The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) officially onboarded 26 startups to two recently-launched programs that are co-implemented by the said institutions.
After screening more than 60 applications from startups across the country, DTI and PhilDev announced last Feb. 15 20 early-stage programs that are moving forward to the Incubation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Assistance (IDEA) program and six growth-stage programs that will proceed in the Accelerating Development, Valuation, and Corporate Entrepreneurship (ADVanCE) program.
Launched last January, the IDEA and ADVanCE programs aim to provide customized support to tech startups in the Philippines to help them become market and investment-ready.
“By strengthening startups, these two programs are key drivers for the development of a robust startup ecosystem in the Philippines,” DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba said in her opening remarks during a virtual onboarding event.
“We put startups at the forefront of innovation- and S&T-based policies and with technology entrepreneurship at the core, the IDEA and ADVanCE programs can support the growth and development of startups, increase their access to trainings, market expansion activities, and funding opportunities. Through these programs, early- and growth-stage startups will receive customized incubation and acceleration assistance to enable them to grow and scale up,” Ms. Aldaba further explained.
IDEA Incubation Program
Twenty early-stage startups from various sectors will be joining the first cohort of the IDEA Incubation Program. The cohort will be participating in workshops, receiving legal and financial management support services, and mentorship from world-class experts and entrepreneurs from the combined network of PhilDev and DTI.
These startups include: Anihan Technologies (AniTech), a business-to-business agritech company that develops deep technologies for creating supply chain solutions; Avodah Philippines, a one-stop platform for services; Bantay, a welfare assistance chatbot for answering queries regarding social welfare programs; Basky, a food marketplace and delivery app for home-based online food sellers and MSMEs; and Bookuna, a booking platform for vaccination services.
Also part of the cohort are software-as-a-service company Britana Global Solutions, online used-car appraisal tool CarSurvey.ph, meal-kit delivery marketplace Cookbook.ph, clean energy-based technology provider Cleenvent, and energy startup Dali Innovations.
The IDEA program onboarded as well tech startup DigitizePH, rental marketplace Forent, climate action platform Green Impact Global, online food and delivery service application Tinda by Hinulawanlab.com, and online self-service rental property management technology I-Board Living.
Also joining the cohort are Lifeprentice, a peer-to-peer platform aimed to help young people improve their holistic health; RaffleExchange, a raffle-based, crowdsponsored loyalty and promotion platform; SafeTravelPH, a mobility platform for improving commuters’ experience; Sociov, a career coaching app; and Sureplus, a social enterprise startup that resells, repurposes, and reallocates surplus food.
Last Feb. 25, the IDEA cohort started a three-day camp that was set to help them solidify their startup foundations and help formalize their business.
Kicking off the first day of the IDEA Camp, Noreen Bautista, co-founder and chief executive officer of tropical textiles and artisan craft sourcing platform Panublix, shared with the cohort how important it is for entrepreneurs to stick to their startup’s vision, mission, and goals.
“It’s really an important question to always keep asking yourself… why you are doing this, because you need a way to help you endure this whole entrepreneurship journey,” Ms. Bautista shared.
ADVanCE Acceleration Program
Meanwhile, the ADVanCE Acceleration Program will be helping advance six growth-stage startups with solutions aligned with the strategic priorities of the Philippine Development Plan.
The startups that are part of the acceleration program are: Edukasyon.ph, the largest education technology platform in the country; Empath, a provider of telemental health counseling, wellness classes, and psychoeducational training services; Insight Supply Chain Solutions, or InsightSCS, which “envisions connecting the world’s supply chain through technology;” Magwai, a company producing marine-friendly personal care products; Nanotronics, a sustainable and advanced nanomaterials producer; and TakeFive Outdoors, an outdoors-oriented trip-sharing application.
In addition to workshops, masterclasses, and tailored mentorship support, the ADVanCE cohort will also be receiving legal and financial management assistance, public relations, and marketing support and investor linkages.
In his congratulatory message during the onboarding event, Diosdado “Dado” P. Banatao, founder and co-chairman of PhilDev, noted that incubation and acceleration programs like IDEA and ADVanCE are vital in supporting and empowering startups as they harness technology and innovation into scalable businesses “that can empower Filipinos to get themselves out of poverty.”
“In my journey being an entrepreneur and investor, I’ve realized that entrepreneurship is one of the fastest ways to redistribute wealth in the community. This is why it is crucial to create programs like IDEA and ADVanCE to equip more Filipino founders and, ultimately, to spur entrepreneurship in the country,” Mr. Banatao said.
The co-chairman also expressed his support and gratitude to DTI for the partnership.
“We are grateful to be co-implementing [the IDEA and ADVanCE] programs alongside the DTI. With the combined expertise and experience of both organizations in business, industry, innovation, and entrepreneurship, we look forward to a thriving startup ecosystem in the Philippines,” Mr. Banatao highlighted.
The IDEA and ADVanCE programs will run until June 2022.