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Geeks on A Plane on Vigattin Radio

Geeks on A Plane is an invite-only tour for startups. The goal of the program is to meet startups, geeks and investors in major cities around the world; learn about new trends in the internet; mobile and other tech platforms; gain insight into local markets, demographics and business models; and meet cool people, new ventures, and have fun on planes, trains & buses. (

by Rjay Reyes on July 28, 2014
Geeks on A Plane on Vigattin Radio

(From L-R) Tina Amper of, Arne Barcelo of Vigattin Radio, Arnaud Bonzom of INSEAD, Tommy Chia of Carita Investment Group, James Riney of DeNA, Ellaine Wherry of, Diego Jose Ramos of, Koichi Saito of IMJ Investment Partners, Mike Prasad of Supermassive Holdinfs, Dindo Marzan of Voyager Innovations Inc., Felipe Montealto, Jr. of Philsoft Techonolgies Group Inc, Misha Fernandez and Rea Lu of Unlock and Load.

Geeks on A Plane is an invite-only tour for startups. The goal of the program is to meet startups, geeks and investors in major cities around the world; learn about new trends in the internet; mobile and other tech platforms; gain insight into local markets, demographics and business models; and meet cool people, new ventures, and have fun on planes, trains & buses. (

The tour was completed last July 26 in Manila, Philippines and we are proud that Vigattin Radio was able to talk with some of the coolest geeks from the event. With anchor Ms. Arne Barcelo together with Mr. Diego Jose Ramos from Ripplrz and Ms. Tina Amper organizer of Geeks On A Beach, they were able to discuss tech entrepreneurship.

Their esteemed guests are Ellaine Wherry, co-founder of; Tommy Chia, Chief Investment Officer of Carita Investments Group & Director of Super Aces Venture; Arnaud Bonzom, part of the Career Development Center at INSEAD; James Riney, Principal of Japanese mobile internet giant DeNa; Mike Prasad, Co-Founder of Supermassive Holdings; Dindo Marzan, AVP Product Development & Management of Voyager Innovations; and Koichi Saito, Director of IMJ Investment Partners.

Before they asked the guests, Ms. Tina Amper explained, “…Geeks on A Plane is composed of entrepreneurs and investors in the world. It’s organized by 500 startups, a venture capitalist, incubator and also a distribution channel for startups all around the world. What they do is they take a bunch of interested people who wanted to know if what’s going on in the startup community around the world.”

She added, “This tour is for Southeast Asia, they’ve been to Singapore, Thailand, Jakarta and today is their last day.”

Ellaine told Vigattin Radio that their stay here is so phenomenal and she commends the Filipino entrepreneurs for their hospitality. When asked if how Filipino entrepreneurs differ than everybody else, she answered: “They are different from everybody else and are more honest. Every entrepreneur who is starting has some deep fear that they may not make it and may not admit the thousand of challenges ahead of them.”

She continued, “Entrepreneurs here in the Philippines are more honest about it, they admit that they may overcome some difficulties. So it’s really nice if you were able to talk about it because real entrepreneurs don’t feel failure.”

Arnaud then told Vigattin Radio about the essential tips to success. He said, “You will be up and down most of the time and even when you read success stories in Techcrunch and other media platforms, you will think that it’s easy [to be successful]. Beginning with, many entrepreneurs most of the time find it very difficult.” He added, “But people will just remember the part where you succeed and most people wouldn’t remember your failures. So entrepreneurs are in a very difficult journey.”

Afterward, guest anchor Diego Ramos asked if it’s difficult to talk with their co-investors to take a look with the Philippine economy and the startups and if how difficult it is. Koichi answered; “There are a lot of Japanese companies that are looking for a huge market potential. Japan used to invest in China, but now they are shifting to the Southeast Asia and the focus is in Indonesia. But compared to Indonesians, Filipino founders have more global mindset and are aiming high. So we need to keep educating the Japanese investors [to invest here].”

Mike added, “There’s a lot of opportunity in the region, communication barrier is not there so there is an opportunity with the workforce and talent here to communicate with a worldwide audience which makes it less scary for the investors who are looking for something to invest outside their country.”

Meanwhile studio audience Misha Fernandez from Unlock & Load (a mobile lock screen advertising and rewards platform) asked Tommy Chia if what excites him. Tommy responded that mobile technology excites him, “It’s an empowering tool [mobile] that brings people closer and able to make the communication faster.” He added that transactions can also be done on the mobile platform and that makes it more empowering.

Later on, James told Vigattin Radio that what makes Philippines interesting is the high market for smartphones but the fundamentals are not there like the mobile payments. There are many smartphone users but converting them to do some mobile transactions is very difficult. He added, “Payments, basic logistics and infrastructures are really the key for the Philippines.”

Guest anchor Tina continued their discussion about mobile payments. Dindo told Vigattin Radio that Filipinos can do money remittances by using mobile phone. He uttered, “There’s a huge potential of having a universal wallet that can be use whether you’re in the Philippines even in abroad”

They also talked about startups and the approaches in pitching. Elaine told Vigattin Radio; “Whenever you start a company you have to be prepared for everybody to tell you that you have a bad idea. It’s just inevitable ‘coz if you see an opportunity and somebody else hasn’t done it, you know that it’s going to take a bit of education that people will realize that actually that was a good idea . Generally if I’m looking for an idea I think of something that has the energy to move forward. Once you choose a company you have to stick to it.”

Later on, when asked if startup is for everybody; Mike answered, “If you are comfortable with a lot of change you can be able to thrive as an entrepreneur. It’s probably a perfect career for you.” Next to answer is Ellaine, she said; “It’s a little bit crazy to start a company. Even if you are not the person who has the kind of flexibility what you can do is you can support your entrepreneur.”

Tomi then responded that startup is definitely not for everyone, the person who wants to put a startup are willing to fight and knows how to find a solution. They then discussed the businesses here in the Philippines that they think that they will fund.

Geeks on a Plane tour in the Philippines is definitely an opportunity to brag about the Philippine talents, startups and design. It’s an international conference for geeks and technopreneurs alike. Before their interview on Vigattin Radio, the guests including Tina Amper went to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines.  Wherein the Philippines, it is hosted by Smart Communications, Inc. alongside IdeaSpace, Voyager, Smart DevNet, and Smart Bro.


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