Inaugural ‘PH Start-up Challenge’ targets college students

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The Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICT Office) and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) have launched the first Philippine Start-up Challenge (PSC) to promote ITpreneurship among Filipino students.

Proponents of the Philippine Start-up Challenge (PSC) pose for a photograph at the media launch on Thursday, Aug 14. (From L to R) DOST-ICT Office deputy executive director Monchito Ibrahim; Arup Maity, information and research committee chairperson of PSIA; Ma. Rosario Gruet, director of PSIA; Dr. Marmelo Abante, Philippine Society of Information Technology Educators (PSITE) and Joey Gurango, president of PSIAProponents of the Philippine Start-up Challenge (PSC) pose for a photograph at the media launch on Thursday, Aug 14. (From L to R) DOST – ICT Office deputy executive director Monchito Ibrahim; Arup Maity, information and research committee chairperson of PSIA; Ma. Rosario Gruet, director of PSIA; Dr. Marmelo Abante, Philippine Society of Information Technology Educators (PSITE) and Joey Gurango, president of PSIA

The Philippine Start-up Challenge, a nationwide start-up competition targeting college students, aims to inspire the youth to jumpstart innovative technology ideas that can address current issues in society, as well as to promote the entrepreneurship among students.

Teams composing of four members (3 students and 1 faculty adviser) are invited to join the competition with their software or internet-based entries until September 5.

To be eligible for application, the faculty adviser of the team must have attended at least one preparatory bootcamp conducted in their city.

Preceding the launch of the national competition, DOST-ICT Office and PSIA conducted a series of start-up bootcamps among IT and computer sciences last July in key regional locations throughout the country including Cebu, Legazpi, Davao, Baguio, and Metro Manila.

The entries will go through two phases of selection process. Top 20 teams from the overall number of entries will receive coaching sessions and will be given a chance to pitch their start-up ideas to a panel of respected judges from the start-up incubator, accelerator, and investment sector.

Winning teams will be chosen at the end of the year and will have the chance to receive mentoring and guidance from experts in the technology start-up community.

The start-up challenge was also conceptualized as a way to tap the potential of the Philippines to be a start-up hub as the fastest growing economy in Asia.

“Majority of local software start-ups are born during their early years in college and continue to grow right after graduation. The same trend goes for all start-ups all over the word wherein most entrepreneurs of this generation started at a relatively young age,” said Monchito Ibrahim of the DOST-ICT Office.

“We and PSIA conceptualized the PSC with the objective of encouraging our students to come up with innovative start-up ideas as early as possible.”

PSIA president Joey Gurango said the start-up contest is part of his group’s project to develop at least 50 start-ups by the end of 2014 and develop ten globally recognized start-ups earning a total of $1 million in revenue by 2016.

The competition was made possible with the support of the Philippine Society of IT Educators (PSITE) and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) and with the collaboration of IBM, Ideaspace Foundation, Microsoft, and the Vibal Group

For more information on the Philippine Start-up Challenge, contact Karen Reyes through karen.reyes@psia.org.ph or 8172727 loc 109. You may also contact Karla Legaspi through karla.legaspi@icto.dost.gov.ph or 9200101 loc 1301.

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