FORBES Magazine has released its list of 300 young entrepreneurs and leaders under 30 years old from Asia Pacific, including a handful of Filipinos, as it said the pandemic has not stopped these people from trying new ideas, and in some cases starting their own business at the height of lockdowns and massive fears of the Covid-19 infection.
Over 4,000 nominees applied to be on this year’s list of Forbes’ “30 under 30 Asia” (https://www.forbes.com/30-under-30/2022/asia/), which the magazine said was a record number for the Asia list.
“The final 300 were selected and vetted by our reporters and a group of respected judges, including some of the most active venture capitalists and successful business leaders in the region,” it said.
India had the most number of entries at 61, followed by Singapore with 34, Japan with 33, Australia with 32, Indonesia with 30 and China with 28.
Among the Filipinos on the list are Justin Banusing, 22; Kevin Hoang, 29; and Ariane Lim, 28. They founded AcadArena, a local e-sports startup that helps student gamers in Southeast Asia to compete in international esports tournaments.
Founded in 2019, AcadArena has partnered with more than 600 schools, covering some 100,000 students, to create and support gaming clubs and communities. In December last year, AcadArena raised $3.5 million in seed funding.
Also on the list were Jeth Lorenz Ang, 27; Renz Carlo Chong, 26; and Nicolo Alfonso Odulio, 28.
They co-founded BreederDAO, a startup specializing in breeding and crafting NFT characters and game items to be used play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity, Sipher, Cyball and Crabada.
“The startup charges players or game guilds to create the desired traits for the playable NFT to win the game. In January, just two months after its launch, the Philippines-based startup raised $10 million in series A funding through a token sale co-led by Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z and Delphi Digital,” the magazine said.
In the field of retail and e-commerce, the magazine cited Victor Lim, 28, a co-founder of Kraver’s Canteen, a multi-brand cloud kitchen network.
Built on a network of kitchens across metro hubs, Kraver’s serves popular brands like Foodee Group and Pizza Hut alongside private-label restaurants.
The startup raised $3 million in a Series A led by Quest Ventures, following a seed round of P73 million.
In July, Kraver’s partnered with Grab Philippines to set up GrabKitchen for restaurants without physical locations, and in March launched Kra-Verse, a meta delivery and dining experience.
On social impact, Forbes cited Billie Dumaliang, 29, who co-founded Masungi Georeserve, a geotourism project of more than 2,700 hectares in Rizal Province.
The conservation park was awarded the 2021 Water Changemakers Award and a special commendation in the 2018 UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
Born in Quezon City, Dumaliang studied management at Ateneo de Manila University and launched Masungi in 2015 with her older sister Ann.
More than 68,000 trees have been planted so far, funded by sustainable tourism in the park.
In the region, Singapore has managed to attract entrepreneurs from across the region to set up their businesses in the city state as the pandemic forced other international hubs in the region to shut down.
“Indonesia, however, is arguably Southeast Asia’s hotbed for startups. According to the Google, Temasek and Bain, e-Conomy SEA 2021 report published in November, $4.7 billion of VC (venture capital) money went into Indonesian startups in the first half of 2021,” it said.