According to a speech given by Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, entrepreneurs need to have three things when setting up a startup: a great idea, a market to sell the idea, and money.

But key to all three of those factors is your startup’s location. A startup’s business location is crucial simply because you want to make sure that your startup will thrive.

We have listed down the cities in Metro Manila that are prime locations in setting up a business. Here are the rankings below in ascending order by using the following criteria, all of which are integral to the success of a startup:

1. People

Top Three: Quezon City, Manila and Makati

Although much of the hiring process is done online, startup founders will most likely want to hire job seeking graduates or college students who are exceptional in their fields of work, such as in programming and game animation. A good tip for entrepreneurs is to hire experienced people who have worked in the area. They provide an honest assessment of your business decisions, they have more access to talented, potential team members, and there is no relocation risk. Moreover, experienced people perform better as the company starts to scale.

2. Internet Access

Top Three: Taguig, Quezon City, Manila

An entrepreneur who wishes to set up a startup in Manila ideally needs at least 3 – 4 mb Internet speed. In the Philippines, PLDT, Bayan Telecommunications and Sky Broadband provides majority of the Internet services to businesses. Fiber optic plans by PLDT, which starts at P3,500 ($80) for 8mb of speed, puts the ISP as the most preferred option by both small and medium-sized businesses and big companies. However, the Internet plan is only available in certain areas in Taguig, Makati, Quezon City, Pasig, San Juan, Muntinlupa, and Paranaque.

NetIndex’s database revealed that ISPs only fulfill 87% of the promised speed on average, meaning that companies who require high-speed Internet might need to pay more to make up for the bandwidth. Moreover, there are also installation charges to take into account, as ISPs in Metro Manila hire independent contractors to set up connection for a fee not higher than P3,000 ($68).

3. Funding Access

Top Three: Makati, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Taguig

IdeaSpace founder Earl Valencia said in a Sunstar report that financial support for startups has been improving in the Philippines in the past few months.

The startup ecosystem has largely been supported by a couple of investment firms and a small network of angel investors and venture capitalists. IdeaSpace has supported notable startups like Blulemons Gaming and Fliptrip. Kickstart Ventures, on the other hand, has Kalibrr and Peekawoo in its portfolio. A surge of foreign interest led by 500 Startups has taken interest in the country as well.

A popular way to meet potential investors is to go to meetups, which are usually held in Makati, Bonifacio Global City, Mandaluyong, and Pasig.

4. Local network

Top Three: Makati, Taguig, Quezon City

Dennis Mendiola (Chikka), Jay Fajardo (Airborne Access), Winston Damarillo (Morphlabs), RJ David (Sulit), and Dado Banatao (Ikanos) have been seen as the startup community’s local heroes for providing much-needed guidance to engineers and entrepreneurs. Moreover, meetups like StartupWeekend, Founders Drinks, and Lean StartUp Circle provide an avenue for entrepreneurs to network or seek other people’s help in realizing their goals.

5. Local Government Unit (LGU) Support

Top Three: Taguig, Makati, Pasay

The best city to start a new business is one that does not require much red tape or money to set up shop. According to data compiled by The World Bank and by the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines (NCCP), Makati and Taguig are seen as the most conducive cities in Metro Manila to set up a business. The amount of procedures, time and money spent on business registration, tax incentives offered, and security had made the cities very attractive locations for startups.

6. Electricity Supply

Top Three: Taguig, Makati, Mandaluyong

The possible power crisis next year might have discouraged entrepreneurs who wish to do business in the Philippines. However, according to a Philstar news, the response of over 20 companies in running their own generators for their electricity supply had somewhat reduced the risk of several cities in Metro Manila to get power interruptions. Moreover, the majority of the newer buildings, especially in Bonifacio Global City, are equipped with their own backup generators to assure that their tenants will not encounter a pause in their operations.

7. Rental rates

Top Three: Parañaque, Pasig/Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa

We have rated the cities on the average rental price per square meter for a commercial or office space. An interesting find in a report by the CBRE Group revealed that the rates of office spaces in Bonifacio Global City and Quezon City were influenced by the low vacancy rate in the cities.

Entrepreneurs should not be afraid of spending more on rent when choosing a home for their business. Choose a location that offers easy access to your resources.

8. Infrastructure

Top Three: Taguig, Makati, Quezon City

The NCCP, who runs the Philippine ranking site, describes infrastructure as “the physical building blocks (i.e. roads, banks, public transport) that connect, expand, and sustain a locality and its surroundings to enable the provision of goods and services.”

Bonifacio Global City has certainly changed our view or urban planning, putting Taguig as the place that houses some of the best condominiums to grow a family and the most safest city in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

9. Quality of Life

Top Three: Makati, Taguig, Parañaque

According to Moneysense and data from, ranking highly-urbanized cities like Taguig and Makati as the best places to live in Metro Manila could cause some reaction. However, the standard of living in these cities ensures its locals a minimum level of quality when it comes to basic services, job opportunities, safety, environment, and health care. For a foreign entrepreneur in Los Angeles who wish to set up a startup in the country for example, you can get double the standard for every dollar.

Which city do you think is best location to create a startup? Let us know what you think by commenting below.

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