Kickstart Ventures joins London Tech Week; showcases strategic corporate innovation pillar

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Kickstart Ventures, Inc., part of a select Philippine delegation, made an appearance at the globally-celebrated London Tech Week where it highlighted the power of strategic corporate innovation and collaboration in helping create solutions to large and complex problems.

President and CEO Minette Navarrete shared crucial insights during the Global Leaders Innovation Summit’s discussion, “Cracking the Innovation Code – Remaining Resolute on Investment,” held at the Queen Elizabeth Centre II in Westminster, London on June 12, 2023.

The panel was moderated by Russ Shaw, Founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates. In the panel were other prominent investors and innovators, Jim Adler from Toyota Ventures and Hadi Badri from Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism who shared their insights on how they have pushed innovation in mobility, property management, and other spaces.

The panel explored ways to foster corporate resolve to continue to invest in innovation amidst an unpredictable economic environment, pressure from shareholders, and mounting competition from disruptive technologies like generative Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“We’ve found it helps to focus on our customers and communities, who face deeply rooted challenges. Our investments at Kickstart are part of a wider pursuit of the Globe and Ayala Groups to create solutions that will chip away at these persistent societal pains. By leveraging Globe and Ayala’s enterprise scale and combining these with startups’ agility, we invest in solutions for the problems of today and tomorrow. This is certainly a time to double down,” Navarrete said.

Adversity, she pointed out, is an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

“A third of all the food produced in the world is wasted, and yet in the Philippines, 12-15% of our population faces involuntary hunger every single day,” she noted.

Navarrete used food security as an example to show Kickstart’s strategy of investing in solutions for the future, such as companies like SariSuki in the Philippines, to bring consumers closer to the farmers who grow fresh food, or TreeDots in Singapore, which streamlines food logistics and combats food waste.

Navarrete also stressed the power of collaboration between corporations and startups to ensure mutual success. Testament to this is Kickstart’s portfolio company, Pickup Coffee. The young grab-and-go coffee brand had always demonstrated exponential growth; and Kickstart’s early investment brought it into the powerfully supportive ecosystems of Globe and Ayala. Today, Pickup Coffee has nearly 100 branches within its first year since launch.

“We make investments where we see emerging opportunities that will create value. Our investments in Xendit, a Southeast Asian payment gateway now working with BPI and Globe Telecom, and Treedots, a Singapore-based wholesale distributor of surplus and imperfect food supplies now working with some of Southeast Asia’s biggest food suppliers, are proof of technology, products, and services deploying new business models, meeting new customers, and creating new use cases,” she said.

Her advice to leaders keen on investing in the current climate was clear: “Start small. Consider pilots, proof of concepts, and then scale fast – together.”

“London Tech Week 2023 is a remarkable platform for discussions that matter – resilience in the face of prices, remaining resolute in the face of challenges, looking at sustainability for companies, and keeping the human at the center of technology and innovation. These are things that are important for corporates and startups, for investors, for founders,” Navarrete concluded.

In addition to Navarrete’s panel contribution, Kickstart’s VP of Investments, Mike Maté, participated in the “Pitch Up” event, an elevator pitching session held at the iconic London Eye.

Kickstart’s participation at the London Tech Week is a testament to its commitment to nurturing innovation and fruitful collaboration and undertaking thoughtful investments as it navigates the rapidly evolving technology landscape.

To learn more about Kickstart Ventures, visit