CebuinIT sets programs for technopreneurship

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Thursday, December 19, 2013


AS IT celebrates its fourth year in mentoring and assisting local startups, a technology business incubator in Cebu is looking forward for a strengthened local technopreneurship scene for 2014.

Pauline C. Wade, project leader of the Cebu Business Incubator for Information Technology or CebuinIT based in the University of the Philippines Cebu in Lahug, said there will be major programs and activities that will be launched for both technopreneurs and students.

This includes the future institutionalization of the Tech Transfer and Business Development Office (TTBDO) in UP Cebu, which she said is the first TTBDO office separate from that of UP Diliman.

The TTBDO office in Cebu, according to Wade, will provide entrepreneurs a holistic support to their businesses in terms of innovation and business development.

“This means the whole ecosystem is supported from idea generation, idea development, business plan development, to prototyping and all the way to commercialization,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

Intellectual rights

Wade said the establishment of the office will also help technopreneurs protect their assets by ensuring them that their intellectual rights are being protected.

However, the establishment of the office has to be approved first by the university’s board of regents before it becomes final. UP president Alfredo Pascual already approved the institutionalization of TTBDO.

Jeffrey Montecillos, UP CebuinIt marketing specialist, said there will also be contests among students. One of them is the Ideya Challenge, which was already launched this year and participated in by UP Cebu students. The contest is similar to
that of Startup Weekend where participants pitch their business ideas.

Montecillos said the contest might be made open to students from other schools in the future.

He said there is also a plan to put up an Innovation Lounge inside the UP Cebu campus where students, teachers and industry players can regularly meet up and discuss technology-related matters.

Incubators network

Wade said there is need to strengthen the Technology Business Incubator network in the Philippines in order to put up more TBIs in the future.

She said the provincial government of Negros Occidental already approached the CebuinIT team to help the province start an IT business incubator.

With the establishment of CebuinIT and the series of programs and activities, Wade encouraged students to view them as opportunities to leverage their learning.

“Students can capitalize on the opportunities. They can immerse themselves in an environment where they can see a real application of what they have learned in the classroom... and the best people to learn from are technopreneurs who apply tech in real time,” she said.

Locators

Wade said that in the Philippines, there are only two TBIs specializing in IT that were funded by DOST, one is in UP Diliman and the other is CebuinIT.

Since CebuinIt’s inception in December 15, 2009, it has already trained over 80 students. Some of them were already absorbed by IT companies while others became absorbed by locators with whom they spent their internship.

Currently, CebuinIt has 23 locators and is a self-sustaining organization since last year.

The Department of Science and Technology poured in a total of P8.5 million for CebuinIt. Private organizations and individuals have also extended their expertise to CebuinIt’s incubators.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 20, 2013.

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