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Pinoy Pride: 12 Filipinos make it to this year’s Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list

By ICON Executive Asia
Published June 07, 2022

Twelve Filipinos have made it to five of 10 categories in the prestigious "Forbes 30 Under 30" in Asia in 2022.

For its seventh edition this year, Forbes named 10 Filipino startup founders and two others under the social impact category as it recognized 300 out of the over 4,000 nominees who managed to inspire change and drive innovation in the Asia Pacific region across different categories despite the numerous challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"From innovative ways of delivering e-commerce and online learning services to venturing into the Web3 space—their forward-thinking vision shows determination and optimism. They are redefining the future of business and society in Asia," Rana Wehbe Watson, a Special Projects Director at Forbes Asia, wrote as she introduced the Forbes Under 30 Asia Class Of 2022.

Here are all the Filipinos in this year's Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list. 

Jeth Lorenz Ang, Renz Carlo Chong and Nicolo Alfonso Odulip

Co-founders, BreederDao

Category: Consumer Technology

Chong, Ang and Odulio are the founders of BreederDao, an early-stage blockchain startup specializing in breeding and crafting NFT characters and game items used in play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity, Sipher, Cyball, and Crabada. The startup charges players or game guilds to create the desired traits for the playable NFT to allow players to have a better chance at winning.

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.

Justin Banusing, Kevin Hoang, and Ariane Lim

Co-founders, AcadArena 

Category: Consumer Technology

Founded in 2019 by Justin Banusing, Kevin Hoang and Ariane Lim, AcadArena is a Philippine esports startup dominating the collegiate esports space by helping student gamers in Southeast Asia compete in international esports tournaments.

In December last year, AcadArena raised $3.5 million in a seed funding participated by over 50 investors from prominent businesses worldwide, including 1KX, Hashed, Iterative Capital, Infinity Ventures Crypto, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Rotten Tomatoes co-founder Patrick Lee, and Crunchyroll co-founder Kun Gao.

Earvin Ang and Jesse Manalansan

Co-founders, Aqwire

Category: Finance and venture capital

Manalansan and Ang co-founded Aqwire, an international property and fintech platform that helps real estate developers in the Philippines access foreign investors, including millions of Filipinos working overseas. The company lists Ayala Land, Megaworld, and Vista Land among its clients.

In November 2020, it raised $2.1 million in a Series A round led by Singapore-based VC firm Spiral Ventures.

Kevin Zhang

Founder, Inteluck

Category: Industry, manufacturing and energy

Zhang founded the tech-driven logistics startup Inteluck eight years ago, and today, the local logistics firm is quickly making a name for itself across Southeast Asia with its daring expansion. Maximizing logistics efficiency by leveraging technology and data and creating value for both customers and vendors, Inteluck provides data-driven end-to-end logistics services and supports a variety of logistics platform services, including domestic FTL (full truckload) transportation, warehouse management, freight forwarding, cross border transportation and other bespoke supply chain services. 

Since its successful expansion into Thailand, the company now aims to enter Vietnam and Indonesia next year following its $15-million Series B funding round in January.

Victor Lim

Co-founder, Kraver's Canteen, Philippines

Category: Retail and Ecommerce

Described as an e-commerce authority, Victor Lim is one of the great minds behind Kraver's Canteen, a multi-brand cloud kitchen network that started in 2020. Built on a network of kitchens across metro hubs, Kraver's currently operates 11 cloud kitchens in Luzon and has partnered with big labels in the F&B industry such as Shakey's Pizza, Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen alongside private-label restaurants.

The startup recently raised $3 million in a Series A led by Quest Ventures Asia Fund II, following a seed round of $1.4 million in April 2021.

Billie Dumaliang

Co-founder, Masungi Georeserve

Category: Social Impact

Environmental activist Billie Dumaliang co-founded Masungi Georeserve, a geotourism project that spans 2,700 hectares of degraded watershed areas in Rizal, Philippines. The conservation park was awarded the 2021 Water Changemakers Award and a special commendation in the 2018 UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Dumaliang launched Masungi in 2015 with her older sister Ann, and more than 68,000 trees have been planted so far, funded by sustainable tourism in the park.

“This goes out to our entire team and rangers, who are holding the line at Masungi,” Dumaliang said in a statement according to Masungi Reserve. “It shows that our work and innovative  approaches continue to be recognized and supported by the international community,” she added.

Shawntel Nicole Martinez Nieto

Executive Director, One Cainta Food Program

Category: Social Impact

Martinez Nieto helped launch One Cainta Food Program, which says has provided over 1.1 million food hampers to about 400,000 people in Luzon left struggling during the Philippines' extended pandemic lockdown. She also co-founded the Society of Sustainability Practitioners also in Cainta to promote and support sustainability in the Philippines. Aside from this, Martinez Nieto hosts “SustainaRumble,” a podcast that tackles sustainable development in the country.

Indeed a champion of outreach programs and social action, Martinez Nieto received the Diana Award in 2021, an award given to young individuals creating a positive change in their lives and the lives of others around them, and was one of 25 Dalai Lama Fellows named in 2018.

For the full list, you may access it on Forbes' website.