Heralded as the Queen City of the South, Cebu is a prime business environment that thrives from its natural affinity with the arts. It was the perfect venue for Sparkfest, which helped budding creative minds dig deeper into entrepreneurship and learn how Cebuanos are striking a perfect balance between art and business.
Sparkfest featured some prominent faces in Cebu’s business and arts landscape, who spoke about their experiences through panel discussions that focused on a variety of business topics. They likewise shared their opinions on current issues faced by artists and entrepreneurs alike.
Discover what Sparkfest Cebu’s line of experts have to say and apply their learnings to your own business. Here are some outtakes from the event:
Overcoming the Scare of Starting Up
- Get Mentors: I was glad that I asked a lot of people about starting up a business. They later on became my mentors, who would tell me what can possibly work or not. Having mentors helped me steer to the direction of being more likely to succeed. – Charm De Leon, Director of Sugbo Mercado
- Don’t Overthink: Whatever your idea is, if you are starting up, don’t overthink. Things are better done than perfect; just improve along the way. Action is everything, but you have to time it. It’s all about balance. – Ken Ngo, Founder and CEO of Hammerland and Travelbee
Taking on the Challenge of Scaling Up
- Find the Right People: There are different challenges in every phase of the business, including expansion. I think the most common would be finding the right people. Running a business is not a one man team. As founders and executives, we need people who can execute our vision. We have to share the same values, and they must buy into the vision and have the talent to grow the business. – Steve Benitez, Founder and CEO of Bo’s Coffee
Rising from Entrepreneurial Setbacks
- Have an Open Mind: To create, many times, we have to destroy. Destroy expectations from ourselves and other people. […] Destroy who we know ourselves to be so there’s space for who we need to become. When you leave, take what you learn from Sparkfest Cebu as an opportunity to live, fail, and be reborn. – Richard Dacalos, Founder, UpStart
- Get Out of Your Head: You have to unlearn a lot of things to really be with people you want to support and partner. In the beginning, my mistake was thinking I know everything. […] I knew about all these problems from books, but it wasn’t until I experienced them that I learned. – Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, President and Founder of Rags2Riches
Meshing Creativity with Business
- Look from Another Angle: Since the Internet came, all the old rules and games have changed. We have to find creative ways to do stuff like creating content online and advertising. […] It’s a mix of creativity and strategy: how are we going to make this work knowing this is the landscape now? – David Cua, Executive Creative Director, Republiq Group of Companies
- Self-Assessment is Key: To get something done, you have to make a call. […] The important thing is knowing your limits and how you can improve, so you can collaborate with the right people, who will take what you do to the next level. – Butch Carungay, Founder of District 32
The Business of Doing Good
- Give Back: I’m a passionate advocate for education. That’s because I was fortunate enough to be a university scholar. All the opportunities I’ve had in life is because of someone who decided to invest in my potential and help me acquire the skills, knowledge, and values to succeed. All my projects and life’s work has been devoted to trying to pay it forward with what I do. – Lynn Pinugu, Co-founder, Mano Amiga Pilipinas
- Make it Last: We identify local champions, who know the problem, but can’t solve it. We provide the solution, along with a platform to discuss the needs of the community. We come to empower and tell them that here’s a solution and it’s free. All I ask from them is very reasonable: take care of it and make sure you share it with the community. – Carlo Delantar, Country Director, Waves for Water
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