Collaborating for Change, Inclusivity for Impact: SparQ Entrepreneurs Share Journeys in Asia Society Conversations

1 <p class="rtejustify">In <strong>Asia Society Conversations: From Ideas to Impact, with SparQ</strong>, a group of leading Filipino entrepreneurs and consultants gathered to share their stories. Despite coming from vastly different fields of expertise, the four women who founded SparQ came together for a unified purpose: to enrich the Filipino entrepreneur.</p> <p class="rtejustify">The Conversation, a monthly networking event organized around themes that encompass relevant issues of today, was held on July 19, 2017 in co-working space Acceler8. <strong>Mikko Barranda</strong>, one of the co-founders of <strong>Acceler8</strong>, welcomed the guests and introduced the space. &ldquo;Through co-working spaces such as Acceler8, we help people create real connections,&rdquo; said Barranda. Asia Society Philippines&rsquo; Executive Director, <strong>Suyin Liu Lee</strong>, opened the conversation by explaining Asia Society&rsquo;s role in providing platforms that help individuals with common goals to connect with each other. &ldquo;This is what our Asia Society Conversations are also meant to foster,&rdquo; she remarked.</p> <p class="rtejustify">The SparQ team kicked off the conversation by sharing their personal journeys. The speakers were: <strong>Danella Yaptinchay</strong>, Founder and CEO of Full Suite, a back-end services firm assisting start-ups; <strong>Dara Roa</strong>, Founder and CEO of Collab Contessa, a public relations agency; <strong>Sonja Ocampo</strong>, Founder of Cupcakes by Sonja, which recently celebrated its 10th year;<strong> Tracy Oliva</strong>, COO of Maria Health, an online health services platform. They were brought together by the common desire to enrich and empower Filipino entrepreneurs, organizing trips to the most innovative cities in the world and immersing the entrepreneurs in inspiring, disruptive environments.</p> <p class="rtejustify">Last June, the SparQ team made their first trip happen&mdash;together with seven Filipino entrepreneurs, they headed to Silicon Valley together to visit leading companies such as Google, Airbnb, and Pinterest, alongside universities and organizations that play key roles in the start-up and venture capital scene globally. &ldquo;Think bigger, keep connecting, be more global,&rdquo; said <strong>Marco Lobregat</strong>, a senior marketer and strategist who participated in the Silicon Valley trip. &ldquo;Shake things up, turn plans into reality. These were my key learnings from the trip.&rdquo; <strong>Michelle Barretto</strong>, who founded brand strategy firm Vitamin B, also shared her takeaways from the trip: &ldquo;the companies we observed in Silicon Valley are always able to solve issues. This is part of their magic. We can apply these learnings here.&rdquo;</p> <p class="rtejustify">Later that evening, guests mingled with each other, sharing their own plans and career journeys over beer provided by San Miguel Brewery.</p> <hr /> <p class="rtejustify">Asia Society Conversations is Asia Society&#39;s revamped networking/mixer event. Held in partnership with Acceler8 Coworking, the series is made for people to get together, share a drink (or two!), and exchange ideas on timely social issues. Come for a drink, stay for the conversation!</p> <p class="rtejustify">&nbsp;</p> <p class="rtejustify">Text by Jeewon Lee</p> <p class="rtejustify">Photos by Issabella Ver</p>