Local startup accelerator QBO Innovation Hub marked its fourth anniversary since first opening its doors in 2016.
As the country’s first public-private startup initiative created through a partnership between IdeaSpace, JP Morgan, Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Trade and Industry, QBO has contributed to the growth of the Philippine startup ecosystem by serving as a platform for the startup community to collaborate, develop talent, and grow.
QBO has raised over P167 million in funding assistance and incubated many tech-enabled startups including:
- Kumu, a Filipino-centric live streaming social app;
- Payo, a gateway that simplifies cash on delivery transactions;
- Senti, a customer-centric AI solutions startup that’s been actively supporting the Department of Health in the Covid-19 fight;
- Cropital, a crowdfunding platform connecting anyone to finance local farmers;
- Mad Travel, a social tourism platform that supports marginalized communities in the Philippines
With over 205 partners and collaborators, it also continues to assist startups across all stages and sectors. QBO currently supports a total of 7,700 members and 421 startups in the QMMUNITY by providing a range of free programs and services including introductory classes, workshops, feedback and consultation sessions, mentorship, and investment support and other growth opportunities.
QBO has also kicked off its national Roadshow program last year where it visited 22 cities, and is now looking to reach even more cities in the coming months.
“Many of the largest companies in the world today — Google, Facebook, and Apple — didn’t exist just a few decades ago. Startups can change the world, and they can change the lives of our people,” said QBO president Butch Meily
In addition to the roadshow, the incubator has organized large scale events such as the Tectonic Summit in 2018 and the first Philippine Startup Week in 2019.
QBO has also provided support for founders in underrepresented communities — from offering funding, mentorship, and exposure opportunities to women founders through the Startup Pinay program, to providing a holistic package to startups contributing during the pandemic through the recent RESQUE: Startups vs. Covid-19 Competition.
QBO is also part of the DOST technology business incubator network and has been selected to lead the DOST TBI 4.0 project that aims to elevate and upgrade a network of a dozen university-based incubators from all around the country.
The TBI 4.0 Program provides capacity-building activities including training, workshops, and study missions to improve their ability to provide high-quality services to startups through standardization of frameworks and benchmarking against global best practices.
QBO also bagged awards such as the Philippine Rice Bowl Startup Award for Best Accelerator Program in 2017 and 2019, the Silver Anvil Award in 2018, and the IN_PACT Asia Accelerator of the Year Award in 2019.
Aside from these feats, QBO was also awarded three more grants — from the Investing In Women, supported by the Australian government for a female empowerment project; from the US Embassy for a holistic program to support early-stage startups; and from the Youth Business International (YBI) for an urgent support package to help startup founders with Covid-related solutions and pivots get back on their feet.