We’ve been preparing carefully the year #2 of our world tour of startups in the emerging markets, and are enthusiastic that it will begin by Geeks on a Beach, the Philippines main tech event.

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As you know, we’re fond of digging into each visited country’s demographic and economic stats and why they are amazing markets. The Philippines are yet another of these relatively untapped markets, with a huge population.

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On July 27th, they just reached the 100m population milestone : )

The Philippines in 2050: 145m people and the 16th largest economy

We love startup ecosystems, and as you know, you don’t build them overnight, so it’s important to take a look at the broader picture and why investing in the Philippines scene may make sense.

First, the population is going to keep growing at a reasonable pace (what’s an unreasonable pace, do you ask? Check out Nigeria’s +10m population very year for the next 4 decades…), and will go from 100m to 145m by 2050, which gives time to build an infrastructure and master the growth.

geeks on a beach startups philippines event 2014 innovation is everywhere martin pasquier emerging markets technology trends gdp growth forecast south-east asia thailand malaysia 1

geeks on a beach startups philippines event 2014 innovation is everywhere martin pasquier emerging markets technology trends gdp growth forecast south-east asia thailand malaysia 1

The Philippines also got a record GDP growth the last few years, and was nicknames Asia’s rising star as “In 2013, it was Asia-Pacific’s second fastest growing economy after China with growth of 7.2 percent” (CNBC). It should be by 2050 the 16th biggest economy, after Russia but before neighbouring Indonesia.

Is this a miracle growth? Not completely. Most of this growth is almost mechanical as the country’s population grows and keep young, offsetting the cost of retirees. A few other stats give a grimmer picture of the Philippines, such as huge income disparities, corruption, and a lack of infrastructure.

But hey, who said innovation and startups needed a shiny place to solve people’s issues? That’s where Geeks on a Beach comes in 🙂

Geeks on a Beach: the Philippines top startup event

If neighbouring South-East Asian countries did already have a few tech events over the last few years, Geeks on Beach 2014 is only the 2nd edition! Last year in 2013, the event recorded about 340 attendants from 17 countries and 42 speakers.

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The event itself is powered by SMART DevNet, the Philippines leading wireless provider, as well as IdeaSpace, which is the main privately-funded incubator in the country.

As usual, a lot of other players of the ecosystem are organizing the two-day conference, such as TechTalks.ph and the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Office (DOST-ICTO).

Programs highlights include:

  • South-East Asia tech communities leaders, from tech media such as e27 and Tech in Asia up to Hubba, the main coworking space in Bangkokg
  • Investors with a track record in the region, such as 500Startups and Monk’s Hill Ventures
  • Local players of the Philippines startup ecosystem: IdeaSpace, Kickstart, and more
  • Speed-dating for startups with investors
  • Fun! Because it’s more fun in the Philippines 🙂

The world startup explorers will meet at Geeks on a Beach!

The Philippines also gained some awareness as world startup traveller Bowei Gai, founder of the World Startup Report (now World Startup Wiki) initiative set up his base there. You can check his 2013 report on the country here and have a look at the wiki, which makes an amazing introduction to the country’s startup scene.

We will be there of course, and have heard that a few other travellers such as Seedstars World will be there too, so not only the event will be an awesome opportunity to know more about the Philippines scene, but it will be a good way to get in touch with people covering the emerging markets everywhere.

Innovation is Everywhere will be chasing for trends, we will write articles to wrap-up conferences, panels and the atmosphere, and we hope to interview 4-5 early stage startups for a special project of ours!

You can book your tickets for Geeks on a Beach here.