Department of Information and Communications Secretary Ivan John Uy led DICT’s 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 said 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 Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.
As the Undersecretary for ICT Industry Development, she 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. Secretary Uy conveyed his utmost 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 1 Million Pesos that shall cover costs to further develop a startup’s ideas and prototypes, the Secretary shared that the DICT shall also provide grantees opportunities to meet great mentors and widen their network in the startup community.” said Secretary Uy. 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.
Being the first grant fund of the agency, the program recognizes the fact that Filipino startups struggle to get access to funding. DICT’s SGF 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. DICT’s SGF Program will be facilitated by its ICT Industry Development Bureau.
Stay tuned for more details on the Startup Grant Fund through the Startup Philippines Website at https://www.startup.gov.ph