MEET | Gian Javelona: 20-year-old Filipino CEO

Fame has found 20-year-old student Gian Javelona.

Javelona is the CEO of OrangeApps.
Just like how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg built Facemash, his pre-Facebook project, pulled photos from Harvard’s websites without seeking permission from the university, Javelona created and released his mobile app, PUP Mobile Portal, without notifying Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

The school authorities asked him to shut it down due to security issues.

He spent a month to fix the app and then relaunched it. The app became an instant hit among students within 3 days. 

Students can log in to their student accounts, read news, post announcements, and post to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Faculty can input student’s grades through the app, while alumni can use it to obtain their transcripts.

In January of 2013, Javelona applied and was accepted to the incubation program at Ideaspace Foundation.

Javelona found his experiences at Ideaspace life-changing. In fact, he recommends the incubation route for those who may not know much about building a startup, but have the wherewithal to see a particular idea come to life.
Building his OrangeApps team was the most difficult experience he ever had, he said.

“Who would join a 20-year old CEO with a very young company? Who would join a company where there is no assurance you will have a salary in the coming months? Who would join a company that you haven’t heard before?”
OrangeApps recently released a new product, Khawna.

The name “Khawna” is inspired by the Tagalog phrase ikaw na, which is said in jest to a person who has achieved something great.
Javelona described Khawna as “a learning platform where you could learn the skills that are needed in the industry. In doing so, it bridges the gap of industry learning and makes education available to everyone around the world.”
He has set before himself a lofty vision: To modernize the education system in the Philippines. Through his endeavors, he wants to inspire and encourage Filipino programmers to create new ideas.

“When I was a kid, I’ve always admired Steve Jobs. When I was in high school, I told myself that one day I am going to build my own company, a Filipino version of Apple and will name it Orange Apps. Here I am now living that dream.”

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