, Construction-tech, Retail Analytics, e-Commerce and e-Commerce enablers for the upcoming batch. A previous batch of GIA Manila startups saw over 300 introductions made among 10 participants who came from an exciting variety of verticals such as Robotics, Healthtech, Gaming, Data, Martech, Edutech, Proptech, Fintech, and Enterprise Solutions.
PnP Network, and benefits: How do we make this possible?
The program provided the cohorts with heightened access to Plug and Play’s robust startup and corporate ecosystem in Manila and the wider Southeast Asia. From market experts, to investment firms and corporate innovation arms, Plug and Play’s community partners demonstrated their support through business introductions, targeted dealflows, and office hours sessions.
Cases in point
Plug and Play takes pride in the tailored approach of matching each startup to mentors who will provide them with access to relevant industry information, partnerships, and guide them through their market entry strategy. One of the startups from the previous cohort, frankie, a mental health and wellness tool, was mentored by Jong, a mentor with deep experience in healthcare sector and business development activities. With his strong background and expertise in business development for major companies, Jong not only imparted his knowledge of the healthcare sector in Manila, but also leveraged his network to link frankie up with a well known and established hospitality corporation, to explore a suitable marketing channel angled towards travel and wellness packages as an alternative way for frankie to enter Manila.
Wallet Engine, another participant in the recent batch, is a fintech startup which enables apps to seamlessly embed finance gateway for cross-border apps. They operate in a niche and heavily regulated industry that typically requires months (or even years) of setting up and obtaining licenses. Their mentor, Arnold Moralejo, founder of an investment firm, who helped ease these struggles by fostering a partnership between Wallet Engine and one of his portfolio companies, Qwikwire, a startup that specializes in global banking payment facilities. This partnership allows Wallet Engine to leverage on their existing remittance license while minimizing the regulatory processes.
In the Philippines, where the business culture is heavily driven by relationships with key decision makers, access is naturally a main hurdle with corporates who are selective with their partners. The value and importance of an in-market enabler and targeted support is hence second to none. From more structured elements via the program, such as market deep dives and workshops that unlock access to operators, practitioners and professionals, to ad-hoc support that connects startups with key corporations such as JG Summit or SM Retail, Plug and Play together with ESG, is more than ready to assist any Singapore companies that are looking into the Philippines.
Launching of Batch 3
To participate in the upcoming cohort, you may visit this registration link.
About Enterprise Singapore
Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development. We work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. We also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups. As the national standards and accreditation body, we continue to build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards. With Enterprise Singapore’s global network in over 35 locations, it connects businesses with relevant Singapore companies for their business expansion.
The Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) is a network of Singapore and overseas partners in major innovation hubs and key demand markets, with a focus on technology and innovation. The GIA network currently spans 16 cities in 12 countries. The GIA has partnered in-market players around the world to run inbound and outbound GIA Programmes to connect companies to overseas business and tech communities, and potential opportunities. Plug and Play is our GIA Partner in Jakarta and Manila.
For more information: visit https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/gia
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 35 locations globally, giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 30,000 startups and 500 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and host more than 700 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $9 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club and PayPal.
Our Asia Pacific headquarters was launched in Singapore in 2010 and we have since expanded into Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Since then we have invested in more than 50 startups and have collaborated with various governments as well as multinational and regional corporations to multiply their innovation efforts through initiatives such as industry-specific accelerator programs.
For more information: visit www.plugandplayapac.com
About Infocomm Media Development Authority
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.
For more information: visit www.imda.gov.sg