Scott Bales: Manila’s StartUp Scene Heating Up

According to Noreen Bautista of BCYF Scott is interested in coming back to the Philippines this coming November to conduct more Lean StartUp workshops…find out why Scott is so interested…

Lean Startup Machine’s Scott Bales reveals opportunities and challenges for Philippine startups

Repost from

Following a visit to Tokyo earlier this year, the Lean Startup Machine continued its steady trek through Asia as mentor Scott Bales visited Manila for a one-day workshop last week.

The event was attended by around 40 entrepreneurs, product managers, and corporate executives who work in innovation and are interested in learning lean startup methodology. The Lean Startup Machine’s arrival in the Philippines was co-organized by Philippine telcoSmart and project-based job website Freelancer. [Update: The event was likewise co-organized byCBS Social Enterprise Asia and Smart subsidiary Voyager Innovations]

How is the Philippine startup scene doing?

In a conversation with Scott (who’s also the founder of Moven) we talked about his impressions of the Philippine tech and startup ecosystems. He notes that one of the challenges is the low adoption of smartphones, something which hampers the startup ecosystem’s growth.

The proliferation of cheap smartphones in the market can help boost e-commerce and m-commerce. Right now, not many Filipinos have access to commerce-related apps. “If we have a way of more digital communications like chat apps, [we] can see a proliferation of businesses on top of that,” he says. But phone-makers and telcos need to need to find a cost-effective way to get more smartphones into the hands of Filipinos.

He also notes that homegrown brands such as Cherry Mobile and MyPhone are slowly helping Filipinos have access to smartphones. This is something IDC also noted this year.

Businesses must find a way to interact

Scott also believes in investing in “solving real people problems.” He says businesses that will thrive are those that tap into communities of people, possibly through technology. He adds that the younger generation – Gen Y – are “forming human relationships inside technology” very adeptly.

Having the desire to be around humans and interacting with them is the way to solve today’s problems, he adds.

But despite these challenges, Scott says Filipinos are entrepreneurial in nature – a good sign in building a startup ecosystem. The people’s soft skills and hardware engineering prowess are the strong characteristics that he finds unique in the country’s pool of talent.

Manila’s startup scene is heating up, Scott says, and so he plans to hold an entire series of workshops when he next visits the country.


(Editing by Steven Millward)

Unlock Manila! Lean StartUp Machine

According to Jojy Azurin, Regional Director for Continental Asia for, only 71 signups are needed to unlock Manila and bring the Lean StartUp Machine program over. 


Lean StartUp Machine is a workshop that “kicks off with a series of product pitches that help attendees organize into teams. Everyone works on a NEW idea. Each team then develops its problem hypothesis, solution hypothesis and a series of assumptions which are core to the success of the business.”

“Next, each team creates an MVP, or “Minimum Viable Product.” The goal of the MVP test is to “Get Out Of the Building,” speak with real customers and to collect cash or non-cash currency which serves as validation.”

“The process promotes a problem-centric approach to business ideation. By continuously validating and invalidating assumptions, teams are forced to pivot their solution (and even problem) toward a true customer pain; rather than creating a solution and after-the-fact seeking customers with a problem.”

“The event culminates with each team pitching its new solutions and its experience using the process. In this competition the winning team is not selected based on who has the best idea, but instead on which team honors the process and gains the most insights through its pivots.”

Check out the Lean StartUp Machine experience:

Brian Watson – Analyst, Union Square Ventures

Melissa Perri – Project Manager, OpenSky

Source: Lean StartUp Machine


LearningOpp: Lean StartUp in Cebu

Introduction to Lean Startup & Business Model Canvas

Saturday, October 19, 2013

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

What: Kevin Dewalt will be hosting a 3-hour workshop to cover Lean Startup 101 and how you can get started discovering your next business opportunity TODAY with tools like Customer Development interviews and the Lean Canvas.  You don’t need to be working on a startup – you just need your imagination and commitment to learning a new way of learning.

When: Saturday, October 19, 2013, 9am to 12nn

Where: Clicking Labs Office, 8th Floor (the building beside The Gallery)

Juan Luna Avenue, Cebu City, Cebu (Click here for the map)

Registration: P100 (snacks) *pay at the door

Who:  Anyone interested in learning about “Lean Startup” business approach **

By the end of this workshop you’ll know: 

1.  The most important concept in Lean Startup.

2.  How to use a Business Model Canvas as an alternative to a Business Plan to test your startup idea.

3.  How to interview Customers to test the riskiest parts of your startup idea


Hour 1 – Lean 101 Presentation by Kevin – The BIG IDEA, power of the Lean Canvas, and how to start testing assumptions.
Hour 2 – Teams work individually to develop their canvases.
Hour 3 – Team canvas presentations, plans for testing, audience feedback.


Click here to register on


About Kevin Dewalt?

Kevin Dewalt is one of the pioneers of Lean Startup, and a mentor at JFDI. He is now based in Beijing, where he ran the first Startup Weekend NEXT in China.

Kevin have 15 years experience as entrepreneur, venture capitalist and engineer.

What is Lean Startup?

The Lean Startup is a business approach coined by Eric Ries that aims to change the way that companies are built and new products are launched. The Lean Startup relies on validated learning, scientific experimentation, and iterative product releases to shorten product development cycles, measure progress, and gain valuable customer feedback. In this way, companies, especially startups, can design their products or services to meet the demands of their customer base without requiring large amounts of initial funding or expensive product launches.

Originally developed with high-tech companies in mind, the lean startup philosophy has since been expanded to apply to any individual, team, or company looking to introduce new products or services into the market. Today, the lean startup’s popularity has grown outside of its Silicon Valley birthplace and has spread throughout the world, in large part due to the success of Ries’ bestselling book, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

Click here to register on


Social Business Summit (Oct 2-5, 2013)


The young generation is now seeking for innovative solutions.

Businesses have the power to shape a kinder world, but only if the quest for profit does not leave the poor behind and plunder the planet. That makes the Social Entrepreneur the one who can use business to change the world for the better. Would you like to be one?


Join the SOCIAL BUSINESS SUMMIT 2013: Inclusive Growth in the Asian Market

October 2 – 5, 2013  |  Enchanted Farm Village University Bulacan, Philippines

Craft novel business models to end poverty and to mitigate climate change for a future of sustainable prosperity and peace.

The Philippines is poised to become the Hub for social entrepreneurship in Asia.


The Social Business Summit is launched for the first time this year in the Philippines. It is the next step in grand vision of Gawad Kalinga to end poverty for 5 million families in the Philippines. Gawad Kalinga (GK) is a Filipino NGO founded in 2003 by Tony Meloto. GK’s work is centered upon a holistic and comprehensive roadmap that advances in three phases.

PHASE 1: Social Justice

YEAR 2003-2010: “Land for the Landless; Homes for the Homeless; Food for the Hungry.” This phase is about building the preconditions for the spirit to be freed from the mentality of poverty.

PHASE 2: Social Artistry

YEAR 2011-2017: “No one gets left behind.” (Walang Iwanan). Using the GK communities as convergence platform from which to pursue major innovations that will permanently improve the quality of life for everyone.

PHASE 3: Social Progress

YEAR 2018 – 2024: Achieving permanently improved standards of living by developing the innovations and incubations of the previous phase at a large, yet sustainable scale.

We have been preparing for two years now, and the present year will see social artistry embark upon its great sprint, catalyzed by the creative convergence that will take hold during the three days of the Social Business Summit on the Enchanted Farm-Village University.


The Social Business Summit 2013 sets out to achieve the following objectives.

  1. To highlight the value of social entrepreneurship in achieving inclusive growth in emerging economies, particularly the Philippines.
  2. To promote global partnerships, networking, and impact investment in building scalable and sustainable social enterprises.
  3. To raise a new generation of wealth creators that will renew the planet and revitalize human life.