A Founder’s Brief Guide to StartUps while being Filipino

You’re a subject matter expert (SME) in your field. Your company just issued you all the tools you need to start, it is inadequate. You’ve made several changes to make your job just a little bit easier, but that’s not enough. You’re annoyed that you have to do these extra steps and /processes just to do your job. You’ve thought that your job would be much easier, much more productive, and more fulfilling if it can do this one (or two) key features. You decided that you’re going to build it. Congratulations, you’ve taken the first step to become an entrepreneur. Now what?

Many first-time Startup entrepreneurs fail early because of the notion that their idea is absolutely innovative, so cutting-edge, that investors would be insane not to invest. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Statistically, only 0.05% of startups successfully raise venture capital. On average, startups that are successfully funded by VCs are expected to have a revenue stream of upwards of millions of dollars before they even think of knocking on VC doors. The days of the dot-com era boom where funding is plenty and a simple idea is all you need is no longer a reality. You’ll need to start small, convince a few FnF (Friends and Families) to take financial risks on your billion-dollar idea, with a promise that they will get a 10x return from their investments; sounds simple enough… right?

But what about building a startup while being Filipino? The odds are already stacked against a minority. Raising capital from minority friends and family (FnF) is statistically out of the question. Most minority households do not have the assets compared to their more affluent counterparts. Minority entrepreneurs, on average, start their company alone with no support system, no fallbacks, and no plan-b. Minority entrepreneurs, unfortunately, need to work harder, longer hours with fewer resources to get their product launched.

How do we solve this tall barrier while being Filipino? Simple! Work your butt off! There’s really no magic bullet to it. I am reading the same book as every other entrepreneur out there. But the most significant difference is I stepped out of my minority bubble, acknowledged that I don’t have the typical support system like others. I don’t have a rich aunt to visit and sweet talk her into being my first investor. The road is not paved for us; we will need to build it first before we drive on it.




Our goal is to bring together affinity groups to identify existing barriers to entrepreneurship and talent recruitment from underserved communities and to develop pathways to overcome them. Ultimately we want to create a model that is replicable in other communities.

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Husband / Father / Co-Founder, President, & CTO @esguardio_corp / Co-Founder of Fil-Am Innovators http://filaminnovators.com / Nerd / Car enthusiast

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