In a move to bolster the country’s early stage startup ecosystem, Nila Capital has announced its official launch as the Philippines’ first and only venture fund dedicated exclusively to student-led startups. This pioneering initiative aims to bridge the resource gap many young Filipino entrepreneurs face, offering them not just capital but also a vast network of industry professionals and mentorship opportunities.
Established by former startup founders Jason Ho and Ryan Chua, who have previously held positions at successful startups like Dashlabs.ai, Kumu, and 1Export, Nila Capital stands out as a venture fund for student entrepreneurs, by student entrepreneurs.
Nila Capital’s dedication to student-led startups is rooted in a clear understanding of the market gap. Many young Filipinos possess innovative ideas and the passion to bring them to life. However, they often face challenges in accessing the necessary capital, mentorship, and industry connections to kickstart their ventures. Nila Capital’s exclusive focus on this demographic aims to address these challenges head-on.
Selected startups can expect:
- Initial funding of up to $10k to jumpstart their business.
- Opportunities to connect with a network of mentors, industry professionals, and potential investors.
- Access to a community of like-minded, young founders keen on making their mark as trailblazers and industry innovators.
Why support student-led startups?
According to co-founder and managing partner Jason Ho, the focus on student-led ventures isn’t just about filling a market gap; it’s about recognizing and nurturing potential. Students, with their fresh perspectives and untethered creativity, often come up with groundbreaking ideas that can revolutionize industries. However, without the right support, these ideas might never see the light of day.
“Young founders are brimming with innovative ideas,” said Ho, who is himself currently an Information Technology Entrepreneurship student at the Ateneo de Manila University. “What often holds them back from turning these ideas into full-fledged businesses is the lack of capital and proper connections to institutions. By providing them with these resources early on, we’re unlocking endless possibilities.”
Furthermore, the risk factor associated with entrepreneurship is often lower for younger individuals. They have the resilience, time, and energy to learn, adapt, and grow. Recognizing this, Nila Capital aims to provide them with the right environment to experiment, innovate, and thrive.
Nurturing early stage innovation
With its official launch, Nila Capital is looking to champion young innovators for the long haul, investing not only in individual businesses but in the future of the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In the words of co-founder Ryan Chua, “Our mission goes beyond just funding. We aim to create a ripple effect, where the success of these student-led startups inspires and paves the way for countless others.”
For more information about Nila Capital and its initiatives, please visit Nila Capital’s official website.