Filipino Migrants, Give Back By Backing a Pinoy Startup!

Over the last 2 months, I have had an inordinate amount of conversations with friends who have migrated to other countries, very typically to get their MBA’s and then ending up working there.

The conversation invariably turns into “what’s the best way to help?”

In one of these talks, I was with my ex-boss and good friend, Elmer Velasquez. We managed to find time to grab breakfast during his weeklong visit here. Elmer finished his MBA in Columbia and now works in the executive search industry in the US. In his spare time, he runs Global Acumen, a social enterprise with the objective of doing knowledge transfer BACK to the Philippines.

He gave me a memorable line:

We have to stop looking at it as brain drain and start looking at it as the development of offshore resources. 

The people who go are some of our best guys, right? Of the most capable people in your high school or college batch, what percentage left the country to pursue degrees and careers elsewhere?

You know what? I think a number of these people DO want to help out. Living in another country actually might spur even more felt patriotism in some people. Absence DOES make the heart fonder after all.

How can you help, you say?

What about supporting homegrown startup initiatives?

Okay, I might be biased, but I think this is THE best way to give back. We already know we’ve got an english-speaking, innovative, and tech-savvy workforce. We’ve got some of the best programmers, the best designers in the world. That’s a potential startup goldmine.

Perhaps you can help us in making Great Startup Leaps for Juan.

You want to invest in a startup? Lend your skills and expertise as a board member? Give meaningful advice? Well, we’ve got startups which need your help. Email me at or simply hit reply! Let’s talk about it. Endless possibilities!

Also, don’t forget to SHARE this post to someone you know wants to help out. Let’s kill apathy!

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10 thoughts on “Filipino Migrants, Give Back By Backing a Pinoy Startup!

    • I’ve actually been talking to some of them, and 1-2 HAVE invested in some of the startups we’re working on. Down the line, there could ideally be a “kickstarter” sort of system for them to participate in.

      While we’re waiting for that though, I think what’s important is that conversations happen. When conversations happen, opportunities, action, and inspired energy follow suit!

      So now, I’m just trying to get the conversation going. Simple lang muna 🙂

  • Agree 100%! Allow me to introduce, a crowd funding site for Filipino projects. Soft launch is set in a couple of weeks. Please help spread the word! Join us on facebook and twitter @PhilAmTHropy. Salamat!

  • I totally agree with this post as I am currently pursuing my Masters in London. Interestingly enough we are tackling cases and are brain storming ideas that actually tackles problems similar to what the philippines is going through.

    We even have a competition that tries to spark innovation and entrepreneurship. HULT Prize it’s like a giant idea incubator where the winner will get 1M USD to start-up the business.

    As a reaction to the first commenter about having a “system” in place for me isn’t really that necessary. We can have something informal now as just leveraging knowledge and networks to create innovation that will spark economic development.

    Just to put it out there, I too am thinking of how to give back in my own way :). Although I do not have anything solid but I am competing in the HULT prize :D.

  • Peter, I really like what your friend said about living abroad. “We have to stop looking at it as brain drain and start looking at it as the development of offshore resources.” Much can be done if we learn from each other on a global scale. And it is always crucial to gear one’s gaze to one’s roots. There’s a strong wave of Fil-Ams who have resources and want to help. I know it’s only a matter of time before the movement starts to unravel. It definitely starts with that Juan Great Leap of faith. In answering that call to action, things will take its course

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