IN PHOTOS: 2015 Raid The Fridge

“It is entrepreneurs that lead a startup community while everyone else feeds the community.” – Steve Blank

Truer words were never spoken. And this is why Kickstart continues to deliver its signature community mixer “Raid The Fridge,” a monthly open event that gathers startup founders for opportunities to learn, engage, or collaborate with investors, developers, corporations, the government, and even with media.

In 2015, Raid The Fridge hosted twenty speakers ranging from a Chief Startup Scientist hailed as “Top Startup Mentor” in Australia by Founder Institute; startups from Manila, San Francisco, and Vienna; a Japanese VC firm; innovation thought leaders and an accelerator program, both working with startups across Asia; a telco CEO; to a Philippine Senator championing entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Why do we keep doing Raid The Fridge?

Kickstart president Minette Navarrete, in her February 2015 blogpost, explains:

  • We do it because the community needs it, and the country would benefit. There are too many hurdles that startup founders need to overcome, and too many gaps they live with. Collaboration helps overcome some of these hurdles.
  • We do it because we need a favourable environment for startups: a longer runway, more corporate allies, more talent on the ground, more mentors, more investors, a more supportive policy environment. The right conversations help shape a more favourable environment.
  • We do it because we believe that building bridges is as important as breaking down barriers: and that disruptive innovation requires mass adoption and scale to have real impact. Opening our networks builds a broader base of support to help startups scale.
  • We do it because we recognise that value can be created, one startup at a time. For the Philippine startup community to get to the landmark exit that propels the country further than it’s gone before, we all need to pull together. It’s a long road, and a lot of roadblocks: but there, in the distance, is the ROI.
  • We want the startup equivalent of the “More Fun” campaign: the catchy materials on the surface, as well as the improvements in infrastructure, culture and capabilities underneath. We want to drive the country’s startup-related stats upwards, faster and further than they’ve ever gone before. We want to support groundbreaking innovation, and record-breaking exits

Every country aspires to create a vibrant startup ecosystem to help accelerate economic growth through innovation and entrepreneurship. The Philippines is no exception.

In a few weeks from today, on January 28th, we’re kicking-off Raid The Fridge 2016We hope to see you again at Area55 for another round of learnings, of meeting new startups and founders, and renewing friendships. Salut!

Total Guests Welcomed
Total Beers Consumed

29 JANUARYSan Francisco-based startup co-founders Kyle Lin and Dip Ghuman (not in picture) talked about NEAR, their anonymous and location-based messaging startup: it allows you to start or join conversations with people nearby, with a twist!

26 FEBRUARYPhil Morle (Pollenizer), Phil Cahiwat (Level Up!), Gabby Dizon (Altitude Games): startup founders who have weathered early challenges, stood their ground, and built some of the most solid startups today shared their lessons on — (1) pivoting through time to remain in front; (2) starting a business where there was no prior experience; and (3) starting a business that’s already full of competition. They were later joined by Amazon Web Service’s Jonathan Limbo, who talked about AWS support programs for startups.

25 MARCHGlobe Telecom CEO Ernest Cu, doing away with the usual presentation format, gamely shared his insights on innovation and leadership in a Q&A format. What were the questions like? How about this: “Startups are disrupting telcos globally. So why even support startups?” (Kickstart is the corporate venture capital arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe.)

30 APRIL: Manny Ayala, Managing Director of the Philippine office of Endeavor Global, a non-profit organization headquartered in New York with a “super connector” reputation for promising startups and founders, talked about “entrepreneur mafias” and why they’re important in growing vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems.

28 MAYTwo institutions working across Asia in search of startups to support joined Raid The Fridge: (1) Coca-Cola Founders Network, an innovation platform leveraging on Coke’s assets to help startups scale; (2) Muru, a startup accelerator progra backed by Australia’s telco, Telstra.

25 JUNE: Two SaaS startups – one homegrown (Innovantage), the other built in Copenhagen (Zendesk) – shared theirinsights and learnings on developing and rolling out SaaS products. Cogito by Innovantage and Zendesk were created to help improve organisational efficiency in businesses by  using a responsive software that lets you systematise, automate, and scale up or down business workflows.

30 JULY:, a San Francisco-based tech company with a fascinating history: launched by Google Voice co-founders offering a cloud-based phone system that gets you a phone number that rings all devices.

19 AUGUST: We moved the Fridge to Boracay in support of Geeks On A Beach 3!

10 SEPTEMBER: The Fridge flew out of Manila again and landed in Cebu City with Kickstart mentor Joe Rouse, who has 15 years of experience in technology business operations, VC investing, and consulting. Joe talked about “Startup Fundraising; The Stages of Pain” for the Cebu startup community.

24 SEPTEMBER: Facebook’s is relaunched as and explaining it to the #startupPH community was Jackie Chang, Product Partnerships Manager for at Facebook. Startups learned from Jackie how their developers can begin offering the services of their startups (or their own advocacies) to a wider market through integration with

29 OCTOBER: A meet-and-greet between locally-based startups and Yasuhiro Seo from IMJ Investment Partners, a VC firm established by IMJ Corporation, Japan’s leading web integration company. IMJ Investment Partners started investing in startups from Japan and the Silicon Valley in 2012, and is now looking into Southeast Asia’s startups working on “internet, mobile, and software sectors.”

26 NOVEMBER: Kerstin Trikalitis, CEO and Co-Founders of Out There Media, a global leader in mobile advertising, shared her life lessons as a startup founders (a.k.a. Do’s & Dont’s) while Philippine Senator Bam Aquino, IV talked about legislation, policies, and programs intended to elevate SME development as the key to unlocking inclusive growth.