Capitol to help boost startups

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Sunday, August 3, 2014


SEEING the potential of tech startups to contribute to the growth and advancement of Cebu, the Cebu Provincial Government has expressed interest to support them through the Cebu Business Incubator in Information Technology (CeBuinIT) of the University of the Philippines Cebu.

Cebu Provincial Administrator Mark C. Tolentino said the Capitol acknowledges the potential of startups to make Cebu known internationally through technology. It has the potential to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit of people, especially the youth, in the province, he said.

“We will try to see how we can help our startups,” Tolentino said. He acknowledged that the province does not have existing programs for local startups yet.

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He said it was CebuinIT that approached Capitol to join the province’s 445th founding anniversary, a move that they immediately welcomed.

Exhibit

CebuinIT has a business incubation exhibit inside the Capitol building. It is highlighting the products of its incubatees.

UP Cebu Dean Liza Corro, in a separate interview, said Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III has responded positively to the idea of cultivating a startup culture in the province.

Corro said, however, that this should not be limited to the information and communication technology (ICT) sector but also across industries like manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.

“If they (small players) will be incubated properly, they will be the catalyst for the growth of Cebu and the country’s SMEs,” she said.

Corro said Davide welcomed the idea and UP will discuss with the governor soon to
pursue the idea.

The dean assured Capitol that in terms of trainings and mentorship, UP Cebu can provide the needed resources. She said they have a pool of professors, businessmen, and industry players they can tap. For CebuinIT, some professors who teach computer science in UP also mentored the startups incubated in the facility.

Corro welcomed the possibility of financial support to CebuinIT but added that the more important thing to consider this time is to also support small players in other industries, and if possible, make it a province-wide initiative.

Different industries

“Cebu accommodates different industries, from tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, and IT….we want to grow these sectors together and not just focus on one,” she said.

If this will be realized, Cebu will be the first province in the country to establish an incubator across different sectors, Corro said.

Since it was founded by the Department of Science and Technology four years ago, CebuinIT has already incubated more than 50 startups.

It entered into partnership with the provincial government of Negros Occidental for the expansion of CebuinIT in Bacolod in exchange for mentorship and trainings to selected people from Negros in running the first Negros Cyber Center.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 04, 2014.

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