Cebu Business Incubator in IT, or CeBuinIT for short, is a technology business incubator (TBI) project of UP Cebu College and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). It has the following tagline: Technology innovation starts here.
CeBuinIT aims to create an environment where members of different sectors (i.e., academe, government, industry) and from disciplines such as science, business analysis or engineering can cooperate to develop technological innovations that can be deployed to solve real problems. The TBI provides office space as well as services to nurture technology-based startups and give them the knowledge and skills to succeed.
Ultimately, the vision of CeBuinIT is to be the most successful interdisciplinary incubation facility in the Philippines as it helps technology enterprises be sustainable and successfully commercializes technology innovations. CeBuinIT’s networks are the UP-Ayala TBI, AIM, UP – Ayala Land TechnoHub, Brain Gain Network, and Plug and Play Tech Center.
The DOST – UP Cebu TBI held its graduation ceremony for the pre-incubation program second batch and the kickoff for the third batch on June 29, 2012, at 9 a.m. to 12 noon, UP Cebu audiovisual room 1. Dr. Virginia G. Novenario-Enriquez, the chief of the Research Information and Technology Transfer Division (RITTD) of the DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), together with her team, was present to witness the event.
Jeffrey Montecillos, marketing specialist for CeBuinIT, said that the invitations to attend or cover the event are in line with the belief that together, we can help the TBI startups grow and gain exposure with the public as these startups commercialize their products and services. Attendees registered online at http://pre-incubation.eventbrite.com/ to confirm their participation in the event. Snacks were served to the event’s attendees.
During the graduation, CeBuinIT program director Jerry Salvador asserted that ideas for the pre-incubation program can come from anyone, not just from people with IT or computer backgrounds. Although technology indeed plays a part in acceptance of startups for the program, Salvador believes in great potential from people who don’t necessarily make a living from information technology. They just need a good grasp of an existing problem so that they can come up with an effective way of solving it, through the use of technology.
For example, Wait Know More was the winner of Startup Weekend Cebu (SWC) in May 2012, and it began as an idea from a nurse who thought of a new way to address the problems of the queuing system at many public places. At the CeBuinIT event on June 29, startup companies also pitched ideas as part of the kickoff for the third batch. Entrepreneurs made presentations about ideas for online directories, Web sites for inexpensive goods and an online health-care information system.
The startups enrolled in the TBI program are provided with CeBuinIT office space and facilities at much lower rates than those in the market. To serve more companies, CeBuinIT opened a virtual locator, a related program for new companies but without the benefit of office space, now that the TBI is at its full capacity.
Companies in the virtual locator can work from other locations but will get the other benefits they provide, such as training to aid them in further development of their business. Training helps the people with bright ideas to succeed as entrepreneurs, since many of those with such promising ideas might otherwise be hampered by a lack of business skills.
When a startup completes the pre-incubation program, it can opt to remain with CeBuinIT for three more years and continue developing its business. After the three years, the businesses in the program are expected to have grown enough that they can support themselves independently from the TBI.
Some companies in the TBI that only started recently managed to get outside support from other business entities who value their ideas. Codetoki, which placed third in SWC, received support from a company that offered to host Codetoki’s site free of charge. This startup created an application that assists IT students in landing a job, by challenging them to write the codes that companies need.
If you think you could use some assistance from CeBuinIT for a startup that you have in mind, the office of DOST – UP Cebu TBI is located at the third floor of the Arts and Science Building, UP Cebu College, Gorordo Ave., Lahug, Cebu City. You may send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the office at telephone/fax number (032)232-4995. You can also learn more about the program at its Web site, http://www.cebuinit.org/ or connect on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/CeBuinIT-DOST-UP-Cebu-Technology-Business-Incubator/175287349235448