Alex Alabiso of Kickstart Ventures Talks About His Passion in Growing Startups In The Philippines

Kickstart’s Director of Portfolio shares his inspiring startup journey

By Bea Perdigon

When establishing a business, oftentimes entrepreneurs pick a platform that best suit their passions and interests. Some will choose to venture in food business, while others will try their luck in technology systems. But for Alex Alabiso, Director of Portfolio for Kickstart Ventures, his passion lies in the growing industry of startup companies.

Since his first job as a developer in 1997, Alex has always been part of a startup community. “I worked at startups for most of my life. In fact, I never worked for an organization larger than two hundred people,” he says. Coincidence or not, his experience has allowed him to excel in different respectable field of startups, which is why in 2012, he was given a life-changing opportunity. “I was at a point in my life where I wanted to start something meaningful. Next thing you know I’m on my way to Manila!” Alex recalls.

Initiating the move to Kickstart

When Alex found out that his company at that moment was reducing the number of employees, he did not see the need to go back. “My first reaction was, ‘Oh, I didn’t have to fly back to the U.S., I just need to find a job here’,” Alex recalls.

This gave Alex the opportunity to start doing freelance work. “Kickstart invested in my previous company, so I started doing freelance work for them,” says Alex. He helped out with pro bono consultation work for the Kickstart portfolio companies.

“After six months, I wanted to pitch an idea to Kickstart, but it wasn’t a startup! I wanted a job.” Alex created a deck on why Kickstart should hire him, and eventually, he got the job.

Monitoring the growth of twenty-eight startups

Kickstart is a corporate venture capital fund company that focuses on startups. It is also the corporate capital investment arm of Globe Telecom. In 2012, it started as accelerator incubator, which offers ways to grow businesses. But in the past years, they have matured into a more traditional corporate venture capital fund.  Currently, they are handling twenty-eight startup companies such as Lifetrack Medical Solutions, SquadZip, Innovantage, Ritmo Learning Labs, Kalibrr, and so on. 

As Director of Portfolio, Alex’s main task is to make sure that their startups are growing. “My role is to work with the twenty eight different startup companies that we’ve invested in.  I make sure that they have access to resources and events both internal and external. Basically, my key performance indicator is to keep the startups successful. And if not, to find a way to make them successful.”

Expanding the startup community in the Philippines

“The startup community here is very young. It is still relatively small but it’s growing quickly. The quantity and quality of startups have gotten better over time. And I don’t see any reason why it will fail,” says Alex.

Based on Alex’s work experience in the startup field, his portfolio encourages young startups to be cut above the rest and to be committed to trying something new, in order to be funded by investors.