An Appeal to Generous Hearts – Let’s Help a Fellow Entrepreneur in Need

Coming back from lunch last Monday, I was surprised to see someone who has been a frequent attendee at JGL events. Let's call him Mark (not his real name). When I began talking to him in our conference room, tears began to well up in his eyes as he narrated his story. This wasn't going to be another startup brainstorming. His mom's kidneys were failing, and she needed to undergo dialysis to properly filter her blood and survive. This would be something permanent - she would need to undergo dialysis three times a week. Mark and his brother had been scrambling the past few weeks to keep up with the payments. They had resorted to selling appliances and personal belongings. But now … [Read more...]

6 Crucial Lessons From The Rise Of THE Startup Nation, Part 3 of 3

(This is the third of a 3-part post which talks about the tremendous lessons we can apply from closely looking at how the preeminent Startup Nation - Israel - attained tremendous economic success through the deliberate development of startups. Previous posts: part 1, part 2) 5) We Need To Just Ship It, Ship It Good In 2006, in the height of the Lebanon War, missiles began to rain down on northern Israel. Understandably, the world's most famous investor, Warren Buffet, was worried. The first company he ever bought outside the US - Iscar - had its plant and R&D labs in the north of the country and was a primary target. Eitan Wertheimer, the chairman of Iscar, called his boss and … [Read more...]

6 Crucial Lessons From The Rise Of THE Startup Nation, Part 2 of 3

(This is the second of a two-part post regarding the tremendous lessons we can apply from closely looking at how the preeminent Startup Nation developed. Part 1 can be found here.) 4. We Need To Have More Filipino Argonauts In Greek mythology, the Argonauts  were sailors and adventurers who travelled with Jason in search of the Golden Fleece. In her book The New Argonauts, AnnaLee Saxenian writes, "The New Argonauts are foreign-born, technically skilled entrepreneurs who travel back and forth between Silicon Valley and their home countries." This "argonaut" concept of people coming back and forth from centers of global innovation, like Silicon Valley is a key component of … [Read more...]

6 Crucial Lessons From The Rise Of THE Startup Nation, Part 1 of 3

So who's the real Startup Nation? Nope, it's not who you think. The country we are talking about received more venture capital per capita than any nation in the world - 2x as much as the United States. They have more companies listed in the NASDAQ than Korea, Japan, Singapore, China, India and all of Europe combined. They've done this despite their small populace (just 7 million people), having relatively little natural resources, and being in a perpetual state of war (it is surrounded by its enemies). It is Israel. In their amazing book, Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer tells the story of how Israel has recently achieved … [Read more...]

One Awesome, Blessed, and Unpredictable Year for Juan Great Leap!

When Pauline and I celebrate our wedding anniversary together, we usually find a fancy restaurant which satisfies one important criteria: it has to be conducive to talking. Then we talk about the year that was. All the highlights. Good times and bad. What we thought God was saying to us. Afterwards,  satisfied with our summary, we talk about our hopes for the next year - and what we want to try to work on. For this year, I was planning to have a big event to commemorate JGL's first anniversary. However, due to circumstances (1-2 weeks being wiped out because of a nasty viral infection), I wasn't able to plan it out properly. I think it's fitting though, that I get to celebrate JGL's … [Read more...]

World, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

It's been close to a year now that I wrote this post. In it, I lamented at how poor the startup support was in our country. I compared our startup scene to that of our neighboring countries and complained. Then, almost on cue, all the activity started. The first Startup Weekend was launched and was followed by another in a few months. Major startup incubators sprouted: Ideaspace, Kickstart, and Wireless Wings. Startup meetups were being organized here and there. Social media became the megaphone fledgling startups used to broadcast their stories. Various startup-centric web magazines have been founded, just in the last couple of months. Almost overnight, the amount of support … [Read more...]

An Entrepreneur’s Thank-You List

I'm writing this as the final minutes of my birthday tick away. I'm trying to assess how I feel. On most birthdays, I feel sentimental, nostalgic, and often existential. Tonight though, I feel blessed that more than anything else, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I just feel compelled now to pump out this list of people I need to thank on my 37th year of existence. My own little public shout-out for the people who've meant so much to me. Hope its not too care-bear sappy! Here we go: Mama, papa, thank you for your unconditional love and support. In having kids of my own, I'm now beginning to understand what sort of love and dedication you showered upon me. Thank you the … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to Philippine University Deans and Leaders

(My friend, please read through this. If you agree with its content and find it important, stop being passive - don't hesitate and SPREAD where you feel is necessary. Post it on your Facebook account, Tweet it, comment on it - agreeing or disagreeing, email it to directly to University Leaders in your network, or print it out and send it to their office, then perhaps tell them what you think about it. Let's not wait for other people to do it, nor think that "this isn't my problem," because in some way, it is  -  peter) Dear University Deans, Leaders, and Administrators, If a young, impressionable Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg were studying in your institution right now, would he be … [Read more...]