DOST gives P33-M grant to QBO to build stronger startup ecosystem in PH

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has extended a P33-million grant to QBO Innovation Hub, a public-private sector partnership among DOST, the Department of Trade and Industry, JP Morgan and IdeaSpace, the innovation foundation of the MVP group. 

Photo shows (from left) Carlos Ma. G. Mendoza, senior country officer for JP Morgan Philippines; Patricia Anne Javier-Gutierrez, JP Morgan Philippines head of communications; Russell Pili, DOST-PCIEERD division chief for RITTD; Katrina Chan, QBO director; Rene “Butch” Meily, QBO and IdeaSpace president; Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT chairman and chief executive officer; Fortunato de la Peña, DOST secretary; Dr. Rowena Guevara, DOST undersecretary; Dr. Enrico Paringit, DOST-PCIEERD executive director; Raul Sabularse, DOST-PCIEERD deputy executive director; Diane Eustaquio, IdeaSpace Foundation executive director; and Natasha Bautista, QBO head of operations

DOST secretary Fortunato de la Peña and PLDT and PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan sealed the grant at a joint appearance last week.

The grant calls for QBO to raise the level of 12 Technology Business Incubators (TBI) around the country. Also present at the event were Carlos Ma. G. Mendoza, senior country officer for JP Morgan Philippines and Patricia Anne Javier-Gutierrez, JP Morgan Philippines head of communications.

Working towards the vision of creating over a thousand innovative startups around the country, and seeing the emergence of a Filipino unicorn in the next five years, the grant will support QBO in carrying out a nationwide project to strengthen TBIs.

The grant also serves to help them develop more programs that will create an enabling environment for Filipino tech founders to scale their businesses and become globally competitive. 

“I really appreciate that in addition to our own initiatives, we have a collaboration with QBO. The signing of the Innovative Startup Act authorizes us, together with DTI and DICT, to support and assist Filipino startups,” said de la Peña.

“It’s about time to focus on science and innovation and there are  efforts for that — thanks to DOST,” said Pangilinan, who is also the chairman of the board of IdeaSpace Foundation. “We believe that with our stronger commitment, we will be able to put Philippine technopreneurs on par with its regional, if not global, counterparts.”

“The DOST grant recognizes the enormous progress achieved by the public private sector partnership that produced QBO,” said Rene Meily, president of QBO and IdeaSpace.

“DOST has been continuously holding activities with QBO, IdeaSpace and other partners to discover the Philippines’ next unicorn and we are grateful to them for their support. I hope that the golden era for Philippine startups may be just within reach.”

DOST has been working with QBO since it was established in 2016. Since its inception, QBO has grown to have more than 5,000 members and over 300 tech startups representing various verticals.

On top of implementing hundreds of startup development programs, including mentorship and specialized coaching and consultation sessions that have opened global opportunities for the founders, QBO, together with DOST, DTI, and JP Morgan, has also yielded gains in multimillion-peso funding and revenue raised for startups.

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