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Seven Filipinos listed on Forbes' '30 Under 30 Asia' 2023

Seven individuals from the Philippines made it to Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Asia” List this year, which features young entrepreneurs, leaders, and trailblazers from the Asia-Pacific region including K-pop girl bands Le Sserafim and NewJeans, and Thai actor Metawin Opas-iamkajorn.

The listees were chosen from 4,000 candidates who were evaluated by the Forbes Asia Team and a panel of independent and expert judges on a variety of factors including social impact, scale, inventiveness, and potential.

The list includes 30 honorees each in 10 categories: The Arts; Entertainment and Sports; Finance and Venture Capital; Media, Marketing, and Advertising; Retail and Commerce; Enterprise Technology; Industry, Manufacturing, and Energy; Healthcare and Science; Social Impact; and Consumer Technology.

Below are the honorees from the Philippines and their write-ups:

Expedock co-founders Rui Aguilan, King Alandy Dy, Jeff Tan, Jig Young

“With a family background in cross-border shipping, Stanford graduate King, and his partners, cofounded Expedock to automate the international freight industry. The startup uses AI to read paperwork and invoices, before categorizing and visualizing P&L insights for supply chain businesses. In August 2022 investors, including Insight Partners, WIN, Motion Ventures and Decent Capital, pumped $17.5 million into the company's Series A funding round. Expedock says large corporations such as Michigan-headquartered logistics company Ascent, France's CEVA Logistics and Jusda (a spinoff from Taiwan's Foxconn) use its services.”

Shipmates co-founder David Marquez

“Marquez cofounded Manila-based delivery platform Shipmates in August 2020, when the pandemic increased demand for e-commerce and accompanying courier services. The startup, which aims to usher in 'next-generation' shipping technology and infrastructure for the Philippines, was selected for Y Combinator's 2022 summer cohort. It raised $2.2 million in a seed round, with participation from Wavemaker Partners. Before Shipmates, Marquez cofounded t-shirt printing startup and supply chain and storage startup Xpanse.”

Toqa co-founder Isabel Sicat

“While completing a dual degree at Brown University-Rhode Island School of Design and interning at New York fashion houses such as Alexander Wang, Sicat felt there was a lack of fashion for island lifestyles. Made to order and shipped worldwide from the Philippines, Toqa turns deadstock fabrics into sustainable high fashion, including sheer slip dresses, high-cut metallic swimwear and vibrant island prints. Toqa's Midnight Smoothie collection was part of the 2022 Hawaii Triennial exhibition and has been featured in Vogue Philippines and L'Officiel. Beauty queen Angelique Manto and model Siobhan Moylan are fans.”

Lista co-founder Aaron Villegas

“Villegas is the CEO of Lista, a finance tracker app that helps individuals and small businesses in the Philippines manage their finances. The app lets users plan spending, track finances and set payment or debt reminders. Founded in 2021, the company claims to have over 1.6 million downloads. Lista has raised $5.8 million from investors, including the $5.1 million in June 2022 led by OpenSpace Ventures with participation from East Ventures, Saison Capital and 1982 Ventures.”

According to Forbes’ Rana Wehbe Watson, the latest list features individuals who have thrived amid global economic uncertainty and a significant drop in venture capital funding, on the back of their creativity during such time.

“From deploying AI to streamline tasks across industries to tackling financial literacy and inclusion and revamping craftmanship-based and adaption fashion, there is no stopping our listees,” Watson said.

“These outstanding young individuals are driven by their determination and desire for positive change,” she added.

India had the highest number of honorees across the region with 75, followed by China with 34, Japan with 33, Singapore with 30, and South Korea with 28.

This year’s judges include HCL Technologies Chairperson and Shiv Nadar Foundation Trustee Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Sinovation Ventures Chairman and CEO Kai-Fu Lee, INCE Capital Founding Partner JP Gan, Infosys and Axilor Ventures Cofounder S.D. Shibulal, RB Capital Founder and CEO Kishin RK, Lan Kwai Fong Group Founder and Chairman Allan Zeman, Caldecott Music Group Founder and CEO Kuok Meng Ru, Qiming Venture Partners Managing Partner Nisa Leung, among others. —KBK, GMA Integrated News