DICT vows to champion homegrown tech startups

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has vowed to continue to support Philippine technology startups during the recent Philippine Startup Week 2022.

The Philippine Startup Challenge 7 winners

The event brought together the local startup community and highlighted the various sectors and homegrown high-potential startups contributing to the growing Philippine startup ecosystem.

It is the country’s large-scale collaborative initiative by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), and the DICT, together with QBO Innovation Hub and other private agencies.

“A digital ecosystem cannot exist without an active community within. We must encourage our citizens to take part. As I look at all of you now, I can see that catalysts for digital transformation are not only lodged by the richest, grandest, developed cities. Budding homegrown startup heroes are now emerging even in the farthest locations of the country,” DICT secretary Ivan John Uy said. 

Uy also announced the opening of the Startup Grant Fund (SGF) application process as provided under Section 11 of the Republic Act No. 11337, otherwise known as the Innovative Startup Act.

Through the SGF, the DICT aims to provide financial grants for new and early-stage startups relating to startup development, capacity building, and network building. It is targeted to specifically help and nurture startups by providing pre-seed to seed funding that shall make the ecosystem be more active and investable. The SGF Program is set to be facilitated by the ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB).

The Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC) was held on the second day of Startup Week, Nov. 15, as part of DICT Day: InnovNation. On its seventh iteration, the PSC Finals served as the culmination of the competition, wherein the top 10 startup teams hailing from different regions in the country showcased their innovative ICT products and services before the esteemed panel of judges — all of whom are leaders and experts in their respective fields in the ICT industry.

The University Of San Jose-Recoletos’ team SUGOD was hailed as the champion of this year’s competition. Their startup “91Watch” is a service which aims to significantly improve the overall efficacy and efficiency of the national emergency hotline 911.

The rest of the winners named are:

  • 1st Runner-Up – Team GORA of Palawan State University (Region 4B); 
  • 2nd Runner-Up – Team ATLAS of University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (Region 10);
  • 3rd Runner-Up – Team Ani of the Technological Institute of the Philippines (NCR); and 
  • 4th Runner-Up – Team EECE of Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao (Region 11).

“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.” DICT undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, said.

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