Past EventsTrade & Investment

Silicon Valley Immersion For Young Filipino Innovators

The Inaugural Excelr8 Program

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On February 15-19, Philippine delegation of fifteen #BeTheBoss winners and finalists and PLDT Smart SME Managers attended a week-long Excelr8 Program, Feb 15-19, in Silicon Valley, home to the world’s leading software and technology corporations.  The program, an initiative by Chairman M. V. Pangilinan, provided a learning experience with a focus on business development and strategic partnerships within the unique nature of the Silicon Valley ecosystem. The initial prototype program was designed by the Science and Technology Advisory Council – Silicon Valley (STAC-SV) in partnership with the US-Philippines Society to support technology-enabled entrepreneurship.

Technopreneurs Roberto Llames and Jeffrey Peterson, Directors and Co-chairs of the US-PH Society Technology Committee, served as mentors to the budding innovators. “Through this program, along with the delegate’s innate enthusiasm for learning, the program successfully changed the delegates’ mindsets enhancing “out-of-the box” thinking,” Llames observed. “The delegates were thankful and would like a continuous forum to promote mentorship relations and collaboration,” he added.

Christina Laskowski, President of STAC-SV and Program Organizer, stated, “This inaugural #BeTheBoss program is the start to a unique partnership and collaboration for all who participated, and I congratulate the awardees in taking the first step and paving the path for others.”


STAC-SV President Christina Laskowski discusses finance and funding options during Intensive Power Positioning Workshops

Exponential Technology Companies

Revolutionary Technology that Impacts Millions Worldwide

Christina Laskowski, President of STAC-SV kicked off the program with an introduction to Singularity University at NASA Ames, where Emeline Paat-Dalhstrom described its mission underscoring the importance of next generation leaders’ embrace of exponential technology – technology that has the ability to address humanity’s grand challenges and potentially impact billions of people worldwide.
The week-long activities included workshops designed to empower the SMEs with new tools followed by tours and meetings with five of the top ten exponential technology companies — Google, Twitter, Uber, AirBnB and Indiegogo. At each of these high-tech giants, program hosts shared valuable insights into a corporate culture that pursues success through innovation.
Silicon Valley Tour

Twitter Headquarters Program Host: Carlos Lasa


Power Positioning Workshops

For two days, the group attended Intensive Power Positioning Workshops that covered business model planning, market positioning, staffing and outsourcing, cash flow and capital funding basics, intellectual property licensing, sustainable and competitive advantage.

Facilitator for Tech Business: San Francisco Philippine Consulate

Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr., Trade and Industry Commercial Counselor Nicanor S. Bautista and Tourism Director Purificacion Suanding-Molintas welcomed the delegation and helped to facilitate the Silicon Valley visit.

Philippine Consul General Henry S. Bensurto welcomes the Philippine delegation

Philippine Consul General Henry S. Bensurto welcomes the Philippine delegation


#BeTheBoss Awardees
Meet The Participants
At the initiative of US-PH Society Co-chair Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT’s #BeTheBoss Awards was designed as the initial phase in a continuing process of bilateral high-tech exchanges. All fifteen “bosses” founded startup companies that leverage technology for business applications in productivity, marketing, e-commerce, customer service, and social responsibility. They were selected to participate in an all-expense paid Silicon Valley immersion program, providing insight into the unique high tech ecosystem.
Top winners for each category are:

  • MobKard’s Boss: Carlo Calimon
  • Kimstore’s Boss: Kim Lato
  • Top Wedding Videographer and Boss: Jason Magbanua
  • TimeFree innovation’s Boss: Chino Atilano
  • Messy Bessy’s Boss: Kristine Reyes-Lopez
Society Co-chair Manuel V. Pangilinan (center) presided over a pre-trip planning session with participants.

Society Co-chair Manuel V. Pangilinan (center) presided over a pre-trip planning session with participants.

Filipino American Tech Stars: Meet The Mentors

Through their past successes and broad experience, selected mentors provided founders with guidance at critical decision points as they grow their early-stage tech businesses. At the Stanford BASES and STAC-SV Network Event, the environment fostered building relationships and maximizing learning opportunities between the mentors and founders.

Photo credit: PLDT Smart SME Nation

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