New facility offers business mentoring and technical assistance
February 24, 2011 Filipinos interested in establishing or investing in technology-based startups now have a place to go to before putting in invaluable time and money into a new business idea.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in partnership with the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), recently opened the DOST-UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship to assist budding entrepreneurs to take the first step in establishing their own businesses.
Located at the National Engineering Center (NEC) Building in Diliman, Quezon City, the center will help aspiring technopreneurs to identify target markets, develop and package their technology product, and fine-tune their business plan to increase investment and marketing opportunities.
Dr. Luis G. Sison, TBI Project Leader and UP Diliman's Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, said that the training and guidance that participants will receive in the pre-incubation program will help prepare them before actual business startup.
It takes a whole village to raise a technology startup, Sison said, referring to the group effort needed to ensure a startup's success.
Fortunato T. de la Peña, DOST Undersecretary for S&T Services, said that the new facility is an excellent example of collaborative work between the government and the academe.
We hope this incubation fever will spread as we have more universities propose their own TBIs, de la Peña said during the inauguration of the Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship last February 8, 2011.
Government, university fuel incubation fever
For the setting up and initial operation of the Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship, DOST provided funding of P6.7 million as part of its support program for Technology Business Incubation (TBI). TBIs nurture startups that commercialize innovations and new technologies. Meanwhile, PEZA and UP contributed P2.5 million and P2.2 million, respectively.
Currently, five business incubators funded by DOST are operating in the country. Three are located in Luzon: DOST-UP Ayala TBI and DOST-PEZA Open TBI in Diliman, Quezon City; and UP's Science and Technology Park in Los Baños, Laguna. The two business incubators in the Visayas region are the UP Cebu TBI and DOST Region VIII TBI in Palo, Leyte. The Central Luzon State University TBI in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, which will focus on agricultural and dairy products, is currently undergoing renovation.
It should be noted that in earlier years, DOST's Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development (PCASTRD), in partnership with InWEnt Germany - Capacity Building International, assisted UP's TBI management team, together with TBI teams from 10 other institutions, in developing their core competencies to operate and manage the TBI.
As part of government's efforts to streamline its operations, PCASTRD has been consolidated together with the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development into the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development.
The DOST-UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship caters to aspiring entrepreneurs who are interested to develop products and services for the pharmaceutical, health services, and information and communications technology markets.
Itemhound, a technology startup that provides turnkey RFID solutions, is among the first batch of successful graduates of the Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship.
GSMetrix, another graduate of the pre-incubation program, specializes in custom instrumentation and telemetry technology in the fields of medical instrumentation, remote monitoring systems, and control and automation.
For more information:
Dr. Virginia G. Novenario-Enriquez
Chief, Research Information and Technology Transfer Division
Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology
Research and Development
Tel: (632) 837.2071-82 local 2102/2109
Fax: (632) 837.3168/ 837.6154