The Incubators and Investors and Startups’ Forum was held last December 7, 2012, at the Golden Prince Hotel. This is in line with the project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Technology Resource Center entitled “Strengthening DOST’s Technology Business Incubation (TBI) Initiative.”
Sponsored by the DOST and the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), the series was organized and implemented by the Technology Resource Center (TRC), together with the DOST-PEZA Open TBI, UP-Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship, UP-CebuInIT, UP Los Baños ICT & Agricultural Technopark, and UP-Ayala Technohub.
The forum basically has five objectives:
- To learn about technopreneurship and understand the role of innovation and business incubation in creating successful start-ups.
- To professionalize and level up incubator operations by establishing best practice/s and benchmark our incubators accordingly.
- To help gain an inside look at how early stage investors think and make decisions, and their experiences in successfully partnering with smart startups.
- To hear how some of the early birds funded their business.
- To serve as a platform for learning, networking and vetting deal flows.
The event was well attended by DOST-assisted TBIs, public and private business incubators, researchers, innovators, students, and other TBI stakeholders/supporters. The event also allowed the people from business, financing and investing communities, the academe, and IT industries to mingle with each other and expand their networks.
To commence the productive day, UP Cebu Associate Dean for Administration Atty. Francis Michael Abad welcomed all the guests. PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara talked about the current status of PCIEERD and its plans for Philippine TBIs. Dr. Elvira Zamora, UP Vice President for Development, discussed the role of TBIs in UP and vice versa.
Plug and Play Tech Center Co-founder Jojo Flores explained the investment
opportunities of start-ups in the country. Nature’s Legacy President Pete Delantar shared his experiences when he was starting out and talked about industry start-up demands. To end the morning, there was a small open forum between the media and speakers and other noted people in the industry, while the participants took their lunch.
Highlighted during the table talk with the media was the need for increased private sector involvement and the benefits of having more TBIs in Cebu. Investing, funding and mentoring start-ups can be your own way of giving back to your community, not discounting your ability to access idea mines and gain generous returns of investment. DOST’s Dr. Virginia Novenario-Enrique also relates how development across the country can be promoted by forming collaborative partnerships with TBI investors.
The afternoon started with a talk about Best Practices in IdeaSpace by Earl Martin Valencia, Smart Communications head for Corporate Development and Innovation. It was followed by testimonials from Tripsiders Founder Rachel Jaro, who talked about her start-up experiences, and Exist Software Labs President Jerry Rapes, who talked about the challenges and opportunities one will encounter during start-ups.
Salvador Villasis, the Executive Director of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce Inc., discussed the business venture technology roadmap. Pauline Wade, the Project Leader of UP CebuInIt, followed with a sharing on her TBI experience. For about an hour, the participants threw in their start-up pitches and the experts critiqued them. Officially capping the event was TRC Director General Dennis Cunanan’s closing remarks.
DOST, by virtue of Executive Order no. 128, is the department mandated to “provide central direction, leadership and coordination of scientific and technological efforts and ensure that the results therefrom are geared and utilized in areas of maximum economic and social benefits for the people.”
The DOST-UPD Enterprises is a specialized business incubator focusing on open technologies and targeting the ICT-based and ICT-related sector. Established in 2009, it provides resident incubates of leasable space with both tangible and non-tangible services that include legal assistance, technical, marketing and management consultancy, coaching/mentoring, and others. Also, it offers virtual services to non-residents.
The DOST-UPD Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship, which was officially inaugurated in 2011, is a pre-incubation facility extending their help to those who have promising technological ideas. These ideas can be turned to a scalable business through the six-month Enterprise Business Incubation Program.
The DOST-UP CebuInIT, located at UP Cebu, is a venue where members of the different sectors and disciplines work together to develop technological innovations that aim to solve real problems. It is a place that nurture and supervise technology-based start-ups.
The Ayala Technology Business Incubator (Ayala TBI Network) has led the way in the strong engagement of the private sector in technology business incubation in the country. Since its inception in 2000, it has created two incubating facilities namely the UP-Ayala TBI Science and Technology Park (South) and UP-Ayalaland Technohub (North).
With 2012 being the banner year for techno-entrepreneurship, the recently concluded forum for technopreneurs from Visayas and Mindanao was just the first part of a three-day series. The second and third days for participants from Metro Manila and Luzon will be held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus and UP-Ayala Technohub on January 10 and January 11, respectively.