Up-and-coming technopreneurs from Japan and the Philippines met up for a cultural and idea exchange over dinner and socialization at an informal Friday evening gathering.
Last August 31, 2012, several aspiring and rising Filipino technopreneurs were invited to a simple dinner and get-together with their Japanese counterparts by Balooka Co-Founders Marc Medina and Winston Quesang at Hanaichi Japanese Restaurant over at Bonifacio Global City. Expecting to meet veteran and experienced foreign entrepreneurs, the Pinoy “Juans” were amazed and flabbergasted to meet young Japanese executives in the early to mid-20′s who moved and talked like seasoned industry titans.
The Japanese delegation was lead by Kiyotaka Sakakibara of Adways Philippines. Taka and his Japanese friends actually chipped in to sponsor the dinner. The sumptuous feast consisted of a variety of Japanese fare like tempura, sushi, sashimi, shirumono, agemono, mushimono, and itamemono. Cha Han (fried rice) and soba (noodles) were the clincher to make sure everyone went home full, fulfilled and bellies bulging with a few extra inches.
Event host Taka Sakakibara explaining the objectives and vision of the Samurai-Juan meet-up (Credit: Marc Medina)
Marc, Winston, Taka and Takuya Oka of Research Panel Asia played the dual role of event hosts and facilitators given they were the bridge between Samurais and the Juans whom they meet during e27’s Echelon 2012 in Singapore in June this year.
After much merrymaking, networking and chitchat, the organizers had all the participants speak about their endeavors and respective startups. Winston and Marc got the ball rolling with Taka presenting Adways soon after. The participants then alternated between nationalities. In spite of the short time allotted, each presenter successfully explained their business. The participants were also able to expound on what they need and what they can do to help.
(L-R) Balooka Co-Founders Marc Media and Winston Quesang, Rafael Oca of FamilyKo, Glenn Santos of Memokitchen and Radson Baldonado of Adways Philippines (Credit: Marc Medina)
Some of the other Pinoy startups who attended include Israel Brizuela of Paybilis, Michael Ngo Dee of Tripid, Glenn Santos of Memokitchen, Ragde Falcis of GoRated, sweethearts Kenneth Reyes Lao and Shiels Jocona of My Wedding Lab, Katherine Sy Yap of MIH Creatives, Rafael Oca of FamilyKo, IT Consultant Alan Landa and Norris Jay Perez of Webspark.net.
The other young Japanese “tycoons” included Hirokazu Noda and Tsubasa Kitada of Footsteps, Shuhei Nishimoto of iforce, Jun Ishikawa of GaiaX, and Masato Toda of WEGLO. Langrich CEO Tomoharu Urabe event flew in from Cebu just to join the event. But he had to leave immediately as he had to fly back to Cebu to wrap-up a major deal later that night.
(L-R) Radson Baldonado, Taka Sakakibara, DLSU Prof. Alan Landa, Takuya Oka and JFDI Singapore veteran Rafael Oca (Credit: Marc Medina)
The group had to say sayonara at around 11 p.m. and decided to keep in touch to discuss possible synergies individually and as the “Samurai-Juan” group. More meet-ups and collaborations are in the pipeline to foster brotherhood and camaraderie between the two groups.
About the Author
Jonathan Richie Yap is known by a multitude of names, and wears many hats as well. He is primarily an IT consultant in the fields of product development and project management for the web and mobile. JR or “Yappie” as he is known by some of his peers, is also into events management and is also a part-time educator. He is concurrently the vice president of Marketing & Partner Relations at Developers Connect Philippines VP, and also the Communications Head of the Alumni Association of Xavier School (AAXS).
Featured Image Credits: Glenn Santos
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