Record number of entries for nat?l search for best start-ups

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[/caption] By April, IdeaSpace will award the top ten aspiring startups behind these ideas with six months of incubation and funding of up to P5 million each. This translates to an acceptance ratio at IdeaSpace at close to 1.5 percent, comparable to global incubation and accelerator programs. “We were happily surprised. Our original target was at least 500 entries. There really is a strong pipeline for science and technology based business ideas in the country. All these aspiring technopreneurs need are democratizing opportunities like this competition,” said Earl Martin Valencia, IdeaSpace president. IdeaSpace was launched in March and after doing a road show, it kicked off its national competition in late August. Submissions closed in early January and now, IdeaSpace has completed the second round of judging. For every stage, there are different panels of judges, all experts and leaders from industries, the startup community, venture capital firms, academe and government. The top 20 teams will be invited to fly to Manila in early April to view for the 10 incubation spots. “The usual practice in investment communities is for startups to pitch to venture capitalists or angel investors. IdeaSpace trustees led by Manuel V. Pangilinan decided that holding a national competition will ensure equal opportunities especially for those not based in Manila or have little access to startup and entrepreneurship events.” said Diane Eustaquio, IdeaSpace Executive Director. Currently, IdeaSpace is incubating three startups funded by Smart Communications, one of the companies supporting the program. These three startups are all alumni of the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (Sweep), an industry-academe partnership program in the country. These startups are Time Free Innovations, which offers a mobile based queuing system; Gen8 which is currently prototyping a mobile phone for the blind; and Blue Garage, which is developing a one-stop shop Web and mobile solution for the racing community. IdeaSpace recently kicked off this year’s road show with various activities in Metro Manila and Iloilo. It also forged tie-ups with global programs and venture capitalist firms. ]]>

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