As fighting has escalated, , people have been displaced from Marawi. At least 45 civilians have been killed and thousands of others are in urgent need of food, health care, shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene. Eight of those networks mobilized in response to emergencies in the last year. The networks aim to foster better coordination, improved preparedness, and more effective, efficient crisis response by leveraging private-sector businesses—which account for 90 percent of jobs in the world and play vital roles in communities.

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How are you doing today? Butch: Thanks Paolo. Paolo: How are you liking the digs on the breach? Butch: Well, this is my first… Paolo: Your first..

Butch: So, I am loving it! A lot of drinking… Which I enjoy, I am looking forward to happy hour. Paolo: Yeah, happy hour! Butch: and I mean I just love it! I hope we can get bigger every year, will try and help.

Paolo: Awesome. So is it your first time in Bohol or have you been here frequently? Before for vacation but the last time I was here was before the 7. Butch: Which was made out of one of the major groups in the country. So, even though they compete with each other, commercially, they are brought together. They are seen as a role model for other parts of the country.

We are rebuilding a school in Laon, Bohol in the islands. I have been there then I was actually there right after Yolanda hit. Paolo: Oh! Butch: After that I visited Tacloban in the early days.

Paolo: So before we actually go and talk about QBQ Innovation Hub, we want to know actually how you started and why you ended here in the start-up industry. Butch: Well I spend a lot of time in the United States. I was born here but I left to go abroad and study.

We used M. Luis, married to a Filipina. In the end, we kind of fell short, with a few things. At least I got an experience that way. After a time, I got an offer. More than twenty plus years overseas, I had to come home because of him. Paolo: Oh. Butch: I became his special assistant and first vice president.

Right after the Ondoy floods, I think I remember that…. Paolo: Yes. Butch: Manila was kind of devastated. They just knew that it was going to rain without knowing the intensity. A lot of people died in their cars, they got trapped.

A lot of places got flooded and we were asked by the president at that time, President Arroyo, to set up a private sector department partnership. Paolo: Entering the… Butch: Oh! And then Ondoy from there, that was the long segway. We had decided to set-up, it had been a dream for many years to restart a renovation hub. Paolo: Yeah. Butch: Finally, just a few weeks ago, we were able to put it together and I have that now. Primarily from IdeaSpace but our direction is a little bit different now.

But what we need is to jumpstart these start-ups from this early stage to the seed captial and scene play. So we need to intervene at that stage. Butch: Because we need some success stories. Paolo: Yes, I understand. Butch: We need Filipinos to not grow up thinking of going abroad… Paolo: Yes.

If we just get a few success stories like Alibaba or even a different scale. They have a smaller board, for SME board. I think they need 15 Million pesos, cumulative earnings within 3 years. So, you can lose money on 2 years but on the third, you can earn money. As long as 15 Million over 3 years. Australia has a small exchange, before the requirements were really loose. Exchange might be best for us, like in India. To not let them migrate abroad and so board was to give them a chance to exit, and to keep them in India.

To keep jobs in India. If we can broaden this for start-ups.. But do you think if we have some exciting companies, with some earnings and some track record, that you can bring to the market, even more young people would come in the market and want to invest. The other exit, is selling out to one of the larger, local companies or foreign companies. We need some success stories so that we can showcase what Filipino companies can do and what Filipino entrepreneurs can do. Butch: Yeah. In terms of your program and creation of QBQ Hub, what type of start-ups are you looking for right now?

So, a little bit larger. The other set is the larger start-ups which might be ready for an IPO or a sale exit. Either people are local or foreign and if we can get our companies together, we can do anything to help them. So, if we can work together for disasters maybe we could work together and help start-up communities in the Philippines. Paolo: Exactly. Now, the other thing that we are looking at is raising a core of senior executives.

They want nothing more but to help mentor these start-ups. Butch: There might be a stage where the start-up might need a change in the management team before they go public. So that they can be ready to be there in public, to have a good story as well. We just need to broaden the minds of people here and open them up. If that means taking them abroad or shows, so that they can meet these guys from overseas or coming over here to do QBQ lectures.

We will do that but as I said before, our goal is to have successes and we have got to do that within the 2 year time frame if possible. Bringing them back here.

Butch: Yes. So, in that sense though, how would you plan to actually attract. Butch: I came back. Paolo: Yes, you came back. Butch: Well, I think men would want to go to the Philippines too. Butch: Given the opportunity and the if the rewards are great. The people are nicer. I think you can have a great lifestyle here in the Philippines. Paolo: Yes…! You can live by the beach and have a great company. Butch: Yeah! Happy hour! Butch: I think the happy hours are pretty long here too.

Butch: or they want to live here and get a resort, this sort of thing. We have so much here! So much beauty. Butch: and the thing about the Filipinos, we are good.



Breaking the status vutch. In its first year, CBi supported private sector-led networks in 13 locations: Inwhen the Ondoy typhoon disaster hit, most areas in the Philippines were left devastated. PDRF may also help the government privatize some essential city services such as water and electricity. The networks aim to foster better coordination, improved preparedness, and more effective, efficient crisis response by leveraging private-sector businesses—which account for 90 percent of jobs in the world and play vital roles in communities. This kind of mentality could potentially take away great opportunities from Filipinos. He started QBO, the innovation hub he has been wanting to create. Buttch you for contributing an mei,y.


Interview with Butch Meily


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