AI powers Davao’s start-up scene

Photo credit to IDEAS Davao
Photo credit to IDEAS Davao

FINANCIAL technology and education technology, mostly driven by artificial intelligence (AI), are currently top drivers of start-up businesses in Davao City, a Davao-based start-up business official said.

Upgrade Innolab Inc. president Richard Day said there is a foreseeable growth in e-commerce and artificial intelligence in financial technology and education technology niches.

Start-ups are businesses which usually offer innovative business models, development, or products to their target customers. 

“We have startups like women [involving] in AI, and also seeing an increase of education technologies… like we have learning management systems (LMS), customizing educational systems for universities and other academic institutions, and many more,” Day said during a press conference in SM Lanang, September 12.

Day also said artificial intelligence had been utilized by most business startups in the city especially in innovations in financing, labor, and education - citing that there are business proposals and solutions proposed during the AI Pinas Research and Development (R&D) Conference and Workshop 2023 last March 15 held in Acacia Hotel, Davao City.

It can be recalled that the workshop covered innovations in machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, computer vision, and deep learning applied to health, education, mobility, the environment, disaster risk reduction (DRR), industries, and smart and sustainable cities and communities, among others.

Day noted that such innovations are helpful in boosting and sustaining startups in the country. To sustain them, he said startups must not just focus on what the trends are, but they must be keen in expanding their market and innovating their business models to generate profit.

Davao City climbed by eight spots in the 2023 international rankings of the global ecosystem index of StartupBlink, a lobal startup map and research center. From 959th last year, the city is now placed 951st globally.

Davao City maintains its fifth spot in national startup ecosystem ranking this year, however it was down by one spot in Southeast Asia to 22nd in 2023 from 21st in 2022.

The city also has 12 startups in StartUpBlink’s database, this is four percent of the Philippines’s total startups.

Meanwhile, Innovation and Development Accelerators Consortium for Startups in Davao Region (Ideas Davao) regional startup ecosystem lead Candice Kirsten Lleses also mentioned a relevant surge in technological advancements in the country, particularly in emerging technologies such as AI, cloud computing, blockchain, and big data.

She also said that startups must harness these potentials to “uplift the socio-economic situation of the people in the region”. 

Ideas Davao, in a statement, said Davao City startups were here in the city since 2012. They also identified Davao City and Davao Region as a whole as “one of the hotspots of startups”. ICE

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