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Philippine DICT Help Tech Start-ups Access Government Funding

The Philippines is ramping up its digital transformation sector by supporting its budding technopreneurs. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the country’s chief digital adoption architect is implementing the DICT Startup Grant Fund (SGF). The fund has been created specifically to help Filipino entrepreneurs and startups realise their innovative ideas and plans. Through its ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB), the DICT will give startup founders access to government funding.

The DICT Startup Grant Fund is made possible pursuant to the Innovative Startup Act. Your DICT believes that by strengthening the startup ecosystem, it would further encourage technopreneurship nationwide. For instance, through the DSDAP, your DICT can help different cities by raising awareness, promoting, and offering programs to guide and mentor enthusiasts to improve their respective startup communities.

– Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic, Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology

Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic, Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology, disclosed that his department is working closely with other government agencies to fund Filipinos in their bid to get into emerging ICT businesses. Together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the DICT is one of the lead agencies mandated to strengthen, promote and develop the Philippine Startup Ecosystem.

He specified that his department is serious about helping ICT technopreneurs. To do that, the government agency has launched its own Digital Startup Development and Acceleration Program (DSDAP). This is following the enactment of the Innovative Startup Act.  The DSDAP aims to foster an environment of innovative and competitive mindsets among innovators, enablers and startup enthusiasts.

Further, the DICT Secretary clarified that DICT Startup Grant Fund is just one of the components of the Digital Startup Development and Acceleration Program (DSDAP). DSDAP aims to establish a strong Philippine Startup Ecosystem by providing support that will enrich and strengthen the competitive advantage of Filipino startups.

It’s not all about funding, however. While the DICT SGF targets to bridge the gap of early-stage funding, it also provides training so startups can be ready for the challenges imposed by the emerging digital economy. The goal is comprehensive and it should also focus on providing access to opportunities for new and early-stage startups relating to startup development, capacity-building, and network-building.

To provide clarity for soon-to-be technopreneurs, DICT recently conducted a public consultation to orient stakeholders on the guidelines of the SGF. This was attended by startup founders, enablers, and other concerned individuals and groups and facilitated by IIDB Director Emmy Lou Delfin.

By helping entrepreneurs interested in emerging technology, the DICT is pushing the envelope when it comes to the country’s digital adoption. More ICT businesses mean more research and development, something essential in moving a digital economy forward.

All in all, this DICT funding project should continuously build a stronger Filipino startup community. If things go as planned, the DICT Startup Grant Fund should be the starting point for the next successful and relevant startups in the country.

The Philippines has come a long way in its path towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). When the archipelago got hit by a fierce typhoon in December, the government made sure connectivity was not adversely affected in storm-torn areas in Mindanao. Manila made sure of that by installing Very Small Aperture Satellites (VSATs) for affected remote areas helping people connect. With the elections coming this May, big technology companies are being tapped to help ensure things turn out smoothly as possible.

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