Meet your rival, Silicon Valley. Here’s Area 55, the new X-traordinary Entrepreneurial Hub in Makati City, Philippines for all of the up and coming entrepreneurs and the investors to mingle and grow.
Area 55 was derived from the location of the investment firm Kickstart Ventures, which is an effort to rebrand the startup scene locally, at 55 Paseo de Roxas Avenue, Makati City. It was indeed an Eureka moment while one of the partners, Dan Siazon was watching a rerun of the popular TV series, The X-Files as they were in a rigorous discussion of the name over email.
Not to be confused with Area 51, Area 55 is a known location where Kickstart Ventures hold monthly meetings with beer flowing freely from the tap. From there it has helped grow local startups in the various sectors.
In transportation scene, there is Michael Ngo Dee’s route-sharing app, Tripid, working on easing the traffic issues via car-sharing, much to the chagrin of a regulation which is trying to boost vehicle sales.
There’s also Valenice Balace’s Peekawoo which gives prospective partners the chance to do speed dating, on the go. She is in fact in the Launchgarage’s incubator program, where she has $30,000 funding at her disposal.
The key difference from Area 55 with other startup hubs is how close the startup companies are, despite having different or even conflicting goals. The rapport is strong and they all have a common goal – to make an impact to the local scene and grow into large companies with a vision. That is a key for them to build off each other’s expertise, regardless of the engineers, marketers, or investors alike.
Given the cultural preference to have the employment stability, Area 55 is seen as an oasis to all of the aspiring entrepreneurs out there – after all without these young people, there wouldn’t be jobs available for the rest of us to enjoy the employment stability, isn’t it?