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Philippine Startup Challenge to fund relevant prototypes

A prototype funding worth US$ 19,100 (PHP 1 million) will be awarded to the top winners of the Philippine Startup Challenge 5 (PSC5) by the Department of Information and Communications Technology-ICT Industry Development Bureau (DICT-IIDB).

According to a recent report, the nationwide start-up competition of the Department received a financial boost from the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

THE DOST-PCIEERD is an institution mandated to provide financial assistance aimed at nurturing tech-based start-ups to contribute to the industrial development of the Philippines.

The funding will be awarded to the top 5 student-teams of the 2019 PSC that meet the eligibility requirements of both DICT and DOST.

This is the first time for the government to provide funds to aspiring start-ups.

The partnership between both government agencies will provide opportunities for student-teams to develop prototypes of their ideas.

Hopefully, this initiative will encourage more college students to create applications and products as well as join the next start-up challenge.

The Chief of the Research Information and Technology Transfer Division of the DOST-PCIEERD explained that the challenge is aligned with their initiative of supporting young innovators.

Teaming up with other innovation ecosystem partners, including their network of University-based DOST Technology Business Incubators (TBIs), will ensure that the winning student-teams will receive inputs and deserving awards in this endeavour.

Moreover, this will also enable them to move a step further and create prototypes and tangible outputs from their winning ideas.

Tech-entrepreneurship, by its nature, is a high-risk, high-gain venture, and it is great that the government is supporting these aspiring founders and talented young risk-takers.

The government knows that start-ups require long-term investment in people, and this start-up challenge will be a good opportunity for them to pitch their ideas.

A challenging but productive journey with these start-ups is expected.

The semi-finalists, who will be given additional mentoring to enhance their business ideas, were announced last 21 December 2018.

The top 10 student-teams will then be chosen on March 2019. The product prototype grants will only be given to the top five teams during the national finals to be held in April 2019.

The start-up challenge is part of the seedPH Program, which aims to support and develop the Philippine start-up ecosystem and produce local technopreneurs whose products and services are socially relevant and are scalable globally.

The DICT is the primary policy planning, coordinating, implementing and administrative entity of the Executive branch mandated to plan, develop and promote the national Information and Communications Technology agenda.

It aims to promote and assist in the development of local content, applications, and services which include support for ICT-based start-up enterprises.

The DOST is mandated to provide central direction, leadership and coordination of specific and technological efforts.

The DOST-PCIEERD provides financial assistance for Research & Development and Technology Transfer Support to nurture research breakthroughs and tech-based startups that will contribute to the economic and industrial development of the country.

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