Founder Spotlight: Michiko Soriano of WeCube
Taking the role of the nurturing mother for early startups
By Glacer Barnett
Michiko Soriano is a co-founder of WeCube, an incubation program dedicated to fostering the development of startups by satisfying the small demands—such as matters involving networking and legal administration—that their founders might have. Her entrance to the scene began when she and her friends were looking for a co-working space that could be of use to efficient graduate students. It was an idea for a business that she ended up mentioning to her friend Tierry, WeCube’s main founder, whom she met in an aviation company that she was working in. His proliferate ideas in business embodied a flourishing sea setting its way towards the horizon that is its goal. As a result, Tierry pitched in with his friend Flo whom he knew from another business. Additionally Michiko invited Kate, a girl with whom she did her college exchange program in France.
The aim was to make the WeCube space homely for familiarity and cozy for comfort. As a space that was previously used for a logistics company, its design of dull and typical needed a lot of improving through colour and quirk. For a basis, the WeCube team made the room all-white before taking the baby steps for visually-pleasing design. Everything was done hands-on without the need for an experienced designer, reflecting WeCube’s objective procedure for hands-on and flexible marketing.
The business of transportation as a means of arriving at WeCube station
After doing real estate immediately after college graduation, Michiko settled in France for a year with an internship in a telecommunications company. At that time and place, she was also finishing a master’s degree in project management. For her last school activity, students from her class were given the opportunity to choose to either settle in either South America or China for a profession. Having been to neither area, Michiko was uneasy about having to make the decision. While she felt culturally closer to South America, it also would have been geographically convenient for her, having been born and raised in the Philippines, if she were to go for China. In the end, Michiko knew that she was eventually going to return to her native country, so she put aside South America for recreational purposes and set her sights on China. In her stay, she worked for an alcohol company, and was successful in her aim of receiving a referral back to her homeland.
Michiko wanted to do more project management, so she ambitiously set her sights to the government. Having always had a peculiar interest for railway transportation, she got into the public private partnership center. After gaining some exposure to government practices, Michiko switched her mode of transportation from railway to aviation; she entered the profession of aero-chartering—the practice of acquiring and distributing aircraft such as helicopters, jets, and airplanes to unique clients for their own personal use. It was through this company that she met Tierry, the person who would end up providing her with the future alleyway for her to take towards WeCube.
‘’Slingshot and a stone’’: Exciting with potential, but scary with risks
Now, Michiko invests the entirety of her time and effort into WeCube. Having an entrepreneur for a father with a self-employed mother, Michiko has always known that her fate would lie in the promotion of the Philippines as a fruitful country for business. She is thankful to have supportive parents who know what it is like to choose a risky path to success. Bringing things and people together for the greater good has always been her ambition; thus, WeCube represents the synchronicity of what Michiko aspires to do.
With a myriad of demands, we grow fast, but we sometimes lack the essential time in meeting day-to-day errands. Nowadays, Michiko has control over the time she has in her life. With efforts being exponentially unpredictable, she has learned to disassociate the link of the time that she invests from the output that these efforts could produce. In lieu of translating effort to output, admittedly, Michiko is still practicing her eye for opportunities and risk-taking. Risk-taking is imperative for confidence, as to Michiko, her biggest challenge can only be her own being. The only one who gives her the limitations is herself.
Meeting a problem with one’s passion marks for an impact
One idea has the power to improve the lives of millions. In order for one to put this idea to good use, he must put all of his focus onto the problem at hand. With this, more than a mere profession, entrepreneurship becomes a state of mind. One should fully be knowledgeable of the problem that he is solving and aware of how it affects people. Having an entrepreneur for a father, Michiko has grown up in this setting. Instead of worrying over how a business could be of support to her in an annual period, Michiko believes that success lies in thinking of impact in terms of what it could do for people in the long run. Necessary service will always remain as a demand.
‘’When provoked, respond with love.’’ is advice from a mentor that Michiko has always kept to heart. Reacting with aggression will give no practical results. As an entrepreneur, Michiko is dealing with people, and she is going to want to make them feel like she can receive them with open arms when they come to her for help. Consequently, this habit expands her network, providing her with freebee connections that she might need in the future.