On May 25, 2019, Vector hosted its first ever Startup Lightning Talks with guest speakers who were serial entrepreneurs, founders, and domain experts in their industries. The audience was a range of early stage startup founders, startup team members, entrepreneurship community members, academics, and students in the Philippines who were interested in hearing about the growth of Silicon Valley tech startups.
Our first speaker was Marsal Gavalda, a senior Artificial Intelligence expert with deep knowledge in natural language and machine learning technologies. He was an early member of 3 startups: MindMeld (acquired by Cisco), Yik Yak and Square, and is currently the head of Machine Learning at Square (Commerce Platform). Square is a public fintech company with a market cap of $29B.
Marsal talked about his startup experiences in his talk Startup Cycles: You Win Some, You Lose Some and also shared insights with startup founders on building data-driven products and a data-driven team culture in his second round table chat Zero toOne Trillion Rows: Scaling Your Product and Your Team with Data.
Christian Sanz, serial entrepreneur with deep expertise in software engineering and drones was our second speaker. Christian is the CEO and founder of Skycatch, a Series B drone information intelligence startup that builds technology to autonomously capture, process, and analyze 3D maps of construction and other industrial sites. Skycatch has partners and customers in the US, South America and Asia. Christian has raised $46.6M in venture funding so far for Skycatch.
Christian told us his journey setting up and scaling Skycatch in his chat B2B Startups: Working with a Multi-Billion Dollar Customer. He also shared fundraising strategies in a fireside panel with Joan Yao (Kickstart) on Fundraising Strategy: Raising for Seed vs A vs B and On.
Joining Christian was our third speaker Joan Yao. Joan is currently the Vice President of investments at Kickstart Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Globe Telecom, the Philippines’ leading telco. Kickstart has raised multiple funds to invest in Philippine startups, with their latest fund amounting to $150M USD launched in mid 2019.
Joan has more than 10 years of experience in identifying and supporting early- and growth-stage companies across Southeast Asia through investments, business advisory, and public policy formation.
Our final speaker was Irene Hwang, the Head of UX Design & Research at Migo, a hardware and software company that radically reduces the cost of delivering large volumes of gigabytes to mass market consumers in developing countries, making premium digital products like entertainment and education affordable for all.
Irene is an expert in design thinking, consumer research, and product and service design. She shared tips and strategies for building products with good UX (user experience) in her talk User Centered Design: How to Integrate User Feedback in Every Step of Your Product Development.