DOST prepares competitions to generate PH startup ideas-A A +A
Saturday, October 5, 2013
THE Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), in coordination with private stakeholders in the ICT sector, will hold a series of national road show competitions to attract more startups to come out and make their ideas known to potential fund sources.
DOST-ICTO Deputy Executive Director Monchito Ibrahim said this initiative is one way to keep the startup momentum going in the country, which has been producing positive results for nearly two years.
He admitted though, that while various startup activities are happening around the country, particularly in key cities like Manila, Cebu and Davao, the startup community still lacks good ideas or concepts that can be considered viable by venture capitalists (VCs).
“We have good startups today. But is there someone who deserves to receive a funding of $200 million? I think we need to step up in this regard,” said Christina Laskowski, president of the Science and Technology Advisory Council-Silicon Valley.
Ibrahim said the road show competition aims to bring out the best ideas in the Filipino startup community. This will also allow them to link with the potential VCs. The planned national startup road show competition expects to draw 500 participants.
Some VCs from Silicon Valley were in the Philippines last week for the two-day Geeks On A Beach (GOAB) tech and startup conference in Boracay Island, Aklan. The conference was supposed to come with an industry roadmap but stakeholders agreed to strengthen first the promotion of techno-preneurship and to produce more startup individuals here.
Ibrahim said the agency has a lot of initiatives to help startups propagate in the country. In fact, he noted, they have redirected some of their initiatives to ICT-based projects. Ibrahim said that together with Board of Investments, their agency brought in some Filipino startups to join the series of sales mission abroad. Most of these startups are in health care innovation.
The Philippines produces an estimated 30 to 40 startups per year.
Ibrahim said they will continue to strengthen their partnership with the various universities in the country to keep producing a good number of startups. He said that if they were to work on a project in partnership with 50 universities, each producing 100 startup ideas, they can come up with 5,000 ideas, of which 500 can be drawn out as “investible” ones at the seed-angle level.
Paul Santos of Wavemaker Labs said that Filipino startups should create future-proof points to “fuel the fire” for the investors to come in.
“You’ve got to have something to offer or something in there that would spark the interest of investors to invest in you,” said Laskowski.
“Creating more successful startup stories here is a big help. Stakeholders should focus on promising startups,” said Eric Su founder of PicLyf/Lifebit.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 06, 2013.