Creating a culture of innovation is crucial to inspire ideas that could help uplift people’s lives and change societies for the better, the head of Globe’s corporate venture capital firm Kickstart Ventures said at a recent startup ecosystem event in Singapore.
Speaking at the Alibaba Cloud AsiaStar 10x10 event where the wholly-owned Globe CVC won the Investors Award, Kickstart President Minette Navarrete said companies, whether big or small, must provide an environment that supports unorthodox thinking and collaboration.
“We all know that if you want to do innovation, chances are you're gonna have so much failure. You have to be persistent. You have to weather the grind and the failures. So you have to create a safe space that makes it possible for people to raise questions and challenge existing conditions. I think that makes for a fertile ground for innovation,” Navarrete said.
She added that there must be a shared sense of purpose among employees. This not only drives innovation but also inspires its repeatable, sustained, and wide adoption.
“Every single person is an investment, a resource. So you want to respect the role, respect the job that they do. And you speak to them one on one to bring them in because that's what helps create the clarity of purpose both for the company and the individual,” she explained.
Asked about the interesting macro events that startups can pick up innovation from, Navarrete was quick to point to financial inclusion. With digitalization, many unserved and underserved people are being brought into the financial ecosystem which in turn, helps everybody get economic mobility.
Aside from economic opportunities for everyone, Navarrete expressed excitement over investing in sustainability to provide clean air, potable water, affordable energy, and good food, among others.
“We have put a man on the moon. We have landed a rover on Mars. We have to do a lot more to make life good for more people on this planet by making investments and putting our talents and our energies behind those things. I think it is worthwhile and something that we certainly will be investing in over the next few years,” she said.
Kickstart Ventures is one of the winners of the AsiaStar 10x10 Investors award this year for its valuable contributions to the technology and innovation scene in the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia. The Alibaba campaign celebrates 100 leading tech innovators in the region.
Founded in 2012, Kickstart currently has $255 million in assets under management and advises the Ayala Corp. Technology Innovation Venture (ACTIVE) Fund, the largest venture capital fund to come out of the Philippines at $180 million.
In addition to investments, Kickstart provides its portfolio companies with access to an extensive business network through its Globe, Ayala and Singtel relationships, expertise from industry experts, and community introductions to potential co-founders, partners, mentors and talent.
The firm has invested in 59 portfolio companies across seven countries globally. Among them are mobile wallet Coins.ph, online social reading platform Wattpad, and rewards program provider ZAP which have all made successful value-creating exits.
Two of its portfolio companies, AI-powered cloud communication platform Dialpad and payment gateway Xendit, have reached unicorn status.
To learn more about Kickstart, visit kickstart.ph.