TechiePalooza: BGN & ARCDI Launch

It was the launch of the online “Brain Gain Network” and “ARCDI R&D Laboratory“, two enablers of technopreneurship in the Philippines yesterday. Here’s my super concise account of the event:

-The program started a little late, I’ve lost track how long

-Paco discussed the evolution of the geek of the Brain Gain Network and cited examples.
A typical geek, he says, evolves from being an engineering (or any other technical course) student in college to graduate school (locally or abroad) to entrepreneurship or being a yuppie, to becoming an investor (internationally or locally) and/or coming back to the Philippines to do business here instead.

-Sen. Ramon Magsaysay encourages people to sign up at the BGN network and notes that there will inevitably be links to/with the government through the network. He adds the support that the country will appreciate through the building of the network and how the government will also be willing to help.

-The demos included some of the finalists for the PESO competition. One described the use of Bluetooth and SIP to allow voice calls, the other demonstrated a PhP 7k ($127) thin-client machine that’s probably 1/4 the size of a normal desktop machine, and the last suggested the use of the phone to record and interpret analog medical data such as one’s ECG, among a few others and report it to a data server.

The use of Bluetooth and the thin-client concept isn’t new, but the last demo was the most innovative among them, not to mention practical, for obviously saving huge hospital costs.

I haven’t heard of the use of the phone for the same, though, until I searched and found that Loughborough University, through Professor Bryan Woodward and Dr. Fadlee Rasid from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, has actually done so, and adds “[the technology] marks an important advance in telemedicine and is thought to be a world first.

Thought to be a world first was probably the right word to use.

To our young engineers from UP (Brian Lucas & the MEDS group) who have thought of the same idea: kudos!:) Glad to be reminded of the Filipino’s ingenuity and creativity in technology. Cheers just the same to PESO, BGN and ARCDI for finding these guys helping encourage technopreneurship.

My only complaint that night? There were more men than women geeks there. Not that there’s a lot of geekettes to expect 😦 but I’m among those that long for a day of equal female presence in events such as these. O:-)

Other Notable Guests as mentioned at the invitation were:

* Chairman Ver Pena (Commission of ICT)
* Usec. Fortunato de la Pena (DOST)
* Lawrence Hughes (co-founder of CipherTrust, Founder of InfoWeapons in Cebu)
* Ricky Banaag (Country Manager, INTEL)
* Rey Vea, Ph.D. (President of Mapua Inst of Tech and Vice-Chair of ARCDI)
* Yong Jin Lee, Ph.D. (Stanford EE, CEO of Semizone Information Services)
* Cesar Quiason (Executive Director of ARCDI)
* Cliff Eala (CEO of Stratpoint Technoloies)
* Gerald Baldivia (IFC, Venture Capital Investment Manager)
* Martin Lichauco (Country Manager of Walden International)
* Dan Pagulayan, Gerry Valenciano (Vice-Presidents of ICCP Ventures)
* Ed David (former Pres of HQ Philippines now CEO of Gravitas)
* Arie Bulahan (Principal, WTP Capital, LLC)
* Dom Arguelles (President, UniCapital Securities)
* Most of the Venture Capitalists in the Philippines
* Dickie Gonzalez (President of PESO)
* Frank Holz (President of Outsource2Philippines)
* Mike Hamlin (President of TeamAsia)
* Jay Sabido, Joey Gurango, Luis Gopez, and other executives of RD&E companies
* Fermin Taruc (Director of Phil. Software Industry Asso) and the directors of PSIA
* Vic Gruet (Pres of EIAPI) and his fellow directors
* Some of the sharpest RESEARCHERS from the UP, ATENEO, APC and ASTI
* THE PRESS, including Computerworld, Philippine Star, Inq7, Digital Tour (of ABS-CBN), Entrepreneur Magazine

I also bumped into my former bosses, Eric, who started Brain Gain with Paco, and Chito. It was good to hear from them. Fun night. Too bad for those who missed it!

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