Founder Spotlight: Patrick Bartolome I. Dulay of The Spark Project

The stand for a contemporary concept, crowdfunding

By Glacer Barnett


               Patrick ‘’Patch’’ Dulay is the founder and CEO of The Spark Project, an online crowd funding platform that caters to the aspirations invested in Filipino projects. Consequently, he becomes as an enabler of the growing number of Filipino startups, which classifies his initiative for innovation as an advance towards modernization.

               Crowdfunding, a relatively new term, is the concept behind pooling money from large individuals. It is something well integrated in the Philippines; say in our weekly sessions of attending church, people would contribute money. As Patch got into the idea, it felt innate. It was not necessarily something that had to be introduced, instead, the technology and application of it to businesses was something that needed to be learned.


Conscientiously applying for the community mindset

               For a good year or two, Patch’s team curated the platform. Upon its launch, we there were pilot projects. The team pitched  to different people over what they planned to do, asking if they could grant them with the opportunity to crowd fund their projects. All Patch’s team did was to approach people that they’d want on their side: starting with travel, design, fashion, and food entrepreneurs, so that when people would go to the site, they’d have an idea of the type of projects that can be crowd funded, seeing as there was a cluelessness surrounding it. It was about introducing crowd-fundable projects to people.

               Patch’s efforts to differentiate The Spark Project from the everyday-showing crowdfunding platforms served as a challenge. To him, it was how he approached it—his team consciously makes it so to build a community that could showcase Filipino talent and innovation. ‘’Even after a project would go through the website, we continue to engage with them and they’d do the same in return. The community is brings life  the site.’’, Patch exclaimed. Nationally, regionally, and internationally, Patch wants to make it as easy as possible for people to crowdfund, to make processes user-friendly in order to empower people with the tools they need to build a community around their work.


A man whose passions are directed towards tech, from web discovery to platform creation

               Right after graduating with a degree in management information system, Patch got into IT consulting, the more laidback side of his speciality. However, his cluster of tech interests have always involved the web—usually, in his free time, Patch would spend lots of hours searching the web for some novelty. One day, back in the year 2009, as he was exploring through websites, he managed to stumble upon Kickstarter just after a week of its launching, with the help of a mere friend’s tweet. Checking it out, he was confused about the concept behind it—crowdfunding—and figured that it’d be cool if he went through their site for learning. When Patch likes a site, he tends to monitor their growth, and he projected this habit onto Kickstarter.

               At that time, Patch’s passage in IT consultancy had already spanned for 5 years. By that stage, he had wanted a breath of fresh air, and to acquire it, he went on to complete a master’s degree in Global E-business in France. Patch had the intention of exposing himself to the other side of tech, the side that covered his interests—the web. While in the country, wanting to gain exposure for knowledge in a setting unfamiliar to him, Patch also worked for a startup company, one that catered to the UK market, but was based in Paris. Being in a team of five, Patch was involved in a multi-tasking incubator; he was fascinated by how he could  handle the coding and marketing in what would be a room that symbolized a simple box—this was his first taste of the startup life.

               After gaining the experience he needed, in 2011, Patch decided to return to the Philippines on patriotic feelings for what he could contribute to his people. Meeting people in the startup and social entrepreneurship scenes, Patch had successfully managed to re-integrate himself back to Manila. At a time when the startup communities that we have today were emerging, developing on their infancy stage, Patch visualized the potential. He figured that it was the perfect moment to start something himself—looking through his ideas, he eventually settled on crowdfunding, and the rest was history.


The Spark Project as the answer to a life question

               Patch believes that one’s purpose in life towards a greater good is a big question that we all have to answer for ourselves. It took two years to finalize The Spark Project. Being born out of his interests for websites, along with his passion for using the resources that he has—his knowledge, skills, and ideas—Patch had every intention of having the essence of his foundation be directed towards a good cause, for the creation of a better world.

               Patch doesn’t consider himself to be a seasoned startup founder: He’s just an average guy trying to make things work for his vision, the vision that answers to why he does what he does. He believes that one has to have a deeper reason for their purpose, a reason that transcends the physical world that reaches for his consciousness. ‘’Those who have the answer can withstand any challenge with the perseverance to continue, he voiced. So long as one has a clear sense of direction and is true to his will and purpose, then he would not get caught up by the external factors of success. Patch consciously practices and develops on this mental balance, for it is his happiness over what he does that would reflect on his work, the extension of himself.

You can check the Website of The Spark Project HERE.