Filipino Bill Gates: Invest now in Pinoy talents

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Jun 14 2011 01:03 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2011 02:40 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Silicon Valley Filipino hero Diosdado “Dado” Banatao said investors should start tapping Filipino engineers and technology experts and start promoting their technology locally.

In an interview with ANC, the serial entrepreneur and engineer said it’s just “a matter of time” before the local business sector can grow, bolstered by technology that is locally-made.

“If we continue the way we do things, time would be forever. We have to change how we do things…how we put knowledge into the brains of talented students,” he said. “We should attack [the hang-ups]…that ‘it’s hard to do, we don’t know how to compete, etc.’”

He said there is a big break for Filipino talents especially in the telecommunications, energy and transport sectors.

While there is much government support, he noted that investors do not have the right attitude, business-wise.

“Timid is a kind word. They’re afraid of those risks because it is technology and it’s hard to truly understand the implications,” he said.

This is precisely why the quality of ideas is “not there right now.” He said it’s a combination of “too few engineers, too few entrepreneurs, too few risk-taking investors.”

While businesses understand being part of the global market, they tend to invest more in foreign technologies. “It’s much better if we start here because we already know the nuances of our culture,” he stressed.

He said local technology can tap foreign markets “but it’s a lot harder…Imagine yourself out against companies with Silicon Valley status, it’s not easy. I will say, focus on the local market…it’s a lot easier than going out.”

Born to a rice farmer and housekeeper, Banatao rose to fame for putting Ethernet controller on a single chip instead of big boards. According to, his discovery led to more entrepreneurial resources in technology.

A company that he put up developed the first system logic chip, which would later lower the cost of building personal computers.