On forging the City’s thriving startup ecosystem

Starting our own business, which means getting out of the rat race of the 9-5 job, and being our own boss, is probably one of our ultimate life goals. But while launching our own startup or founding our own company seems like a dreamy, get-rich-quick plan, the journey is laid with complicated and hard-fought challenges of human resource management, marketing strategies, business registration and taxation, cash flow, and so much more.

Focusing on what is best for the end-users of their products and services, startup founders spend ample time trying to understand and study how their work will benefit and help their clients, on top of making many other things right at once. Doing all of this and having to balance it with their personal lives is not an easy task. One has to carefully and painstakingly navigate through the day-to-day challenges of building the business from scratch. It can get suffocating, and sometimes what a young, passionate entrepreneur needs to breathe fresh air again are giving, listening to individuals who share the same spirit he has.

With that in mind, the Global Shapers-Iloilo Hub, together with the Iloilo Startup Founders Circle, organized the first FX Town hall in Iloilo City last April 28.

FX Town hall aims to establish a casual and nonconforming startup ecosystem in Iloilo for the founders/co-founders for them to network, socialize, and hear the experiences of their fellows while learning first-hand each other’s ways of managing their own company and making it work amid their personal lives, all done over an ice-cold bottle of beer. One simply could not overemphasize the value of getting access to networks and leveraging connections, and it couldn’t get more personal this.

The event got its name from “UX Design” or “User Experience Design”, which is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product. But while UX focuses on hearing and learning from the experiences of their users to improve their products, a town hall meeting is a jazzy jargon startups use to gather the workforce where everyone talks about updates on their tasks and where everyone has an opportunity to ask questions and engage with their colleagues.

Speaking before the event were startup representatives from Green Technology Business Incubation of West Visayas State University, namely Rommel Jun Payba of GoveSmart SoftwareTechnologies, Cavene Tan of Substr, and Daryl Lasafin of Dame Digital.

Each speaker shared their experiences and stories on how they started their startups. Mr. Payba talked about the difficulty of working with the government in terms of instituting new technology in their systems. Mr. Tan spoke about how one night of drinking with friends can bring a eureka moment in solving a recognizable problem. Finally, Mr. Lasafin gave a talk about the differences of working in a startup compared to working for a day job.

The event was packed with intelligent and sensible insights, engaging interactions, and a fun open forum where everyone has a drink on hand and casually talking the ups and downs of being and managing a startup.

With the City being touted as the hub of the regional economic zone in Western Visayas and as multinational companies continue to pour in multi-billion-peso investments, there is more growth to expect in the coming years. Businesses have to be ready and in place. Entrepreneurs have to step up. The business ecosystem has to be robust. And FX town hall can help us get there.

FX Town hall takes place every two months and will have its next gathering on June 28 in Horn Pub, Paseo de Arcangeles, Mandurriao, Iloilo City. Startup founders in Iloilo City are encouraged to come and meet like-minded individuals in the Ilonggo startup community. For more updates, you can follow the Global Shapers Iloilo Hub on Facebook.