Cebu listed among top alternative cities to Silicon Valley

An article in has listed Cebu as one of the “6 Global Alternative Cities to Silicon Valley to Start Your Company.”

“Cebu is a hub for social enterprises, those organizations dedicated to fighting poverty and improving quality of life in the developing world,” according to the article written by Josh Steimle.

It is a “great place to build products, test them and then scale them to the global market at a low cost to your company.” It is also a “beautiful and economical place to live,” the story said.

Cebu as business destination
CHANGING SKYLINE. With the booming Cebu economy comes a rapidly changing skyline as building after building is completed to meet the demand for more office and living spaces.

The story also quoted EngageSpark founder Ravi Agarwal as saying that Cebu has a “large talent pool” of English-speaking workers and good infrastructure.

Others listed as top alternative locations to Silicon Valley are Santiago, Chile; Shenzhen, China; Hong Kong; Berlin, Germany; and Dubai, UAE.

For the full article, read: 6 Global Alternative Cities to Silicon Valley to Start Your Company


Microsoft, boost startups with free tools, seminars in Startup Camp series

Most startups focus on their application of technology to solve a problem but fail to think about how to monetize this, Microsoft Philippines technical evangelist for Azure Arnie Locsin said over the weekend.

Locsin was in Cebu for the Startup Camp, a one-day workshop on technology and entrepreneurship held last May 9 at the University of San Carlos in Talamban, Cebu City. The event was organized by Microsoft Philippines in collaboration with

Startup Camp discussed free software and services that startups can use to build their business. A key focus of the event was Microsoft’s BizSpark program, which offers startups free software and credits for Azure cloud services for 3 years.

Startup Camp Cebu
STARTUP CAMP. (From left) Microsoft Philippines technical evangelist for Azure Arnie, Dulce Rose Lada, founder Tina Amper and Edison Go Tan of during the Startup Camp held in the University of San Carlos in Cebu City.

Providing support

“It’s really about providing support and visibility to startups,” Locsin told in an interview during the event. He said the free Azure cloud services credits are a big help to the startups that many work to be included in the program primarily because of it.

Apart from the software and services, BizSpark helps startups through networking. “We set up a community networking environment. We also link startups with other entities that can help them,” Locsin said.

He also said the company helps startups through business mentorship.

Locsin said Microsoft also helps boost startups by introducing them to and bringing their products to “actual customers” that are some of the biggest companies in the country. He said the company has account managers working with top firms who can help introduce startups under their fold.

BizSpark membership

He cited as example Tudlo, a Cebu-based startup, that they introduced to different local governments through its Microsoft Next program.

Locsin said there are 700 startups in the Philippines who are part of BizSpark. About 15 are in BizSpark Plus, a program for more advanced startups.

During the event, Locsin highlighted the capabilities of Azure including the ability to run non-Microsoft Windows and open source technology like Linux. Among the topics discussed in the Startup Camp were free tools, the cloud, and building apps.


In Startup Camps, “the participants will learn about tech startups or Innovation-Driven enterprises as well as ways to start their own businesses. Entrepreneurs and members of the business sector will gain more knowledge on the ways to enhance their businesses with technological tools,” said founder Tina Amper.

The first Startup Camp was held on April 11 in Batangas and was co-organized with Microsoft partnered with for the Startup Camp last May 7 in Tagbilaran City. Succeeding Startup Camps will be organized in collaboration with