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Archive for the ‘Small Business & Entrepreneuring’ Category

Microsoft Office 365 for Co-Working Spaces

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If yesterday that I set up my small business, co-working spaces already existed, then I could have saved a bundle of money and, should things turned to the worse – which it did – I didn’t have to lose big time. Even just less than a decade ago, setting up shop for your new small business meant a huge bundle of money to spend on capital expenses whose depreciation period is at least two years. For a startup small business owner, that’s a huge investment.

So, Microsoft Philippines recently invited me to showcase their solution for a freelancer, entrepreneur or small business owner. But instead of a small business owner setting up production by renting or leasing an empty office space, building its interiors, buying furniture and fixtures, contracting a systems integrator to install structure cabling, servers and networks, buying all the enterprise or premise-based software you need, subscribing to a dedicated internet connection that’s much expensive than your regular home DSL service, hiring a receptionist, security guard and all-around administrative assistant, and other minor expenses that drive up the cost of starting a business with hardly any income coming it (Whew! That was long!), you subscribe to a co-working space.

This is where Microsoft Philippines’ Office 365 comes into the picture, a technology solution that gives the freelancer, the entrepreneur and the small business owner the ability to save on long-term cash by paying on-the-go or on-demand. Combine this with a co-working space like Penbrothers and the small business owner today has a way to reduce start-up costs (expenses that needs to mature for a long time before it goes back as an investment) and start the business without huge capital expenditures and worrying about the upkeep and maintenance of the workplace.

I’ve been a Microsoft Philippines Office 365 customers for quite a while now. For a mere $5 a month, you get both online and offline versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote and a few others I don’t really use. You also get 1TB of cloud space for your files – called OneDrive – which you can automatically sync on-the-go or manually update your files. Your Microsoft Windows Explore will reflect your OneDrive so you can just drag-and-drop files between your OneDrive and hard drive. I also have all five Microsoft Office 365 apps on my other devices in case I don’t have my laptop with me and I have to edit.

That 1TB of cloud space in my OneDrive is a biggie. It costs $3 or $5 per month to get an extra 100GB space in your Gmail; of course, Google Apps is free to use but I’m really more comfortable with Microsoft Office. I’ve also had a Mediafire.com cloud drive of about 50GB since 2007 or something like that, and use that to store photos and images that I want my blogs to access it, as opposed to uploading photos to my blog’s limited cloud space.

Going back, the partnership of Microsoft Philippines technology solutions and Penbrothers co-working space just makes sense. One solution that Microsoft Philippines offers Penbrothers customers is Windows 10 Pro for Business, an upgrade from my Windows 10 Home or personal edition. Like today’s requirement of work from anywhere, anytime, the Pro for Business edition has the built-in security and flexibility to keep up with an entrepreneur or small business owner’s growth, protecting your files and business information from digital threats.

Microsoft Philippines is on the road to more partnerships with co-working spaces in the country, as more and more freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners choose to start up in these virtual office space than the traditional but expensive route.

To learn more about Microsoft Philippines Office 365 and Windows 10 Pro for Business, go to www.microsoft.com/en-ph.

To learn more about Penbrothers co-working spaces, visit www.penbrothers.com.

Source: Press event from Dominguez Marketing Communications

Photos from (1) penbrothers.com | (2) microsoft.com

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ACCEL is the No. 1 Filipino Sportswear Brand

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I was recently privileged to sit down with Paolo Ortiz who is the second generation of the families running and managing the top Filipino sportswear company in the country which is more popularly known for its primary sports brand – ACCEL (pronounced /əkˈsel/).  I met him at his main warehouse in Pasig City and together with three other journalists and bloggers, we all casually talked to Paolo to hear his thoughts and experiences regarding the company and brands they have given to the Filipino public since its inception in 2002.

Hey! I remember owning a pair of ACCEL rubber shoes. Back then, probably around 2005, I always thought Accel was an international brand. “Well, what didn’t I know then?” So, I should shout, “Proudly Filipino!”

There are presently 342 outlets nationwide of Sporteum Philippines, Inc., the company that manufactures, markets and sells the ACCEL line of sportswear, most of which are concession-oriented and outright stores, while around 10 are company-owned specialty boutique shops. By research, I also found out Lazada is also selling the ACCEL brand though I do not know if it is a direct sale from Sporteum. But no franchising for now.

The sportswear brand ACCEL is more known for its rubber shoes (Yep! That’s old school terminology, kiddos!), particularly in the area of Philippine basketball since Sporteum has been a licensee of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for quite some time – jerseys, caps, sports sandals and bags.

Besides sports shoes, Accel also has sports sandals, shorts, indoor shoes, basketball shoes, caps and other accessories as its more marketable brand categories. You have past and present ACCEL endorsers like Asi Taulava, Manny Pacquiao before he became famous, including the likes of Bearwin “DaBear” Meily (Filipino actor), Rey Saludar (boxing), Dennis Orcollo (billiard), Engelberto Rivera (bowling), Onyok Velasco (boxing), Treat Conrad Huey and Ceil Mamiit (tennis), La Salle Green Archers (2007 83rd UAAP), Gilas Pilipinas, Maico Buncio (superbike), Gary David (basketball), Natasha Alquiros (women’s football), and Diego Dalisay (tennis).

As prominent is ACCEL to men’s sports, the sportswear company is now aggressively marketing its women’s line for the past two years, starting with women’s sport shoes and following it with women’s sports apparel – footwear, sports sandals, apparel, leggings, sports bra and more.

While interviewing Paolo Ortiz, I learned that he actually finished with a degree in Landscape Architecture and ventured out on his own before joining the family business two years ago. Sporteum was founded by three families, namely the Ortiz, Laroza and Go families, with Willie Ortiz more known with the ACCEL brand. Prior to setting up Sporteum, these three sportswear industry stalwarts actually came from another well-known sportswear company, Rubber World, which as I recall was the first distributor of Adidas in the country. This only means these founders have been in sportswear industry for decades.

ACCEL has only one market – the Filipino market. They are competing head-on with internationally known brands like Addidas and Nike but are priced well below these expensive sportswear products so that the average Filipino can afford ACCEL – with equal quality and durability to the international brands. A local brand, World Balance, may well be its direct local competitor but ACCEL outpaces it in variety, availability and affordability. This is because ever since they started, Sporteum’s goal was to be the No. 1 Filipino sports brand. Today, I believe that to be very true.

A new addition to the ACCEL brand is not a sub-brand but rather a new technology, which they call Quantum Plus (or Quantum+ as it is popularly labeled). This is a patented technology inside select ACCEL sportswear products that provides a healthy balance of ionized charge. Something similar to magnets and infrared (IR) in wearables like bracelets and necklaces, Quantum Plus balances out the negative charges for us urban dwellers; rural folks have a balanced diet of these charged ions. From sport shoes to apparel, Quantum Plus is (still) in its promotional stage despite being launched sometime early 2014. Wearing something with Quantum Plus is like placing nature’s energy in your shoes to boost your stamina, whether it involves casual sports or extreme ones. If you go to one of ACCEL’s outlets, the Quantum Plus products are visibly labeled with a large, prominent tag. Of course, there are no scientific or medical claims for endurance and strength but global research will tell you a balance of charged ions can provide a healthy balance for the body. In fact, one of the interviewers attested giving her extra endurance on her regular jogs when she started using ACCEL with Quantum Plus.

The prevailing market of ACCEL products have always been the Gen X (generation), seeing that the company began as the official licensee of PBA in its early days. But Sporteum is slowly developing products for the Millennial market, especially the women’s segment. Besides conducting surveys for new and upcoming designs, they also rely on feedback from their endorsers and other athletes.

September next month is the anniversary of ACCEL. Paolo says they have promotions in store which he did not want to reveal – not just yet. Sporteum will continue to add Quantum Plus in more of their products and continue to support Filipino sports with the likes of PBA, UAAP, NCAA, Shakey’s V-League, PBA D-League, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Sportswriters Association, PBA Press Corps and the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps.

For more information, visit www.accelsports.com or follow them at Facebook and Instagram.

Source of text from an interview with Paolo Ortiz, Operations Director of Sporteum Philippines, Inc.

Photos by @raffypekson

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

August 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm

Posted in Business & The Economy, News & Articles, Small Business & Entrepreneuring, Sports

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The Perfect Pint Brewpub Opens in Alabang

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The Perfect Pint brewpub just recently opened another of its gastronomic and gastropub-o-nomic (is there such a word?) The first one was a year ago at the 32nd Street of Bonifacio Global City (BGC); and the next? The Perfect Pint at Molito Lifestyle Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. My blogger-friends dared to trek the bustling super hi-way of the south to end up a little early than expected.

Original URL: https://miniphilippines.wordpress.com/2016/05/07/the-perfect-pint-brewpub-opens-in-alabang/

The Perfect Pint craft beers have been around my palate for more than a year. I’ve invited and brought a lot of friends and relatives to its place in BGC and would venture in tasting one type of craft beer after another. But The Perfect Pint gastropub offers more than just craft beer; it made sure the food was beyond contemporary. How? It partnered with one of the more famous chefs in the country: Chef Gene Gonzalez of the Café Ysabel fame (friends would smile when I quip my famous phrase – SentiSabado, anyone?) The Perfect Pint food pairing is exactly what it is – food paired by a famous chef for each kind of craft beer. If you’ve been to food and wine pairing, and not everyone goes for wine, then this is your place to be. Beer enthusiasts love The Perfect Pint because it serves a unique ensemble of food.

The Perfect Pint brewing process is where its Molito branch becomes different. High up the second floor encased in glass walls is where The Perfect Pint craft beer is made. Brothers Alec, Noel and Raymond Tempongko, owners of The Perfect Pint, proudly toured us guests around the second floor where The Perfect Pint fermentation rooms are located. Master brewer Alec Tempongko explained to us each step in each room until at last four perfectly brewed craft beer flavors were loaded into the familiar-looking beer-on-tap dispensers. But I heard from master brewer Alec that The Perfect Pint craft beer flavors were six, not just four: Thirsty Dog Wheat Beer, Hoppy Road IPA, Street Smart Pale Ale, Oakey Dokey Bourbon Barrel Porter, Black Mamba Stout and Holy Grail Double IPA. The latter was the best for me, someone who likes strong beer with that distinctive brewed taste. And just for that evening, they came up with The Perfect Pint Anniversary Pale Ale.

The Perfect Pint craft beers are exclusively distributed at The Perfect Pint branches. I’m already thinking that other bars, pubs and gastropubs will be asking to serve their homebrewed flavors very soon, like my neighborhood Bugsy’s Sports Bar and Grill. Yeah?

Now, you have The Perfect Pint BGC and The Perfect Pint Molito to choose from – central Metro Manila or the south.

Source: Press Release

Photos and images: The Perfect Pint | @raffypekson

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Globe, Facebook Partner to Support Developers, Startups

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Digital lifestyle leader Globe Telecom and social media behemoth Facebook are teaming up to support developers and startups in the Philippines through Internet.org, an initiative which is incidentally run by Facebook to provide internet connectivity to two-thirds of the world which is not yet connected.

To drive the partnership, Kickstart Ventures Inc. is hosting an event called “Raid The Fridge,” an everyone-is-an-equal startup community event with an atmosphere that builds bridges across startups and corporates, founders and investors, developers and business. Kickstart Ventures is a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Globe. For the 8:00PM speaker’s slot, Globe is bringing in Jackie Chang, Product Partnerships Manager for Internet.org at Facebook, who will be talking about the Internet.org initiative and how it can impact local startups and developers for a much-needed global exposure.

Globe Senior Advisor for Consumer Business Group Daniel Horan says, “Globe continues to share with Facebook a common pursuit of broadening the digital lifestyle to make it more mainstream. By opening Internet.org to developers and entrepreneurs, we see more opportunities for the local digital startup community to expand their reach, propagate social advocacies, and push entrepreneurial pursuits at the grassroots level.” Last May, Facebook announced the Internet.org platform aimed at supporting local developer communities.

Attendees to Raid The Fridge will have a chance to learn more about developing relevant content and services for Internet.org, happening on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 8:00pm at the Kickstart office in Makati City, Philippines.

Source: Press release from Globe Telecom.

Photos: 1 | 2

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More Foreign Banks Open in the Philippines

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The entry of more foreign bank opening to operate in the Philippine can only mean increased competition to the local banks. The latter will have to find more creative ways to keep their customers away from their foreign rivals. They could partner with these foreign imports, improve their service specific to the Filipino habits and lifestyles, or tap into the market which really doesn’t benefit from all these new foreign banks – the low income consumers and small businesses.

Recently, the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas or BSP (Philippine Central Bank) has allowed the entry of four new foreign banks into the country, on top of the 28 now operating. These four new foreign banks are:

  • Cathay United Bank
  • Industrial Bank of Korea
  • Shinhan Bank
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

The 28 foreign banks now operating in the Philippines are the following:

  1. ANZ Banking Group
  2. Bangkok Bank
  3. Bank of America
  4. Bank of China
  5. Bank of Singapore
  6. Barclays Bank
  7. BNP Paribas
  8. Citibank
  9. DBS Bank
  10. Deutsche Bank
  11. ING Bank
  12. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank
  13. J.P. Morgan International Finance
  14. Japan Bank For International Cooperation
  15. Korea Development Bank
  16. Korea Exchange Bank
  17. Mega International Commercial Bank
  18. Mizuho Bank
  19. Rothschild (Singapore)
  20. Standard Chartered Bank
  21. State Bank of India
  22. Taiwan Cooperative Bank
  23. The Bank of New York Mellon
  24. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
  25. The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank)
  26. The Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC)
  27. UBS
  28. Wells Fargo Bank

Source: GMA News Online | Wikipedia.org

Title photo from Wikipedia.org.

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Powerbank Plus Bluetooth Mic and Speaker

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What is PowerPlay2?

In today’s world, one way people are living better lives is to stay connected with each other on the go. We rely on our mobile devices to keep going as long as we do.

With PowerPlay2, you can have the convenience of carrying power to keep your devices going wherever you go. It’s the ultimate accessory for all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Listen Better Anywhere

A compact and light-weight design allows you to place your speaker wherever you want – up to 33 feet away from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Wirelessly stream your music library from you iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android smartphone or laptop loud and clear, without earphones.

With PowerPlay2, you have the convenience to carry the power that keeps your devices going wherever you go. The PowerPlay2 fits right in your pocket, purse, backpack, etc. Never have your favorite device run out of juice again, with a long-lasting backup battery that lets you carry the power everywhere you go. Now there’s no need to hunt for an electrical outlet to charge your devices. Take this with you when you travel or just to have as a backup.

Features & Benefits

  • Pump it up! Play Music wirelessly from your phone, tablet or computer
  • Talk it up! Take calls hands free anywhere
  • Charge it up! Charge your phone or tablet without an outlet

BUY NOW!

When you click the “BUY NOW” button below, you can pay using your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or Amex credit card, or pay “cash on delivery.”

Some things to remember before clicking “BUY NOW”:

  • On the first page, just SCROLL DOWN to select the products you want to buy. PowerPlay is the third product (on the right).
  • Click “ADD TO CART”.
  • Click “SHOPPING CART” link found at the top of the web page.
  • SCROLL DOWN and click CHECKOUT.
  • You can CHECKOUT as a GUEST, meaning you don’t have to register.

How to Get Fast Business ROI with PLDT Cyberya

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PLDT KaAsenso Cyberya is a coined term from two words: “Cyber,” involving cyberspace and the Internet, and “Barya,” a Filipino word meaning “coins” in literal translation. In reality, it’s a coin-operated machine that allows people to drop as little as one Peso to surf the Internet.

The Cyberya business is touted to be a high-profit, low-maintenance small business or minigosyo, helping provide extra income for small business owners or jumpstarting a small business into a bigger venture with multiple Cyberya machines. In partnership with Intel Philippines, the global leader that develops technologies, products, and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live, PC Express, one of the leading computer retailing shops in the Philippines that provides high-quality PC and electronic parts and accessories, and PLDT KaAsenso, PLDT HOME’s trusted enabler for minigosyos. Cyberya was launched in late 2012, it is now available nationwide.

A Cyberya package is an all-in-one surfing or gaming console comprised of PLDT’s wired broadband connectivity up to 2Mbps (minimum speed of 150 kbps at 80% reliability) and a complete personal computer (PC) set that the minigosyo owner can pay through their PLDT Bill with extended 24-month warranty (depending on parts) and after-sales service.

The more Cyberya units you get, the faster your return on investment (ROI) is. Revenue is always dependent on a good location where people will want to use the Cyberya unit, like a place where there is high foot-traffic. Make sure the location is not beside any existing Cyberya units. Remember, the longer the operating hours of your Cyberya unit is, the more customers it can service.

Here’s an illustrative way of making money with Cyberya:

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You can apply for the Cyberya Package in any accredited PLDT sales and service centers, or PLDT Home sales agents. You will need a valid ID (must be government-issued or company ID with SSS and TIN) and proof of business registration (Barangay Permit is allowed). Remember, this is a small business you are setting up and PLDT cannot allow you to purchase and lease a Cyberya package without proof of business registration. You will also need to fill-up a customer information sheet and a subscription certificate. For existing KaAsenso subscribers, all you need to present is your valid ID.

For more information, please visit the PLDT Home Cyberya website.

Images from PLDTHome.com.

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