Posts Tagged 'innovation'

Chicago Startup Factory

The event is a collaboration between the GSB and CS Department. The group hopes to create technology-heavy startups and businesses unlike when you gather a bunch of pure business people who can’t make a business plan other than canned food, a network of juice/ shake stands, etc. The speaker for the Startup Factory talk was Adarsh Arora, CEO of Athena Security and Co-Founder of Lisle Technology Partners. I took some of his striking ideas about innovating and generating business plans around technology:

  • never sell more than one innovation – his rationale for this was that the market cannot catch-up with all of your ideas. I have not thought of this deeply because [1] I have yet to have a really brilliant idea, and [2] most busines models I saw are too caught up in selling this one unique idea that they don’t bother to look at the other types (probably they are bad ideas in the first place).
  • interdisciplinary collaboration – now this is more familiar to my school of thought. As what we always say in the Ateneo Innovation Center, today’s problems are so complex that you need to apply every type of paradigm to be able to attack the problem from different angles and come up with a brilliant solution.

Adarsh also discussed four types of companies [1] wishful thinking (you have enough deep connections to get angel funding), [2] historical precedence – selling technology to improve a process, [3] intuitive jump – pure luck; with democratization of technology, YouTube and Ebay became a big thing even though video sharing and online auctions were almost non-existent web services during their time, and [4] sure technology – you know that there is a need for it in the future (e.g. Y2K “bug”).

Follow-up events to this is an Entrepenuerial Brainstorming Session with GSB and CS students and an Introduction to creating application on the iPhone. Apple’s development platform makes it so easy for anyone to distribute an app and sell it over iTunes (or AppleStore?) enabling you to earn several thousand dollars in a few months.

Oh, and they had free pizza during the talk 🙂


Where do you get good news about the Philippines?

I was hanging out with a couple of Pinoy immigrants when one of them said, “Sa Pilipinas wala nito no? (This does not exist in the Philippines, right?)” Of course there are a few grains of truth to it. But what disappointed and pierced me inside was that the tone of the voice felt like the Philippines will never rise out of its ashes. It was as if life abroad is always the best and we all came from a filthy place. I also felt very useless that even though I was involved and emotionally attached in projects and movements that I believe will change the nation, all efforts are futile.

Face it. The only time when the Philippines get featured in international news networks like CNN is when: [1] a really big storm or calamity struck us, or [2] someone from the government screwed up big time. No wonder why Filipino immigrants do not see anything good happening in the Philippines.

I firmly believe that something big is on the rise in this nation. You can’t find it on mainstream media or its equivalent websites. Big things are happening locally in small communities. But where can you know these good things happening in the country? With the advent of Web2.0 and its high democratization of user contributed content small community movements are letting themselves known throughout the world. Here are some of a few sites and blogs I frequently read that makes me proud of to be a Filipino:

  • The WhyNot? Forum – inspired by TEDtalks, it is a gathering of Filipinos daring themselves to ask: Why not? Bakit hindi? Speakers share their thoughts on what we can do to put the Philippines back in the map. Their website is a bit too flashy and but you can get the latest updates and most of the videos of the last 5 forums at their Multiply page.
  • Ateneo Innovation Center – a new approach in doing research in the Philippines. Doing projects relevant to be implemented in local communities. Acting like a startup to work around the big hurdle of getting funding. The site features some of the crazy projects we are doing in my old university.
  • Kolektib – a group of diverse professionals seeking to create real products and inventions that solve’s a Filipino’s everyday problems.
  • Game Changer – Mark Ruiz’ blog about innovating and ideas that make an impact to the world.
  • Young Public Servants – a site dedicated to promoting good governance and citizenship to the youth.
  • Gawad Kalinga – a worldwide movement that seeks to provide housing and nurture communities in depressed areas.
  • AyalaTBI – a project of the Ayala group of companies to incubate technology startups based on great and innovative ideas. They host various events like the Innovation Forum, Kape@Teknolohiya (Coffee and Technology), and TechBootCamp.
  • The Bliss Project – my sister’s project to enrich the lives of a local community in my native town. I just installed the site for her but you can also look at her blog for an initial description about the project. I’m including this in the list as a proud Kuya 😛

Where do you go on the web to inspire you as a Filipino?

Invitation to Interlinks 4.0 and Launching of the Ateneo Innovation Center


originally posted in

Hello from the Ateneo Innovation Center,

On March 14, we are holding Interlinks 4.0, where the Ateneo Science and Engineering students will present their recent Research results. Undergrad students and MS Students in fields of Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering, Physics, and Health Science will present poster papers on their research. They will explain the many applications of their work to forming new high technology companies in the Philippines.

We are also launching the Ateneo Innovation Center, where we will be doing multi-disciplinary research in fields of interest to industry like new energy approaches – energy from algae, wireless logistics for supply chain management, wireless sensor systems for disaster monitoring., digital medical databases for patient monitoring, environmental cleanup using seaweed, new herbal medicines, and embedded software for gaming. Interlinks is the Ateneo’s focused effort to link Faculty driven research with industry’s need for leading edge technology and highly trained professionals.

We have invited Jim Paredes, Mon Isberto, Harvey Keh, and Paco Sandejas to speak in the why Not Forum style. They will give us short provocative talks on “How R&D and Technology is Critical to Success in their Fields”.

Of course the stars of Interlinks 4.0 are the Ateneo students and their contributions to Faculty driven Research. Many of these theses are highly innovative, so we are inviting many high technology companies and investment organizations to attend.

Please help us spread the word, by using your resources to advertise Interlinks 4.0.

Gregory Tangonan, PhD (goriot[at]mac[dot]com)
Ateneo Innovation Center