Startup accelerator IdeaSpace and early-stage venture investment firm QBO Innovation Hub announced on Wednesday, Feb. 7, that veteran technopreneur Jay Fajardo will be taking the helm as the new executive director for both companies.
Fajardo, who has founded several tech startups over the years, including Airborne Access, the country’s first WiFi hotspot operator, and LaunchGarage, a tech startup accelerator, will be taking on the role of outgoing executive director Katrina Rausa Chan.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to step in as a leader in the startup ecosystem, bringing with me new energy and goals. I believe that 2024 will see the Philippines as a regional startup success story, being home to a talented workforce, digital-savvy market, and a mature startup community,” said Fajardo.
Rene “Butch” Meily, president of IdeaSpace and QBO, expressed his confidence in Fajardo as a champion of grassroots innovation.
“I welcome Jay to the company and acknowledge him and his achievements that shaped the Philippine startup ecosystem. We are delighted to have him steer the ship forward, and we’re excited to witness what he will be bringing to the table,” said Meily.
Leaving her post of close to a decade, Chan passes on the torch as she pursues other endeavors.
“I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved during my time at IdeaSpace and QBO Innovation Hub. This spans the creation of QBO itself, our programs such as the PH Startup Week, IdeaSpace Accelerator, and Startup Pinay — all of which garnered multiple awards. Most importantly, I’m proudest of the growing number of startups we have supported, and the inspiring founders behind them who are now poised to be future Filipino UNIQORNS,” said Chan.
Chan was instrumental in launching QBO Innovation Hub in 2016. And in 2021, she successfully implemented the merger of IdeaSpace and QBO, transforming the two organizations into one startup industry powerhouse.
“I want to express my gratitude to Kat. With her hard work and leadership, we have made IdeaSpace and QBO stars in the local startup universe,” said Meily.
Over the last five years, IdeaSpace and QBO invested in over 25 startups, pouring in the equivalent of P300 million in resources to support the ecosystem.
The organization has incubated over 250 startup companies, supported more than 700 ventures, won 15 awards, and is conducting 100+ programs annually for the benefit of QMMUNITY startups.