#GOAB liveblog: All systems go for `Geeks On A Beach’ tech-startup forum

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AN IMPENDING invasion of Boracay island is afoot. Not by armed groups, though, but by geeks from all over the globe.

Boracay, considered as the “best island” in the world by Travel+Leisure, will be swarming with technology buffs and startup developers this week when the “Geeks On A Beach” (GOAB) tech and startup conference gets underway Sept. 26-27 at the Boracay Regency Hotel.

Already teeming with local and foreign tourists, this wonderful island in the central part of the Philippines will be abuzz with a lot more activities as these geeks are coming not just for the conference but as well as to enjoy the beguiling landscape Boracay is famous for.

According to Tina Amper of the organizing TechTalks.ph, the GOAB promises to be a uniquely exciting experience for the geeks who will be completely engrossed with the discussions amidst the soothingly beautiful natural backdrop that Boracay offers.

“Boracay provides a unique atmosphere for the conference, which makes GOAB more distinctive than other tech-startup confabs,” Amper said. “Hopefully, we can make GOAB an annual destination for geeks.”

Amper said they are expecting the arrival of around 300 people for the conference, including the speakers, resource persons, and some members of the regional media from Cebu and Davao.

Most of the registered participants are composed of entrepreneurs and founders with a 34.57% turnout, developers at 22.34%, and people from the corporate world at 14.36%. Other participants are web designers, VCs, investors, angels, and students. The rest of the attendees are from the academe, the government, and the media.

The GOAB is indeed a must-go-to event as it has drawn the attention of more influential personalities and wannapreneurs.

Reinforcing yet an all-star lineup of resource speakers is Eden Shochat, founder and equal partner of Aleph, who will likewise share his knowledge and experience in the tech industry.

Startup enthusiasts are also coming to pitch their innovative ideas in hopes of creating a network of partners, building new products, and attracting investors.

Among the startup buffs participating in the GOAB are a group of diverse individuals from Bohol and the Information Technology students from Ateneo de Davao University who topped the recent Startup Weekend Davao competition last August.

The Bohol group is composed of a businesswoman, a tech entrepreneur, a professor, and trainee programmers who are all members of a startup community, while the “Keep Up” team from Davao is made up of Alexandra Victoria Eneco, Marcel Tunichii Villaruz, Mary Mynell Mariano, and Jasper Adlaon.

Attending startup groups are guaranteed to bring home a cornucopia of knowledge about technopreneurship, the tech industry in the ASEAN region, technology innovations, and business solutions, among many other essential topics lined up for discussion.

Most of the registered participants are composed of entrepreneurs and founders with a 34.57% turnout, developers at 22.34%, and people from the corporate world at 14.36%. Other participants are web designers, VCs, investors, angels, and students. The rest of the attendees are from the academe, the government, and the media.

The GOAB techfest will also be spiced up with a touch of the Carribean as the songs of Bob Marley and some real Jamaican reggae music play in the background while experts from across the globe share their insights on startups, technology, gaming, mobile apps, and graphic design.

Smart Communications (SMART) founder and chief wireless adviser Doy Vea will be the keynote speaker in the opening program of the conference. SMART will be providing its super-fast LTE wireless technology to the participants and organizers for the duration of the confab.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Louis Napoleon Casambre, executive director of the government agency’s Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), will also speak about startups and their role in growing the economy to cap the opening ceremonies.

Other resource speakers for the event include Bowei Gai of World Startup Report, Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Tech Center, Ron Hose of Innovation Endeavors, Zac Cohn of Liffft, Khailee Ng of of 500 Startups, Mark Deustch of HappyGaraje, Isabel Gatuslao, Seph Mayol, Stephen Jagger of PayrollHero, Earl Valencia of IdeaSpace.ph, Minette Navarette of Kickstart Ventures, Erick Garayblas of Kuyi Mobile, Jia Jih Chai of Airbnb, M. Christina Laskowski of STAC-Silicon Valley, Eric Su of PicLyf, Jay Fajardo and Jason Torres of Proudcloud, Paco Sandejas of Narra Venture Capital, and Josh Villanueva of Rappler, among many others.

Topics slated for discussion include The World Startup Ecosystem: Distinguishing the Asian Experience, The Evolution of Philippine Startup Ecosystem, Fostering and Funding Asian Startups, Startup Best Practices and Philippine Startup Success Stories, Social Media for World Change, World Startup Report: Opportunities and Threats, Strategies of Successful Startups, Attracting Investors, and Investing in Emerging Markets.

Amazon Web Services is also set to provide on-site business and technical mentoring during the two-day techfest.

Organized by TechTalks.ph in cooperation with DOST-ICTO, “Geeks on a Beach” is co-presented by SMART SMART Bro, SMART DevNet, and IdeaSpace.ph. It is powered by Sym.ph, branded by HappyGaraje.com and under the able PR and event management of PRWorks.

Other event partners include Amazon Web Services as platinum sponsor, WaveMaker Labs as gold sponsor, and Freelancer.ph, Ng Khai Development Corporation, Fineupgrades, Boracay PubCrawl, TheGoSee.com, SPR Boracay Real Estate as silver sponsors with LBC Express as the official logistics partner.

Airbnb is the official accommodations partner of GOAB, while Microsoft Philippines, GT Cosmetics Manufacturing, Island Souvenirs, and Megaworld are the bronze sponsors.

Institutional partners of the event are the Philippine Software Industry Association, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, UP CebuInIt.org, CedFit.org, Game Developers Association of the Philippines, Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines, Brain Gain Network, DevCon, UVNS, and STAC-Silicon Valley.

“Geeks on a Beach” is also supported by Lenovo Mobile, MetroDeal.com, KuyiMobile, Plug and Play Tech Center, SHIFT, SeedAsia, Mynimo, Pinoy Great Deals, Crowdsourcing Week, Geek Speak, Malee, R&M Preserves, Lenddo, Nulab and Lakwatsa Resto Lounge.

Media partners of the confab are Webgeek, e27, Newsdesk Asia, istorya.net, auza.net, Third Team Media, Panay News, Davao Bloggers Society, Vigattin Radio, Inno Pub Media, SGEntrepreurs, Rappler, Alcordo Advertising, Asian Journal Publications, Balik Bayan Magazine, and ABS-CBN.

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