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DOST targets to strengthen country’s startup ecosystem

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - May 5, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry (DOST-PCIEERD) commits to strengthen the startup ecosystem in the Philippines by continuously recognizing the top-performing Technology Business Incubators (TBIs).

Recently, the DOST-PCIEERD and QBO Innovation Hub hosted the PH Startup Incubator Awards to recognize and reward top-performing TBIs that have demonstrated outstanding capabilities and produced impactful programs and startups during the TBI 4.0 Program. The awarding ceremony was held via Zoom and Facebook Live on April 23, 2021.

The TBI 4.0 program, funded by the DOST-PCIEERD and led by QBO Innovation Hub, aims to develop world-class TBIs and incubator managers and increase the number of quality tech startups in the Philippines.

The program, which was initiated in 2019, also elevated the capacity and services of the 12 DOST-supported TBIs from all over the country, many of which were affiliated with local universities.

These 12 TBIs and their partner universities consist of: Asian Institute of Management – AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator; Batangas State University - Center for Technopreneurship & Innovation; Caraga State University - Navigatu; De La Salle University - Animo Labs ; Mindanao State University Iligan Institute of Technology - iDEYA ; Palawan State University - Palawan International TBI ; QBO Innovation Hub ; University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines - CDO B.I.T.E.S ; University of the Philippines Cebu - Cebu inIT ; University of the Philippines Diliman - UPSCALE Innovation Hub ; University of the Philippines Los Baños - Sibol Labs; and Western Visayas State University - Green TBI.

The TBI 4.0 program encompassed four main strategies, namely: Co-incubation, Internationalization, Co-development of Programs, and Leveling Up. All these strategies are meant to further equip incubators with capabilities to develop Filipino tech startups.

DOST and QBO Innovation Hub introduced the PH Startup Incubator Awards to recognize and showcase the country’s TBIs and their accomplishments throughout the TBI 4.0 program, as they continue to support startup businesses through their high-quality innovative training and service offerings.

"As the local business landscape continues to become more digital, startups along with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) must prioritize digitization to make processes easier for their own operations and their customers,” shared Russel M. Pili, DOST Chief of Research Information and Technology Transfer Division, adding that with this initiative “we hope to inspire more businesses to make that shift as we recognize and honor the TBIs that are at the forefront of innovation."

Additionally, the TBI 4.0 Program and the PH Startup Incubator Awards hopes to recognize the importance of startups in the Philippines.

“The country is on the right path towards innovation aimed at uplifting the lives of millions of Filipinos,” added Pili.

The event also marks the two-year celebration and culmination of the TBI 4.0 Program and the journey of the 12 TBIs which have participated.

The list of categories and winners are:

Best Incubator Infrastructure - Center for Technopreneurship and Innovation (CTI) - Batangas State University; Best Incubator Community Program - SIBOL Labs - University of the Philippines-Los Baños; Best Incubator Startup Program - AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator - Asian Institute of Management; Best Incubator Governance & Operations - UPSCALE Innovation Hub - University of the Philippines-Diliman; Best Incubator Growth & Sustainability - Animo Labs - De La Salle University; Extra Mile Incubator - Animo Labs - De La Salle University; Rising Star Incubator - iDEYA- MSU Iligan Institute of Technology; People's Choice for Best Incubator Team - iDEYA - MSU Iligan Institute of Technology; Grand Champion - UPSCALE Innovation Hub - University of the Philippines-Diliman.

 “During a time when it can sometimes be hard to find hope and inspiration, the first-ever Philippine Startup Incubator Awards gives us that and more,” said QBO Innovation Hub and IdeaSpace President Rene “Butch” Meily.

“The TBI 4.0 program has upgraded the entire Philippine startup ecosystem through your incubators. Our hope is that the program will help spread entrepreneurship all over the country,” Meily added.

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