Saturday, October 4, 2014

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I had just attended my first Geeks on a Beach with my friends in the Bohol startup community. I got so bummed with not being able to go with them the first time so when I heard there would be a group discount for the next one in Cebu, I jumped at the chance and cashed in months early.

GOAB2 with hosts Dave and Albert

Naturally, I learned a hell of a lot while listening to all the talks, most especially during the Breakout Sessions I joined (which starstruck me a bit when sitting face-to face with people like Gwendolyn Regina and Mike Prasad). A few hilarious and completely embarrassing stories I can share with you regarding the topic of being starstruck was when I had the privilege to greet Janette Toral as she entered the venue. We've interacted before and I helped her with promoting her event once but that didn't stop me from making a fool out of myself in front of her. Same thing when Ravi Agarwal approached me to ask about MLePay, one of Symph's startups, during one of the breaks. I was all "Uhh.. haha.. I umm.. Yeah", being a total dumbass because I couldn't believe these people were taking to me in the flesh. All jokes and embarrassment aside, they were awesome people and were quite forgiving of me at times in our conversation when my brain gave up on me when I needed it most. 

For this post, I will bother you people with the "10 Things Ashley Learned at Geeks On A Beach 2" with the purpose of one, sharing what I learned and two, to keep myself from forgetting said learnings.

GOAB2 venue sans people

1) Portfolio Company 

A portfolio company is a company or entity in which a venture capital firm, buyout firm, holding company or other investment fund invests. All of the companies currently backed by a private equity firm can be spoken of as the firm's portfolio. * 
When put in the startup view of things, portfolio companies are basically the companies being funded or invested in by larger organizations. Like Tactiles and Nyfti from Ideaspace.

2) Bootstrapping Company

A situation in which an entrepreneur is starting a company with little capital. An individual is said to be boot strapping when he or she attempts to found and build a company from personal finances or from the operative revenues of the company. * 
Bootstrapping was what we did when we launched our new office. We did ghetto cut-outs as the office's signage and smacked on a Wordpress theme and did impromptu pictorials a day before opening to the public. Bootstrapping is what many startups do, usually during validation and testing, based on what I've seen so far.

3) Venture Funding

Usually a high-risk/high-return opportunity done by investors for startups with strong growth potential. As a small-to-medium business starts up, some founders feel the need to get an investor up front. Negotiations happen between the startup and the investor as the latter gives a certain amount to help fund the business and in turn, gets private equity stakes.

4) E-Commerce Law

Also known as Republic Act No. 8792, it is

An act providing for the recognition and use of electronic commercial and non-commercial transactions and documents, penalties for unlawful use thereof and for other purposes. *
The law puts the Philippines in the global market, making virtual contracts, online banking and connects all government departments to the internet and provide universal access to the public. More of the law explained in this wonderful post

5) Hacker News

The HN concept was quite new to me when I started research on it for this post. I've heard many of my colleagues refer to it when a substantially interesting event happens in the tech world. As it was repeatedly referred to by both participants and speakers, I decided to give it a look.

I honestly found the site very boring at first glance and only came back to it two hours later, but as I finally decided to give it a chance and actually read through some of the links I realized that the site was overflowing with information that actually matters. I should make a note to check what's up everyday.

6) Curating Serendipity

The most fun presentation for me in the whole event.

7) Success in Digital Media = Right Mechanism + Audience + Brand and product

8) Bitcoin Miners

Bitcoin is, for a lack of a better term, virtual money. This virtual money has value though and you can purchase anything with it, from books, clothes to property and real estate. Bitcoin come from Miners that are tasked to approve transactions and solve certain algorithms to generate more Bitcoin in return. Its software is completely free and open-source and, as I browse sign in, seems really interesting and convenient. Will probably make a separate post out of this soon once I've done a few transactions.

9) State of Philippine's Media Culture

In one of the breakout sessions in the second day, I got to hear Kaloy Uypuanco talk about his and his team's effort to revive the Visayan culture in the youth. I felt that this deserved a separate post entirely so I wrote something really quick previously, especially after I got to hear another speaker talks about the same issue at another event.

10) 10 Internet Facts by the World Startup Report

Google is a monster, overpowering all the world's tech companies together that it had to be put in a separate pie chart. The ranking of countries in slide number 5 shocked me so much that Andrius, Lead researcher of the World Startup Report, had to reassure me.

One last funny story to tell you is that Movenpick Hotel, the venue of GOAB2 has these fancy rooms by the lounge. I needed to use the restroom and the concierge gestured to a room hidden away at the corner. I went in and thought:

Where am I?

I then noticed the drier and went around looking for a sink but didn't find any. Then I saw a door handle and lo and behold,

This is the bathroom??!!

So yeah, those green tube-like structures were the sinks and water came down on your hand like a waterfall. The experience was similar when my family and I went to hong Kong and I got to experience sinks with sensors for the first time.

It was good to see old friends again and I definitely had fun at the event, especially since I got to help the organizers on occasion. Cheers to and on to the next event!


  1. Great to see you again Ashley. Hope to chat with you more when we meet again.

    1. It was great seeing you, too, ma'am Janette. I just had to write about that starstruck moment haha. Looking forward to seeing you at future events!


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