THE startup community in the Davao Region is abuzz as the Davao Startup Week celebration is launched anew this year on September 11 to 17, 2023, emphasizing innovation and digital transformation for inclusion and sustainability.

This is the second run of the grand startup event in the Davao Region organized by the Innovation and Development Accelerators Consortium for Startups in Davao Region (Ideas Davao), the consortium of startup enablers in the region, a project funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

The Davao Startup Week was created to unite entrepreneurs, investors, students, and changemakers in the City of Davao. It aims to create a collaborative community to provide access to multiple opportunities and support to startup endeavors in the Davao Region through a series of events and activities. This is an excellent opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs passionate about their businesses.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Empowering communities, nurturing inclusive and sustainable digital transformation”, emphasizing the role of startups, entrepreneurs, and technology in achieving and ensuring a sustainable future.

Ideas Davao regional startup ecosystem lead Candice Kirsten Lleses said there is already a surge in technological advancement in our country, particularly in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, blockchain, and big data. It should be maximized to uplift the socio-economic situation of the people in the region through startups and impact ventures.

“We believe that with our startups and enterprises harnessing these technologies, our development and economic growth will also speed up or at least catch up with other cities and nations. Aside from that, sustainability and inclusivity must be a prime consideration,” she said. 

Richard Day, Davao Startup Week 2023 convenor and Upgrade Innolab Inc. president, said the startup ecosystem in the Davao Region continued to expand with new players coming in on top of the partners and sponsors who took part in last year’s Startup Week celebration.

“There are still a lot of things to work on for the startup community in the Davao Region, and with new players coming in and offering their help, we are optimistic that startups here will thrive and hopefully bring progress in the region,“ he said.

“We will continue to scour for partners who share our vision and make all these possible,” he added.

Last year, IDEAS Davao held 32 events and engaged more than 1,000 startups and enterprises in the Davao Region through various regional activities that helped them network and find funding opportunities. On top of that, we also partnered with various local, national, and international organisations and sponsors, such as Google for Startups and the Embassy of Israel to the Philippines.

“We at IDEAS Davao are extremely grateful to DOST-PCIEERD for allowing and enabling us to do these startup activation activities in the Davao Region. Without them, we will not be able to live up to the ideals set by the consortium, which is to achieve a stronger, inclusive, and conducive startup ecosystem,” said

UP Mindanao assistant professor and IDEAS Davao project lead Miguel Carlo Guillermo.

IDEAS Davao is a project established in 202 under the Regional Startup Enablers for Ecosystem Development (ReSEED) Program, an initiative of the DOST-PCIEERD that aims to strengthen the startup ecosystem in the regions by establishing and formalising a Regional Startup Ecosystem Consortium, developing a regional startup development plan, engaging with more mentors to upskill startups, and partnering with the regional development council. PR