ICT incubation centers pushed in Davao schools

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Thursday, July 3, 2014


ICT Davao is pushing for the establishment of incubation centers in major universities in Davao City by 2016 in a bid to help foster the development of information technology (IT) projects or ideas of students and young developers.

ICT-Davao president Samuel Matunog, in an e-mail, said the plan to set up campus-based incubation facilities for startups started this year, as a consequence of the ICT Industry Mapping exercise.

He said the incubation facilities will help address the "issue of sustainability."

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"We have observed that while we have been running a number of 'ideation' activities, participating teams find it very difficult to find resources to fund the team/s while developing their ideas/projects," Matunog said.

"We hope that by starting early, and while the teams are still in campus, with the support of their parents and the school, they can already refine their concepts, develop a prototype, and gain initial clients who are using the projects," Matunog said.

He said students will directly benefit from the facilities. He said while the students are working on their projects they are already starting their own businesses and at the same time completing their school requirements.

During the Davao Business Forum on Tuesday, Matunog announced that Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU0, University of Immaculate Concepcion (UIC), University of Mindanao (UM), University of the Philippines-Mindanao (UP-Min), and University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) have signified their intentions to establish their own incubation centers.

Matunog pointed out that the incubation centers for each school will vary.

For example, the incubation facility in UM will be a physical center made up of co-working spaces, providing various services to students. UIC has a similar concept with UM but with a bias for projects on the creative side. AdDU, on the other hand, will have a set of services that are embedded in the technopreneurship course of the college and only when a critical mass of startups exists will they offer a physical center for incubation.

As for ICT Davao, Matunog said they will be the ones who will conduct training of incubation managers; training of faculty mentors; training for protecting intellectual property; networking and linkages, and marketing and promotion via Livelihood Exchange (Livex), among others.

During the Davao Business Forum, he said the development of IT projects or ideas is that strong yet here in Davao City thus the need to establish incubation centers like these that will foster and develop the ideas of young developers.

"We are advocating all approaches that will enable students to build IT companies that are world class," Matunog said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 04, 2014.

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