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Democratizing Sustainable Innovation

The R.I.S.E. (Resiliency Innovation Sustainability and Entrepreneurship) Challenge aims to create a sustainable and scalable pipeline that democratizes innovation by accelerating startups from all levels of society and placing them in front of qualified startup investors.

R.I.S.E. is a collaboration between local government, the academe, and the investing community: the local government of Makati City headed by Mayor Abigail Binay, the University of Makati, and the Ronin Group.

The University of Makati will host a qualifying event (pitching competition) in April 2022. At its culmination,8 qualified startups will receive an equity-free grant by Makati City for sustaining their startup’s development.


The Ronin Group will invite the winners’ representatives to a 12-week entrepreneurship training program that will culminate in a pitch to legitimate investors by July 2022. 

About RISE

Philippine startups' promise

Asia’s top performers of 2021 were Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore. While the Philippines is aggressive in growth, it produced only 1 unicorn (a privately held startup company with a value of over $1 billion) in 2021.

According to the 2020 Philippine Startup Survey, 

“a growing number of domestic and foreign investors are showing interest in deploying capital to the country. The Philippines’ young population, rising middle class, higher smartphone penetration, and ongoing reforms are among the factors that help drive investors to the local startup ecosystem.”

The biggest challenges Philippine startups face are Capital Requirements


GSER's Top Emerging Startup Ecosystems

Metro Manila is one of the world's Top 100 Emerging Ecosystems on the strength of talent.

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RISE Sponsors

The People Behind R.I.S.E.

Mayor Abigail Binay

Atty. Mar-Len Abigail S. Binay
City Mayor of Makati

Makati has gained prominence in the international community, having been represented by Mayor Abby as First Vice President of CityNet, Regional Council Member of UCLG ASPAC, Executive Committee Member and former Vice President of WeGO, Chair of the Regional Executive Committee of ICLEI, City Ambassador for Asia of the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA), and, most recently, as Board Member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM).
Since she came on board, Makati for four straight years has obtained the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit for its financial statements, and has reclaimed its stature as the country’s richest local government unit (current total assets: US$4.87 billion).
Mayor Abby also made history when she entered into a groundbreaking joint venture agreement with a consortium of private companies for the construction of the Makati Subway, the first and most ambitious underground railway project undertaken by a local government unit in the Philippines.

Makati Mayor Abby Binay is now on her second term as chief executive of the nation’s financial center and premier investment hub, having been reelected in the May 2019 elections.
Prior to getting elected as Mayor of Makati, she had served three terms in Congress from 2007 to 2016 as Representative of the second district of Makati.
Her first term in office (July 2016 to June 2019) heralded institutional reforms and innovations geared to restore efficiency, responsiveness and compassion in the delivery of services. She prioritized the integration of modern technology into the systems and operations of the city government to promote transparency and enhance the city’s overall competitiveness, driven by her vision of Makati as a Smart City that is progressive, inclusive, and sustainable.
The mayor jumpstarted the city’s digital transformation through a series of public-private partnership (PPP)-led initiatives, including the Makatizen Card, Makatizen App, and Makati Public Wi-Fi System. These have been recognized by national and international bodies advocating sustainable, green and inclusive development.

Yani de Guzman

CEO, Co-Founder
Ronin Group of Companies

Our group is deeply involved in the startup industry. We are part of the screening committee of the Manila Angel Investors Inc. and we’ve participated in the startup efforts of the Department of Science and Technology, StartUp Village, Draper House, and universities such as the University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo de Manila University. We’re proud to have created the financial design of various startups: a travel and tourism startup focused on ecologically responsible diving catering to foreigners, a startup with an entertainment booking app for performers, a medical data analysis company initially designed to be a COVID-19 vigilance platform, a med-tech startup focused on making vaccination more accessible, a digital solutions startup developing cloud-based systems application, mobile application design and development, and recently, a startup with a gambling app.


RONIN’s collaboration with Makati City – the Tomas B. Lopez, Jr. Resiliency, Innovation, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship Certificated Program, or R.I.S.E. – is a trailblazing partnership of local government, academe, and private enterprise that should become the standard in programs for establishing a Philippine Silicon Valley.

Yani de Guzman, CEO / Co-Founder of the Ronin Group of Companies, on its advocacy: 

We created this group because the financial literacy landscape of the Philippines needs to improve. While Filipinos are inherently entrepreneurial, the lack of financial education often hinders the growth of their enterprises. Practical questions –-“What is the valuation of my business?”; “How much should I spend on marketing?”; “Should I buy more equipment, or hire more people?”, “How many sales do I need to make a profit?” – should have answers based on data. But most startups don’t track this data, and that often lowers their chances of enticing investors during pitching events.


This is where RONIN comes in. We create the necessary tools for entrepreneurs. 

Since our launch in 2018, the RONIN Group has conducted training programs for financial companies. We released our financial app which became one of the top paid financial apps in the Apple Playstore. We established "The Ronin Dojo Learning Management System” that provides an online training venue for financial practitioners.

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