Gobi-Core Philippine Fund and JCI Manila Launch 2023 Alibaba Netpreneur Masterclass

August 2, 2023

The 2023 Alibaba Netpreneur Masterclass kicked off with its opening ceremony at the KMC SM North EDSA Tower 1 offices in SM North EDSA on July 27 2023. 

The Alibaba Netpreneur Masterclass, as put together by official partners Alibaba Cloud, Gobi Partners, Gobi-Core Philippine Fund, and JCI Manila, creates a bridge between local founders, CEOs, business owners, and an elite network of over 200 Alibaba Netpreneur alumni across 31 cities in the country who collectively have raised over US$53.2 million for hundreds of sustainable enterprises.

This year, the take up within the Philippines has impressed the organisers with 236 participants from 69 different cities and municipalities signing up. 

The 142 male and 94 female participants join the programme have it in mind to retrieve first hand-knowledge from Alibaba Executives and Industry Leaders on thriving in the digital economy, the development of China’s digital economy, the mindset-shift traditional businesses have undergone through digital transformation, and to gain actionable insight from Alibaba’s continuously evolving ecosystem.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Gobi-Core Philippine Fund Partner and Head of ESG at Gobi Partners Carlo Chen-Delantar, presented GUIDE (Gobi University Innovation Development Ecosystem), an entrepreneurship support and development knowledge network for startup founders. 

“We have a long way to go but we have to start somewhere,” he said, motioning that innovation is not limited to big cities like Metro Manila. It’s in the provinces and in the smaller cities too. “Hence, it’s deeply encouraging to note that 64 participants hail from Luzon ex-Manila, 20 are from the Visayas, and 12 are from Mindanao.”

GUIDE programmes are intertwined with those of partners ranging from Alibaba Global Initiatives, UN Women, to university-based incubation and innovation centres with the consistent goal of filling major gaps in the venture support ecosystem. 

Within this institutional network, the  Alibaba Netpreneur Masterclass is a pivotal piece, finding burgeoning talent in The Philippines and equipping founders with mentors, tools, and the mindset to scale atop the digital economy.

“It’s encouraging to see increased and diversified participation this year versus last year,” said Carlo. “We’ve increased the number of participants from last year, and we look forward to increasing these numbers year on year, so that more of the exceptional talent we’re already seeing at Gobi-Core is connected with the networks and knowledge necessary to scale their businesses and reach the potential we see them as capable of reaching.”

Launched by Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI), the masterclass embodies the purpose of AGI. 

Pools of capital have been awakening to the depth of talent and creativity in the Philippine tech ecosystem, driving US$ 928 million into the VC investment space in 2021 alone. This wave of funding, on top of recent government support, gives entrepreneurs ample resources to scale their businesses into profitability and sustainability.

About Core Capital

Founded in 2018, venture capital (VC) firm Core Capital is the result of a partnership between founding partners Jason Gaisano, Ken Ngo and Carlo Chen-Delantar with Pan-Asian VC, Gobi Partners. 

Headquartered in Manila, Philippines, Core Capital strategically invests in tech-enabled early-stage startups across the Philippines through the Gobi-Core Philippines Fund (Gobi-Core) and has already invested in startups which have now become local household names such as Tier One, kumu and Cloudeats. Core Capital is also well-positioned to guide and springboard its local champions across Gobi Partners’ 15 countries’ ASEAN presence and track record of performance. 

Gobi-Core was officially accredited as a Co-Investment Partner of the Philippine government’s Startup Venture Fund (SVF) in early 2023. Per the Innovative Startup Act (RA 11337), the SVF can be used to match investments by selected investors in startups of varying stages based in the Philippines. The SVF is a joint effort by the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Development Company.