Raid The Fridge: Startups and MBAs

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:30 - 23:00

Kickstart Investment/Workspace

55 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, Philippines


"Startups and MBAs: Do They Mix Well?"

Join us next week for our September Raid The Fridge and listen to Mikko Perez and Oliver Segovia share their thoughts on the topic and answer questions like these:

(1) Is having an MBA actually useful for a startup? Does it help when one wants to become an entrepreneur? Or should it be the reverse: become an entrepreneur, then earn an MBA?
(2) If one is already in a startup, will studying for an MBA give you an edge? If yes, which areas or roles?
(3) How does one put into practice one’s MBA degree when you become an entrepreneur / startup founder / startup employee? Are there trade-offs in having an MBA vs not?
(4) Should startup founders hire MBAs?
(5) What are the most essential business skills founders should have? How can founders with no business experience gain these skills

Our speakers earned their MBAs from the Harvard Business School and work as startup founders today -- Mikko with his fintech startup Ayannah, Oliver with his e-commerce startup

Again, September 29th, 6:30pm: we're re-stocking the fridge, come over and help us empty it! And say hello to Mikko and Oliver, swap updates with your old friends, and make new friends.

And thank you to the folks at Harvard Business School Club of the Philippines for partnering with us this month.

The Kickstart Team


Mikko Perez is Founder and CEO of Ayannah, a leading provider of digital commerce and payment services for online and mobile communities, especially the unbanked. Prior to leading Ayannah, he was Director of Finance & Business Development at Chikka and helped steer Chikka to profitability. He also spearheaded Chikka's expansion into China, Japan and the US prior to its acquisition by PLDT (NYSE: PHI).

Prior to this, he was an investment manager at Next Century Partners where he managed private equity on behalf of Soros Fund Management, LLC and several institutional investors. He was also an investment banker at JP Morgan Chase (Hambrecht & Quist) in San Francisco where he advised technology, media and telecom ventures.

Mikko serves on the board of several companies and foundations. Having begun his career as a community organizer and adult educator helping strengthen social enterprises in the Philippines, he remains actively involved in initiatives that encourage social entrepreneurship and sustainable development in emerging markets.

Mikko has a BSc in Management (with Honors) and a BA in Development Studies (with Honors & Award for Excellence) from the Ateneo de Manila University and a MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Oliver is the founder and CEO of AVA Online Group. He has more than 10 years experience building and launching products in Southeast Asia. His story starting a tech company in an emerging market is a case study at Harvard Business School and Stanford GSB. He's part of the first generation of modern Filipino entrepreneurs to raise venture funding in 2012. Oliver's also a Director at the Segovia Group, a 40-year real estate business for whom he co-founded M Suites, a budget hotel (, back in 2011.

Writing is also a passion - Oliver has published articles in the Harvard Business Review and co-authored the book "Passion & Purpose". The Financial Times reviewed it as "wholly infectious", and an "upbeat, enjoyable read—as well as a useful one.” Oliver hosts entrepreneurship workshops on the side via, and speaks at conferences about startups and innovation.

Oliver used to live in Singapore where he worked for P&G in a ridiculously fun tour-of-duty launching new products across Southeast Asia. In a regional marketing strategy role, he spent possibly the most interesting year of his life: selling Whisper feminine care pads to Asian consumers. Oliver has a BSc in Management Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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Kickstart Ventures

Kickstart Ventures

Kickstart Ventures is a Corporate Venture Capital firm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, the Philippines’ leading mobile operator. Kickstart invests in early- to early-growth stage te...

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