Ronna Reyes- Sieh is one of the trustees of PhilDev Foundation. She is the co-founder of the Coding School and former COO of Primeiro Partners. She currently sits as a member of the board of Samahan ng mg Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (SPARK). Ronna is a CPA with over 15 years of experience in professional services industries including Investment Banking, Consulting and Public Accounting. Her expertise includes identification and evaluation of investment opportunities, company and industry research, financial modeling and valuation, strategic planning and advisory, and client management.
As an active member of the PhilDev Board of Trustees, we had a brief chat with Ronna about her experience working with an organization like PhilDev and how she helps contribute to PhilDev’s mission of eradicating poverty in the Philippines.
Tell us about the work you are doing in the industry and how it contributes to the work you are doing for PhilDev?
I started my career as a banker in Wall Street. I was focused on the technology sector, looking at startups getting ready to go [into] IPO (Initial Public Offering). After that, I did a lot more of consulting and banking work for foundations helping the Philippines. I feel PhilDev is an amalgamation of all of that. Being in the tech sector, I’m able to see what startups need to go public and grow. I think that angle is something I bring to the table at PhilDev and my development work.
What do you love most about the work that you are doing with PhilDev?
It’s very fulfilling to be part of PhilDev because you look at the Philippines from a global perspective and everybody you work with has had that experience and brings it to the table. It allows for a more fruitful discussion and ways to look at the problems we’re trying to solve.
What do you think of the quality of innovations produced in the Philippines right now?
I think it’s improving. I think the ecosystem is improving very quickly. There are more and more groups that are working together to promote a culture of innovation in the Philippines.
Why do you think some of the researches conducted in the Philippines fail to translate into entrepreneurial activities?
In the Philippines, like any country, these are really multi-sectoral initiatives. You have the public sector, private sector, and the academe working together—and it has to be some kind of perfect chaos for it to work together. PhilDev plays an important role in making that happen. I think it’s part of what we try to do.
Where do you see the future of tech in the Philippines and its potential impact?
I’m in the tech education sector. I feel like the future of tech in the Philippines is really dependent on changing behaviors and mindsets on how we look at education and really make tech an integral part of that.