This year’s Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 List might be the best yet for Filipino innovators and entrepreneurs. Twelve Filipinos made this year’s list, with 10 honorees hailing from the Philippine startup ecosystem. Meanwhile, two were honored for their work in social impact, and this year, a Filipino was tapped to judge on the Industry, Manufacturing, and Energy panel—Maria Grace Uy, the co-founder and president of Converge ICT Solutions.
Despite the hardships brought about by extended lockdown, Filipinos have found opportunities in every challenge.
Here are all the Filipinos honored in this year’s Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list:
Filipino Startup Founders
Jeth Lorenz Ang, Renz Carlo Chong, and Nicolo Alfonso Odulio of BreederDao
The three founders of BreederDao, an early-stage blockchain startup, were honored under the Consumer Technology category for their innovations in creating NFTs for play-to-earn (P2E) games like the Filipino-favorite game Axie Infinity. BreederDao is one of the few Filipino startups exploring the Web 3.0 space, and they recently scored a $10 million Series A round via a token sale led by Andreessen Horowitz and Delphi Digital.
Justin Banusing, Kevin Hoang, and Ariane Lim of AcadArena
Featured under the Consumer Technology category, AcadArena’s three founders have become leaders in the collegiate esports space. Gaming has always been big in the Philippines, but AcadArena went a step further to professionalize collegiate gaming by preparing student gamers for the big leagues. The startup develops the skills of budding professional gamers, assisting them in everything from competitions to streaming. After closing a seed round in 2021, AcadArena counts a co-founder of Twitch as one of its investors.
Kevin Zhang of Inteluck
Philippine logistics startup Inteluck is quickly making a name for itself in Southeast Asia. Led by founder Kevin Zhang, this data-driven startup provides everything from warehouse management, cross border transportation, and other bespoke supply chain services. Coinciding with Southeast Asia’s e-commerce boom during the pandemic, Inteluck has managed to expand to Thailand and plans to enter Vietnam and Indonesia next year. Inteluck closed a $15 million Series B round in January.
Victor Lim of Kraver's Canteen
Kraver’s Canteen’s co-founder and e-commerce specialist Victor Lim was honored under Forbes Asia’s retail and e-commerce category. Founded in 2020, the cloud kitchen startup operates 11 cloud kitchens in Luzon and plans to expand to Visayas and Mindanao. Aside from housing its own unique brands, the startup has partnered with big labels in the F&B industry such as Shakey’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, and more. The startup closed a $1.4 million Series A deal in May and launched its metaverse food hall and self-heating delivery technology.
Earvin Ang and Jesse Manalansan of Aqwire
The founders of real estate startup Aqwire were honored under the finance and venture capital category of the Forbes list. Founded by Ang and Manalansan, Aqwire connects local real estate developers to foreign investors and global banking payment facilities. Based in California, the startup allows OFWs, Filipinos abroad, and foreign buyers to pay for their properties in the Philippines.
Social Impact Advocates
Billie Dumaliang of Masungi Georeserve
Environmental warrior Billie Dumaliang was honored under the social impact category this year for Masungi Georeserve’s defense of the Philippines’ biodiversity in Rizal. Environmental activism is a dangerous business in the Philippines, but Billie, her sister Ann, and their team at the reserve have defended Masungi from land grabbing attempts. Masungi Georeserve is a sanctuary for endemic plants and animals and protects the disappearing wildlife of Luzon.
Shawntel Nicole Martinez Nieto of One Cainta Food Program
The executive director of the One Cainta Food Program was also honored under the social impact category. Nieto is the executive director of the program, which has fed over 400,000 who left struggling during the Philippines’ extended pandemic lockdown. A champion of outreach programs and social action, she is also the co-founder of the Society of Sustainability Practitioners in the Philippines.
*This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.
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