Gamechanger – Jon Edward Santillan
Jon Edward Santillan made a splash in the region’s startup circuit when his company Denarii Cash won first place at the Dubai Startup Hub’s Smartpreneur Competition 4.0. Established in 2017, and backed by FinTech investors from the US, UAE and KSA Denarii Cash is rising fast as the new mobile platform that makes money transfer cheaper and faster with no hidden charges – aiming to become a household among Filipinos and migrant workers.
Before plunging into his startup venture, Jon led Digital Marketing at Abu Dhabi Media for two years, handling The National Newspaper, Al Ittihad Newspaper, and Abu Dhabi TV and Radio. He also spearheaded Product Development and Digital Marketing at Etihad Airways for almost seven years and co-founded Afterschool.ae, a 2-sided marketplace for parents looking to book activities for their kids and for SMEs to generate online revenue.
On his philosophy in business, Jon says, “My motivation since day one has always been the pay-it-forward culture. There is no secret sauce to become a successful businessman but I believe in general that as a start-up founder, you should take risks, go out there and execute,” he says. “If you spend too much time thinking, talking, planning, you might end up doing nothing. The best thing to do is to get on with it and deal with challenges as they come.”