"1,000 #startups by 2020" - DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara
One way to get to this goal is through building more "Technology Business Incubators" (TBI)s around the country.
The Philippine government’s Department of Science and Technology (DOST) funded 14 university-based TBIs until last November 24, 2017 when they announced 20 more universities who will receive funding grants to establish a total of 34 TBIs around the country.
According to the DOST website:
“Technology Business Incubation (TBI) is one of the strategies identified by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to promote innovation and technopreneurship for the country’s socio-economic development in a knowledge-based world economy. TBI involves an ecosystem where innovation is promoted and supported towards commercialization. It aims to help startup technology-based businesses by providing a range of resources, services and facilities needed during the development stage. The goal of TBI is to produce firms that will leave the incubation program financially viable and able to sustain operation and compete in the market.”
In short, DOST aims to create more S&T - based businesses and startups from these TBIs. We congratulate those selected and wish them the best in this challenging and exciting initiative.
The 1st Philippine TBI Summit that occurred on November 24, 2017 in Cebu City gave the selected universities an overview of what the existing TBIs had been doing -- best practices, successes, failures, continuous pivoting, funding issues, staffing concerns, etc. Everyone's excited, of course, but also cognizant of risks, challenges and potential opportunities. We at TechTalks.ph have been supporting all kinds of initiatives to promote tech & startups since 2012. But...
Will this TBI program be easy? Will it yield the desired results? How will academe be able to "gel" with the startup community? The innovators, the risk takers, the makers who must work at the speed of business, at the speed of technology to get stuff done?
And how will all of them push through a common goal? Are we looking at the golden age of Philippine Startups where the value is louder than the noise being made, and the outcome is based on a collaborative effort?
Academe has their own system of structure, process, and formal ways while startups tend to have little to none.
How have other TBIs handled these necessary collisions? Summit speaker Mr. Ashrai of Malaysia gave some great examples during the event. We want to ask you if you have experience in this area. What do you think?
We think this is a long-term investment that deserves everyone’s support.
What was TechTalks.ph role at the 1st Philippine TBI Summit?
In May 2017, Jj Lumagbas, former Project leader at UP Cebu TBI, approached us on behalf of DOST-PCIEERD and UP Cebu and proposed to partner with TechTalks.ph in this event. Given our experience in the local and international startup event arena, we accepted the opportunity. We provided input on the program, speakers, branding, positioning and served as onsite organizer.
Based on our last 5 years experience in this space, we enjoyed brainstorming what initiatives would be useful for the goals that they had. And we loved getting our hands dirty as early as the concept stage to the nitty-gritty details of the actual event. Some of the event goals were to (1) Bring together DOST-funded TBIs as well as other TBIs (2) Promote connection and collaboration within the TBI network (3) Help get ecosystem supporters for the TBIs and their startups (4) Ultimately create more businesses and startup opportunities #1000startups
The startup voice in us tells us; working with the government and academe is never smooth because of different mindsets, procedures, and goals.
As our brand message revolves around inclusive collaboration to make a better change - not as an individual but as a team.
We believe that we ALL have to be IN IT to WIN IT.
The challenges we faced in navigating through the culture and our conversation within the academe/government sphere is spot-on --- an open conversation to streamline the level of involvement that universities are willing to take to support the startups.
TBIs need to be built, it can be the cornerstone of producing quality startups, and now that we are at the helm of bringing the academe and innovators in the same page - there is no other way but to move forward.
Thank you for the opportunity to make a difference. Less Talk. More Action.