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PhilDev Meets: QBO

Brought to you by PhilDev - The first in a series featuring individuals, organizations and programs intent on growing and supporting the Philippine startup community and ecosystem.

Teamwork makes the dream work. With the essence of bayanihan at its core, QBO, a public-private sector initiative between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), IdeaSpace Foundation, and JP Morgan Chase Foundation, was launched earlier this year to provide a space where collaborations within the country’s startup ecosystem can thrive.

Many major business hubs worldwide have witnessed a freelance revolution with the Philippines up to speed. Over a million people comprised the local freelance workforce by 2015 with the numbers steadily rising, especially with the increase in coworking spaces and iterations of the concept within the Philippines—a trend that is picking up traction as more and more Filipinos trade the traditional office job for independent entrepreneurial projects.

QBO, named after the humble bahay kubo, aims to encapsulate the innovative and collaborative spirit behind the famous and inspirational tale of the little garage in Palo Alto, California where Bill Hewlett and David Packard birthed what is now the world's most powerful PC manufacturing company with QBO’s three Q’s: ‘QLLABORATION among diverse stakeholders, empowering and developing the startup QMMUNITY and providing business INQBATION from ideation to exit.’

More than just a space, QBO provides a variety of programs and services to help bridge the gap between vision and success, such as consultations and mentoring sessions with experts, introductory classes to startups, and networking events to further fortify the community’s collaborative culture.

“It's really about making connections,” says Katrina R. Chan, QBO’s Director. “We're also [...] doing some human translating between the more 'startup-y' people that we see and meet, and our other partners including of course, the government, which is probably the most challenging of all to translate for.”

“We make it accessible for everyone. Everyone has an opportunity because everything we do so far is free,” shares Adria Villaroya Vinas, QBO’s Program Coordinator.

QBO also houses the JP Morgan InQbation Program, where the most promising, innovative and scalable ventures will be able to experience dedicated mentorship; be exposed to curated workshops; have access to professional services from government agencies, the Philippine Stock Exchange, and major investors; and receive assistance to exiting. “What we're trying to do is offer services across the different stages [of startup entrepreneurship],” says Chan.

"We hope to inspire Filipinos to come and join and be part of this ecosystem, and we want to bring their dreams to reality,” says Rene Meily, QBO’s President. “In the end, it's going to help [them help] themselves, help their employees, and help this country."

To learn more about QBO, click here, or visit their space at 1209, 375 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

PhilDev aims to grow a community of fellow groups and individuals who align with our goals and share our great vision of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Philippines.