The recent Geeks on a Beach international conference held in Panglao, Bohol last August 25-26, just got bigger and bolder on its fourth and present year.
From its debut in Boracay three years ago, this year’s GOAB made a new breakthrough with its partnership with the iconic US-based tech accelerator Techstars and Facebook’s internet.org “free internet” advocacy.
Tina Amper, TechTalks.ph Founder and GOAB organizer, said that the Techstars Asia-Pacific Summit, a private gathering of 100 startup weekend leaders in the region, was held in the same venue two days prior to GOAB. This year’s GOAB featured stronger ties with StartupPH.org, a newly formed umbrella organization of advocates for Philippine startups and tech industry. StartupPH.org includes the core group that completed the Philippine Startup Roadmap in 2015.
“Apart from the wider participation of the international community with delegates from the US, Singapore, Malaysia, among others, the recently concluded GOAB was also marked by stronger government support with the inspiring presence of Senator Bam Aquino and Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto,” added Amper.
On another note, key government supporters from previous GOAB is now part of the newly installed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Monchito Ibrahim, who was previous head of the now defunct Department of Science and Technology Information and Communication Technology Office oversaw the crafting of the PH Startup Roadmap in consultation with the startup community, is now Program Director of DICT’s eInnovation.
Following the theme “Empowering startups, leading change”, GOAB is organized by TechTalks.ph, co-organized by Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), and co-presented by PLDT SME Nation, Smart, Smart DevNet, Ideaspace and PLDT Innolab.
The two-day tech confab was held in the Bellevue Hotel in Panglao, Bohol. “It was a total experience. The knowledge imparted by the fantastic speakers, the networking opportunities with the bustling geek community, and of course the fun-filled, scenic, yet environmentally-friendly Bellevue Hotel,” said Amper.
Participants of the said event witnessed timely sessions which includes various topics such as how to launch a startup, funding options, digital marketing, the latest trends in tech and social media, UX/UI design, drones and various topics in software programming. The agenda provided many opportunities for collaboration amongst attendees and speakers enabling deeper connections amongst them.
Amper said that what makes GOAB unique is the easy availability of attendees to connect and the 2-day or 48-hour opportunity to mingle since many of the attendees stayed in the conference hotel or nearby. She further added that the next GOAB is on the works with organizers regrouping as early as one week after the recently concluded event to draw ideas for an even bigger GOAB 5.
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