NZ entrepreneurs to learn about innovation
and digital disruption in Southeast Asia

New Zealand entrepreneurs will learn about the accelerating tech scene in the Philippines and meet technology trailblazers from across Southeast Asia on an Asia New Zealand Foundation programme.

The five entrepreneurs head to Manila on Monday (18 June, 2018) to connect with start-ups, learn about the current economic, social and political environment in the Philippines; and attend the 2018 Techtonic summit, which has the theme of “Disrupting Southeast Asia”.

Katy Wilson (Wellington-based), co-founder of Town Square, a platform for showcasing local eventsThe entrepreneurs travelling to the Philippines are:Their visit is part of the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative, a key part of the New Zealand Government’s ASEAN Strategy.  The Asia New Zealand Foundation has been managing the initiative since 2012 on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, running sector-specific programmes for Southeast Asian entrepreneurs in New Zealand, and New Zealand entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia.

  • Rachel Strevens (Wellington), founder and CEO of Invsta, a fintech company offering simple and diversified cryptocurrency investing
  • Rees Vinsen (Auckland and Nelson), founder of Adduco Media, a social marketing company
  • Sonya Williams (Wellington), co-founder and director of investment platform Sharesies
  • Vadim Piatov (Los Angeles-based), founder and CEO of BPI Group, an aggregating AI solutions for enterprise customers

Piatov will speak about his work at the Techtonic Summit.

 Asia New Zealand Foundation programme manager for entrepreneurship and leadership Adam McConnochie says the Philippines is well-known for its business process outsourcing (BPO). “But if we think that the tech sector in the Philippines is only about outsourcing, we’re missing a trick.

“Southeast Asian entrepreneurs are coming up with all sorts of innovative ways to tackle some of the issues in the region.”

The Foundation's Adam McConnochie talks about the upcoming Philippines trip

Filipino entrepreneurs who have previously visited New Zealand through the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative are helping build the programme for the Kiwi entrepreneurs visiting Manila, McConnochie says.

In particular, Marcy Venezuela (president of mobile consumer technology company Xurpas Enterprise), Carlo Calimon (Director of Start-up Village), and Dustin Masancay (IdeaSpace Philippines), will be helping their New Zealand counterparts get to grips with the tech scene in Manila.

The tech entrepreneurs will also interact with 12 members of the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s Leadership Network, who will be participating in the “Manila Hui”, one of the professional development activities the Foundation offers to its network. The 12 leaders will be briefed by New Zealand Ambassador David Strachan, attend lectures on the social, business and political environment, and visit the Asian Development Bank, The Philippine Star newspaper, and the Philippines’ emergency management agency. 

“These Leadership Network events help New Zealand’s future leaders feel more confident in their interactions with Asia, strengthen their networks in the region, and share the knowledge they gain with their communities and in their workplaces,” McConnochie says.


Media contact:

Rebecca Inoue-Palmer

(04) 470 8701