Block Dojo Philippines event photo

From vision to reality: Block Dojo Philippines first cohorts present ventures at investors night

The Philippines is on its way to becoming a formidable hub for startups within the Asia Pacific region. Fueled by its skilled English-speaking population, many of whom are already engaged in remote work for international startups, along with the extensive knowledge gained by local remote workers while working with foreign startups, are contributing factors that position the country as a perfect destination for entrepreneurial endeavors. Provided that more Filipinos embrace entrepreneurship, the Philippines is expected to see an uptick in the growth of the startup ecosystem.

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In a joint effort by government and private companies to support Filipino startups, initiatives from companies like nChain have stepped in, pledging to assist startups seeking to harness the power of blockchain technology. Block Dojo Philippines, a manifestation of this collaborative effort, marks a significant milestone as the first set of cohorts graduate at the much-anticipated Block Dojo Philippines Investors Night.

Cohort One fliers

As nChain Executive Chairman and CEO Stefan Matthews says, “One of the things I wanted to do through our company nChain, which I founded in 2015, was to be able to do something to make a difference in the Philippines. Through Block Dojo, we have delivered our promise to promote and foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the country and contribute to blockchain development with training, retraining, and repurposing the minds of technical people.”

Block Dojo Philippines provides a 12-week program wherein early-stage companies validate their business ideas, ensuring real-world solutions. Managing Director Kristoffer Briones emphasizes the focus on utility and solving real-world problems, highlighting the essence of Block Dojo‘s mission, saying, “We’re working on blockchain applications, enterprise applications…for us we focus more on enterprise utility, its more about solving real-world problems and that’s what we (the Dojo) exist for.”

The three founders and their ventures:

Jaimee Ruth Ligan of RealFlip

  1. Jaimee Ruth Ligan – RealFlip: Ligan, with nine years of experience as a real estate broker across Southeast Asia, aims to combat fraud and mistrust within the industry using blockchain solutions. RealFlip seeks to revolutionize the property investment landscape, offering a secure platform for property investors worldwide.

Jiego Tanchanco of FleetHive

  1. Jiego Tanchanco – FleetHive: With seven years of experience selling GPS products and firsthand interactions with truck drivers and businesses, Tanchanco founded FleetHive to address the pain points and frustrations of the logistics industry. FleetHive aims to streamline operations and improve efficiency within the trucking ecosystem.

Warren Joseph Moises of APDXS

  1. Warren Joseph Moises – APDXS: Moises introduces APDXS, a record certification system designed to revolutionize how schools store, share, and verify student documents. With APDXS, Moises seeks to enhance transparency and efficiency in the education sector, offering a reliable solution for verifying academic credentials.

The transformative journey of these startups exemplified passion, ambition, and innovation. Throughout the 12 weeks, Block Dojo’s seasoned mentors and industry experts played a pivotal role in refining ideas, fine-tuning business models, and navigating the complexities of blockchain development. The spotlight now shifts to Investors Night, where these enterprising pioneers had the opportunity to present their groundbreaking projects to potential investors, venture capitalists, and industry leaders.

Investors like Joseph De Leon, Founding Member & Lead Investor at the Manila Angel Investors Network, and Carlo Calimon, Director at StartUp Village, stressed the importance of investing in startups that address real problems and exhibit founders with the determination to follow through.

We want to make sure we’re investing in start-ups that are solving real problems. And another critical element is we had to find founders who we believe will have the grit to follow through. – Joseph De Leon

I always look at the founders first. I want to see how they work. I want to see their grit. I want to see how they think. But also, at the same time, I’d like to see how passionate they are about solving the problem. – Carlo Calimon

Meanwhile, James Nicholas Shrimski, Chief of Staff at AHG Lab, shares his interest in blockchain startups, signaling a growing interest in the sector. “In the Philippines, it has not been a sector that I have gained a lot of coverage on, which is why I’m very interested in events like tonight at Block Dojo,” he said.

Excitingly, a second cohort is already in the works! Interested parties are encouraged to explore the Block Dojo Philippines website for more details.

Block Dojo Philippines event

As the journey of these startups comes to a close, the lessons learned resonate deeply with founders. Listening to customers, executing ideas, and trusting the process are just some key takeaways shared by founders Jaimee Ligan, Jiego Tanchanco, and Warren Joseph Moises.

This 12-week experience has been a very transformative experience for me. I have learned a lot from the different mentors of the Block Dojo team, and the key learning I have is to listen to your customers, to your target market, find out what their frustrations are because you can’t create an idea without validating it with your users because this is where you’ll find the value of what you’ll be doing. – Jiego Tanchanco, FleetHive

The number one key is to execute, then seek feedback, and the Block Dojo people will always say ‘Trust the Process.’ You hear that a lot. But it’s really trusting that these people are there, and they have your back, and they will help you make it to the best possible iteration it could be. – Jaimee Ligan, RealFlip

We learned a lot from the 12 weeks that we had. Especially on entrepreneurship and design thinking, it could well be described as a 12-week MBA. – Warren Joseph Moises, APDXS

Evidently, Block Dojo Philippines stood as a beacon of hope for these aspiring entrepreneurs, offering a platform to unlock innovation, foster entrepreneurship, and drive meaningful change within the startup landscape of the Philippines. Stay tuned for more updates on CoinGeek as Block Dojo continues to pave the way for the next generation of Filipino startups.

Watch: Block Dojo Philippines Bootcamp Filipino entrepreneurs embrace blockchain

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