Manila—The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde (CSB) formally inaugurated on March 22, 2023, the Benilde Hub of Innovation for Inclusion (HIFI), a technology business incubator for budding startups.
Under the DOST’s Technology Business Incubation Program and Benilde Trailblazer Startup (BTS) Incubation Program, the Benilde HIFI is a facility that will be a nurturing ground for startups focused on the creative industries.
DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit said the Benilde HIFI plays a potent rule in moving forward the creative industries in the country.
“DOST and PCIEERD have invested Php 344 million and helped 59 state universities and colleges in the country establish their own TBIs through the Higher Education Institution Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship (HeIRIT) development program,” he narrated. “The funding includes Benilde HIFI, which will hopefully promote an innovative and entrepreneurial culture throughout the nation. This collaboration with CSB also highlights the value of academic institutions in fostering startup growth and innovation across a range of industries”, as added by Director Paringit.
Benilde HIFI project leader Paul Amerigo Pajo Jr. said the primary objective of the BTS Incubation is to select and nurture startups connected to and related to the digital interactive and design domains.
"Startups will be selected primarily, but not exclusively, based on capstone and thesis projects completed by students, faculty research endeavors, and initiatives undertaken by alumni of the Benildean community, said Mr. Pajo. "This project can be a 'TBI force multiplier' through Benilde HIFI's nationwide network of La Salle schools, including the Visayas region, where there is no TBI focusing on creative industries."
The Benilde HIFI is the only TBI in the National Capital Region (NCR) and one of four technology business incubators in the country with creative industries. The CSB offers specialized academic programs that can aid in the debut and expansion of startups in these sectors.
Benilde HIFI is also coming up with a manual outlining the incubation process and daily activities of Benilde HIFI which can be used by other higher education institutions and state universities and colleges can use it in their own TBIs.
Startups in the digital interactive media and design industries in the NCR will be able to forge successful partnerships with key commercial and governmental institutions thanks to this facility.