Thursday, February 22, 2024

IdeaSpace to close application for its 3rd contest-type pitching program on Jan. 15

The application priod for the IdeaSpace 2015 competition, the contest-type pitching program of the PLDT-backed tech incubator, is set to close this week, Wednesday, Jan. 15.

IdeaSpace co-founder Marthyn Cuan and executive director Dian Eustaquio at the incubator's new office at Pasay Road in Makati City
IdeaSpace co-founder Marthyn Cuan and executive director Dian Eustaquio at the incubator’s new office at Pasay Road in Makati City

Startups who aim to submit their business idea may file their application at this site.

Successful startups who manage to make the final cut following the stringent selection process will receive both seed money and technical support from IdeaSpace.

Entries are first screened through a three-round judging stage, where applications are winnowed to the top 20 ideas that will proceed to a six-week incubation phase.

Each startup under incubation receives a P50,000 grant to develop their prototype and come up with presentation materials and customer validation.

After six weeks, the final stage of the competition comes with screening for the acceleration phase, where the top 10 startups are chosen by the IdeaSpace Board of Trustees.

The acceleration stage is an 18-week program where each startup will develop their product, set up their corporation and business permits, and conduct market validation among others.

Each startup who reaches the acceleration phase receives P500,000 in seed funding and P500,000 worth of business management courses, marketing and financial consulting, intellectual property consulting and incorporation, office space and business registration costs among others.

Underwritten by the PLDT group, IdeaSpace is a non-profit initiative that aims to give the local startup ecosystem a leg up in the local as well as the fast-developing international stage.

The foundation is initially set on a five-year investment commitment, but plans are now underway on how to make the fund sustainable after five years.

Meanwhile, IdeaSpace executives said dtartups in the Philippine are well-positioned to capitalize on opportunities that will be brought about by the Asean economic integration this year.

The formation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) this year is expected to further integrate economic activities in the region, which includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

With the AEC, competition among market players in the region is seen to heighten, thereby producing opportunities and threats to entrepreneurs.

IdeaSpace said the integration will “create better market runway for technology startups to expand outside the Philippines and create new market opportunities for unique innovations developed in the Philippines.”

IdeaSpace executive team member Marthyn Cuan likewise stressed the AEC will usher opportunities for Philippine startups.

“We welcome Asean integration because it will open more opportunities,” Cuan said.

IdeaSpace executive team member Katrina Chan said the opportunities more than outweigh the threats with the formation of the AEC.

“It’s quite threatening for a lot of people but from what we’ve seen, we think our startups in the Philippines can be competitive,” Chan said.

Though Cuan admitted they have been “conservative” in their investments, they are now already studying on how to make IdeaSpace sustainable after five years.

“There have been discussions for additional funding? We are looking at how to make IdeaSpace more independent,” Cuan said.

In what could be a testament to the growing startup ecosystem in the Philippines, IdeaSpace has also moved out of the PLDT MGO building toward its own office along Arnaiz Avenue.

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