‘Cebu’s IT talents can be technopreneurs’
Pinoy founder of MorphLabs to mentor othersBy Aileen Garcia-Yap
Cebu Daily News
Cebuano software developers are ready to become ‘technopreneurs’ and build their own companies to seize opportunities offered in the information technology industry.
Winston Damarillo,a globally known example of this kind of self-made growth who struck out on his own and founded MorphLabs and Exist Software Labs, said his role was to show others how.
Damarillo was in Cebu last week to promote the Hack2Hatch mentorship event coming up on October 5 to 7 at the Radisson Blu Hotel.
The event is his and other organizers’ way to encourage software developers to start looking at prospects for a startup business.
Damarillo made millions at the age of 30 when he sold his start-up company Gluecode Software to IBM at Silicon Valley.
“Cebu has a great potential to follow the success of Silicon Valley. What needs to be done is to encourage our developers to grow from being just an employee to become their own company,” said Damarillo.
The increase in the number of global companies here in Cebu offering software solutions to clients around the world is proof that Cebu has the capability.
“The talent is here, but the problem is how to convert them to become entrepreneurs growing their own companies,” said Damarillo.
Damarillo said it has become their advocacy to inspire and help local developers achieve what he has done.
“Through the Hack2Hatch event we hope to do that. We are inviting developers and even students who have ideas for business. They will receive one-on-one mentorship from me and other technopreneurs like me,” he said.
They are also willing to provide seed money to at least three participants with a good business proposal and help them turn these ideas into real products.
“We can provide seed capital of P100,000 for them to start it up and we will be guiding them every step of the way,” said Damarillo.
Damarillo said they are focusing on business ideas in digital gaming, software solutions, outsourcing services, medical services and content.
A lot of software applications have yet to be developed here and Damarillo aid he believed Filipino developers were brilliant and creative enough to compete with other software development hubs in the world like India.
“While we are thankful for companies like HP, Lexmark, Intel and IBM who are here and providing many employment opportunities for our people, I think it is also time for our developers to start building their own HP, Lexmark, Intel and IBM. In that way, we can help our economy more,” said Damarillo.
He recalled his days as an employee of a multinational technology company earning a monthly pay check.
But when he decided to start his own business, he found that he was able to earn more as well as help create jobs contribute to the economy.
“I invested US$5 million to US$15 million to start MorphLabs, which is money I also got from my first company which I sold to IBM. The company now reaps a return of investments at US$100 million to US$400 million,” he said.