The Philippine Startup Week 2022 is a week-long event that brought together the local startup community, and highlighted the various sectors and homegrown high-potential startups contributing to the growing Philippine startup ecosystem. With the theme “Homegrown Heroes: Cultivating Future Tech Giants”, this nationwide conference held on 14-18 November 2022 at the Blue Leaf Events Pavilion in Taguig City wrapped up its fourth annual run.
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 Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), together with QBO Innovation Hub and other private agencies.
The Philippine Startup Week kicked off with the Opening Ceremony on 14 November 2022. The ceremony started the discourse on important topics for startups, and celebrated the wins of tech within the Philippine startup ecosystem during the past year. It also featured speakers from the government, ecosystem, and startups covering the current landscape of the ecosystem and discussions with up-and-coming startups.
“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 in his opening remarks.
Secretary 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, 15 November 2022, 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)
4th Runner-Up – Team EECE of Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao (Region 11)
The third day was spearheaded by the DOST, who held the 6th Technology Business Incubation (TBI) Summit, an annual event that associates all DOST-funded incubators, along with other government innovation agencies, private incubators, innovators, and some international incubator managers. The activity provided an avenue to promote partnership and discuss challenges faced by the startup community.
The DTI led the fourth day’s events, and organized the Slingshot Conference with its own theme, “Empowering Future Tech Giants”. This event showcased the success stories of local startups who have made significant strides, aimed to inspire more startups to envision being the next “tech giants,” and that homegrown successes are possible. Serving as its eighth year, the Slingshot conference has made significant accomplishments in boosting the startup ecosystem and celebrating its continuous successes.
On its final day, QBO Innovation Hub held the conference, ACCELERATE PH: The Philippines’ First Live Funding Demo Day by Talino Labs, Stonks and QBO. This day is specially reserved for private entities that are significant players in the country’s startup community. Among these companies are Microsoft, PLDT, and PwC Philippines.
“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 Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.