Department of Information and Communications (DICT) secretary Ivan John Uy led agency’s recent celebration of the Philippine Startup Week by signaling the opening of the Startup Grant Fund (SGF) application process.
The first-ever SGF Department Circular has been signed and approved and is open for applications. Stakeholders, through an online public consultation, were able to learn about the plans for the program and provide feedback on how to further improve the programs.
“The DICT fully embraces and promotes the importance of developing and continuously strengthening the Philippine Startup Ecosystem leveraging on the convergence of digital technologies, innovation, and entrepreneurial mindset of Filipinos. We hope the Startup Grant Fund becomes a vehicle to support Filipino Startups and ultimately help build a strong startup ecosystem,” said DICT undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.
Batapa-Sigue mentioned that promoting the national ICT development agenda involves providing initiatives that will enrich and strengthen the competitive advantage of Filipino startups.
She emphasized the need to strengthen the government’s support to startups in order to increase the public sector’s support to technopreneurship and innovation that will establish a network of globally-competitive innovators.
During the Philippine Startup Week held last November 14–18, 2022, Uy conveyed his support to the Philippine Startup Ecosystem, highlighting the huge role that startups may play in stimulating the economic development of the country.
Apart from the grant fund of up to P1 million that shall cover the cost to further develop a startup’s ideas and prototypes, Uy shared that the DICT will also provide grantees opportunities to meet mentors and widen their network in the startup community.
The DICT plans to have at least 10 startup beneficiaries for the first run of the grant fund.
Pursuant to Section 11 of the Republic Act No. 11337, otherwise known as the Innovative Startup Act, the DICT’s SGF aims to provide financial grants for new and early-stage startups relating to startup development, capacity building, and network building.
It will cater to startups with products or services currently in the proof-of-concept (POC), prototype, or minimum viable product (MVP) stages in ICT-enabled sectors and will be available nationwide.
The DICT said the SGF, which will be facilitated by the agency’s ICT Industry Development Bureau, is targeted to specifically help and nurture startups by providing pre-seed to seed funding that will make the ecosystem more active and investable.