A few weeks ago, I was privileged to have been invited to join a private dinner in Makati with my long-lost uncle, Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, better known as MVP.

The occasion was meant to engage him in an intimate fireside chat with bloggers and online writers to discuss his latest baby – IdeaSpace.

Manny V. Pangilinan flanked by Smart Strategic Business Development head Earl Valencia, , and Meralco vice president and chief information officer Marthyn Cuan, at the intimate dinner with bloggers and online writers, including Bariles in Makati

IdeaSpace is a program designed to assist startups or budding technology entrepreneurs in the country develop groundbreaking solutions and transform these into successful commercial products.

Basically, it will act as an incubator and accelerator organization to encourage these startups and link them up with the largest industry leaders in the Philippines.

The program is run by IdeaSpace Foundation Inc., a non-profit foundation established exclusively to implement its goals. Supporting the foundation are companies under MVP’s stewardship:  First Pacific, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, MPIC hospital group, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Meralco, (kah-kah) …. Smart Communications, Inc (Smart), Digitel, Sun Cellular, SPI Global, ePLDT, Indofood, Philex Mining, Maynilad, MediaQuest, and TV5 (whew!).

Uncle Manny is leaving no stone unturned in making sure that IdeaSpace does its job in encouraging technological entrepreneurship in the country and is investing P500 million in the program.

Why this big?  Well, for one, according to him, the program goes beyond “angel investing” to startups, combining business incubation and acceleration by providing:

  • Access to resource: seed funding and other resources/services needed by any startup (including business offices, lab, etc) [quote1]
  • Business education: learning via mentorship from business leaders, experience exchange with members from supporting group of companies and fellow technopreneurs; and
  • Connection: opportunity to demonstrate or showcase products to potential investors

To lead IdeaSpace into forming the country’s own version of Silicon Valley, it has partnered with top technology vendors and affiliations with globally recognized technology incubators/accelerators to learn and replicate successes.

Any idea that brings positive change in our society and can support social development is welcome,” continues my Tito.

Helping him out realize IdeaSpace’s lofty mission, are Smart Strategic Business Development head Earl Valencia, , and Meralco vice president and chief information officer Marthyn Cuan, , who were also present at the dinner and had their photos taken with moi.

Bariles meets long-lost Tito, Manny V. Pangilinan, who’s as tall as him and could be his slightly older self. 🙂

So if there are people out there, irregardless of age who think they have something that could help change the country for the better, or improve the lives of Filipinos one way or the other, be it in the area of information technology, agriculture, food, commerce, manufacturing, education, medicine, etc., MVP wants you!

Just provide him with your unique idea, and my Uncle Manny’s IdeaSpace will do the rest!

Bariles with Manny V. Pangilinan (4th from left)  and MVP’S TEAM IdeaSpace –  Smart Strategic Business Development head Earl Valencia, , Smart’s pretty Corporate Communications Manager Nick V. Wilwayco,and Meralco vice president and chief information officer Marthyn Cuan,

Here are more photos of my close encounter with Uncle Manny.

IdeaSpace Foundation, Inc. (IdeaSpace) through Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) recently conducted the 1st IdeaSpace: #Technopreneurs Bootcamp in Ateneo de Manila University on June 2, 2012. Similar events have been scheduled at De La Salle University, University of the Philippines and other educational institutions in the country.  Watch out as IdeaSpace visits GenSan soon!