Thursday, December 20, 2018

1st VIA Startup Summit Unite Support for Startup Ecosystem

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, December 20, 2018

Key stakeholders get together to support entrepreneurial spirit.

DTI and ADB shared insights on how government, academe, and industry can help foster growth in the startup ecosystem during the 1st VIA Summit.

KMC, in partnership with Impact Hub Manila (IHM), brought together key stakeholders each sharing the same entrepreneurial spirits at the 1st ever VIA Summit held last 28 November 2018 at the Green Sun Hotel, Makati City.

“This summit brings together the best and brightest minds in the startup ecosystem. Throughout the summit, there will be many opportunities for developing relationships with key players who share a common vision of growth and economic sustainability,” said Gregory Kittelson, Chairman and Co-Founder of KMC.

The speakers present for VIA handled different aspects that are vital for the growth and sustainability of the local business scene.

Partnerships and Collaboration

VIA Partnerships discussed the respective roles of the government, academe, and industry network in fostering growth for the local startup ecosystem. The panel was moderated by Atty. Kristine F. Alcantara from Abad Alcantara & Associates, with panelists Assistant Secretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Dentsu Aegis Network Philippines’ Country CEO, Donald Lim, and Chris Morris, Head of NGO and Civil Society Center of the Asian Development Bank.

Another segment focused on the positive effects of inclusion and teamwork. Called “VIA Collaboration,” this discussion was led by industry experts and ingenious startup owners. Ces Rondario, Co-Founder and CEO of Impact Hub Manila joined Gregory Kittelson, Chairman and Co-Founder of KMC, for the panel discussion. Space for Ingenious batch one winner, Alexis Lingad of Cryptors Cybersecurity was also part of the panel.

300 startups and growing

According to the 2017 Philippine Startup Survey, there are now more than 300 startups in the country, most of which were founded between 2012 and 2017. Continuing changes in technology and innovation have also contributed to the growth of startups. “We firmly believe in the Filipino entrepreneurial spirit. “All startups have a dream they want to pursue. That dream is their starting point. They face many sacrifices, risks, and challenges. Through the VIA Startup summit, we seek to be their partners in the pursuit of their dreams,” says Ces Rondario.

According to Kittelson, KMC wants to provide startups and entrepreneurs the avenue to establish relationships, develop connections, and engage in programs that will help grow and sustain their endeavors. He says there are (6 from the first batch of the SFI program) startups spread around the 19 locations of KMC endeavored together with their partner, Impact Hub Manila.

The VIA Startup Summit also serves to recognize the valuable contributions of startups to the local economy. “Many startups have ventured into mobile, e-commerce, and fintech. This is proof that the Philippine startup ecosystem is growing rapidly with more and more young professionals starting their own ventures. Matthew Barrie is one of our young CEOs and his company has just won an International Smart City competition called AcceliCITY against 600 startups from 40 countries,” says Riccardo Corsini, KMC’s Vice President for marketing.

In partnership with Impact Hub Manila (IHM), KMC undertook a program entitled “Space for Ingenious Program” which helps bring an idea from conception to reality through mentorship from industry experts, spaces conducive to productivity and idea incubation, and access to a vast network of connections and potential investors. The six-month program began last May 2018 and has incubated six startups that were among the first batch of applicants for the program. One startup is Pushkart PH, an online grocery application that basically does the shopping for you. Founder Josh Aragon, 29, lauds the mentorship of the program, “Having mentors dive into your business model, dissect all of the issues, and create a solution for you is really a valuable takeaway from the program. They also give you the connections you need for your business to take off.”

For more information about the VIA Startup Summit, you may visit

Images of the Philippines transmitted by Diwata-2

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, December 20, 2018
Image captured by Diwata-2 of Aurora province,

Diwata-2 was launched last October 29, 2018, and deployed directly by the rocket launched from Japan. This is the second Cub-Sat by the country coming after Diwata-1 which was launched last 2016.

Diwata-2 has a higher orbital track which gives it a longer-service life in space. It recently captured and transmitted pictures of the Philippines notably Kalinga and Aurora provinces. 

“Diwata-2 has successfully captured images, less than a month after its launch,” said the program in a blogpost. “These images are part of the initial tests and calibration phase of Diwata-2’s cameras.”

Snapshots of fields in Kalinga and a portion of Aurora province were taken and transmitted.

Diwata-2 was built by Filipino space engineers in Japan, was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center.

Images of coasts captured through Diwata-2’s cameras can be used to assess coastal conditions which are key indicators for water quality, ecological health and resource management.

These MicroSats conduct surveys on agriculture, environment, national defense, disaster risk reduction and management and even land use and assessment. Their developmental contribution goes beyond mere technical and engineering aspects since planning and decision-making on important environmental and economic factors can be obtained by the information they send.

The major features that distinguish Diwata-2 from its predecessor include deployable solar panels for increased power generation output and an enhanced resolution camera which increases the resolution of images taken by SMI. 

Also, Diwata-2  feature two locally made experimental modules: an amateur radio unit for emergency communications and a satellite orientation module for increased pointing accuracy and future satellite development initiatives.

1 Million Pesos for Prototype Funding from PSC 5 of DICT

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, December 20, 2018
Speakers at the PSC 5 (Pho courtesy of Scitech and Digital News)

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will announce its semi-finalists in the Philippine Startup Challenge 5 (PSC5) this coming December 21, 2018.

These semi-finalists will receive mentoring and the Top 5 will be announced on March 2018.

The 5th Edition of DICT’s Philippine Startup Competition got a financial boost from the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), an institution mandated to provide financial assistance aimed at nurturing tech-based startups to contribute to the industrial development of the Philippines.

“We at the DICT are very pleased with our partnership with DOST. It will provide opportunities to our student-teams to develop prototypes of their ideas. We hope that this initiative will encourage more college students to create applications and products and join the next PSC,” said Ms. Emmy Lou V. Delfin, OIC Division Chief of the DICT-IIDB.

 “The PSC is aligned with our initiative of supporting young innovators. We are happy to offer support and partner with the DICT, our innovation ecosystem partners – including our network of University-based DOST Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) -to ensure that the winning student-teams will not only receive inputs and deserving awards in this endeavor but also enable them to move a step further and create prototypes and tangible outputs from their winning ideas,” Ms. Russell Pili, Chief of the Research Information and Technology Transfer Division of the DOST-PCIEERD said.

The PSC has expanded to include participants and schools from the regions outside Metro Manila and have annually expanded the number of participants.

This year, the 10 teams in the will advance to the next stage on March 2019 and the top 5 teams will be the participants in the Finals on April 2019.  These then will receive their funding for their prototypes.

100,000 PH Filipino Online English Teachers to be Hired

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, December 20, 2018

A China-based company plans to hire 100,000 English Language on-line teachers from the Philippines in the next 5 years.

51Talk founder and CEO Jack Huang recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) that will ensure stable internet connectivity for these services.

“We hope that internet connectivity in the Philippines can be further improved in the future,” Huang said.

A 51Talk teacher, Mike Gerald Alfiscar of Bacolod City related that on-line work is better for work-life balance and he is one of the company’s success stories.

“Wala kang mami-miss out na event sa buhay ng mga minamahal mo kasi ikaw ang pumipili ng schedule mo (You won’t miss out significant events of your loved ones because you get to choose your schedule.),” Alfiscar said.

DICT on its part assured that with the entry of the third telco player, the digital infrastructure for the industry will be more alluring to tech-based investors and will assure more jobs in the country because of the said sector. Also, the DICT  is accelerating its program on Free Wi-Fi Centers around the country which will complement the country’s ICT infrastructure to meet the demands of the business sector.

Jack Huang also pointed out that Filipino English instructors have neutral accents that puts a premium on their services. He also noted that the Philippines and China have the same time-zones that enable them to have advantageous working schedules.

Half a Million more Digital Workers in the PH Regions by 2022

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, December 20, 2018

Currently, there are 320,000 digital oriented workers in the regions outside Metro Manila. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) aims to add to that number 500,000 more workers by the year 2022.

This has been one of the main thrusts of the DICT even prior to its establishment with the Rural Impact Sourcing (RISPh) and has already significantly made inroads in its program. According to DICT Industry Development Bureau head Ivette Cabrera, there is a need to fully harness the capabilities of unemployed workers in the regions by training them in digital industry fields such as software development, game animation, health technology, and contact centers.

“We will train them and help them have a job before graduation or even after graduation,” Cabrera said.
The DICT is working and coordinating with Local Government Units (LGUs) in the regions outside Metro Manila in providing these free training programs so as to establish a full-time workforce for the digital industry in these regions.

“Kasi Metro Manila marami na tayong investors especially in the IT industry, so we want to promote other cities in the rural areas in other provinces to also be a business destination,” Cabrera said.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

From Traditional to Tambio. The Continuing Journey of a Tech Entrepreneur

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Tambio founders May Montero and Ken Nieto. 

Raffles have always been a part of Philippine culture and results are eagerly awaited be it simple cakes of an Audi automobile. But behind the scenes of every raffle is a myriad of backroom operations that attempt to ensure the integrity of the raffle and of course transparency of their results. Otherwise, people will lose faith in the system and no longer participate in such event and activities.

Here comes Tambio. Tambio was developed by Kenneth Morgan Nieto who saw the difficulties of not only the raffle participant/s but also the raffle organizer/s. Having very little background I tech and also coding, Ken sought to find a solution to the cumbersome method still being applied. What Ken had was an extensive background in traditional business.

He started by selling ball caps with the Chicago Bulls logo and sign which was the rage back then. It was relatively easy for him having been brought up in a neighborhood near to Divisoria where one can bu buttons to Pokemon toys. Ken discovered and experienced the full business cycle and related that his first business venture which was selling Chicago Bulls ball caps just broke even with its bottom line. His next business venture, selling umbrellas with the logo of popular coffee chain and selling them in the province, also just broke even.

Insights Gained

The mistakes were not learned in vain though. Ken was able to develop insights on what works and what does not work in a real business environment. He then realized that new technology opened new horizons in entrepreneurship. He admitted that he had no real tech knowledge at that time when he decided to establish a tech startup. Ken admitted that it was “scary” at the start on his first tech venture. But IdeaSpace Foundation encouraged those with bright tech-driven solutions to strive in attaining the fruition of their ideas.

Thus, having been given a grant of a sum of money from IdeaSpace, Ken with his partner May Montero delved deep into the tech startup environment. Aside from learning from scratch how to do code, they also had to validate their ideas and further develop them via the same manual method of surveys to learn the market pulse of the industry. This two-pronged approach of doing non-traditional tech solutions backed up by manual validation proved the correct mix to start their tech venture.

They came up with Tambio that made raffle organizing and raffle operations so much easier for the organizers and participants. But having a prototype was not enough for Ken and his team, he wanted to make it easier still. Having learned that participants were more comfortable with smartphones than tablets, they started to introduce it in their activities. Also, a spin-off from Tambio was an event participants registration system that made the holding of events and activities more streamlined for the organizers.

Ken and his team with their Tambio owes a great deal to IdeaSpace not only for the initial funds for product conce[ptualization and development but also for the mentoring and guidance provided by the startup incubator and accelerator.

IdeaSpace has been holding the longest startup competition in the country and has recently announced of its 2019 startup competition that will be bigger and has expanded to include participants in other regions of the country.
Participants in the IdeaSpace roadshow presentation of its 2019 Startup Competition held at the Tambio office with Ken Nieto as resource speaker

Also, Ken and his team are not content with their current product, they continue to push the envelope with their desire to create newer and better solutions. Ken does not want to get stuck on the “Pansamantagal’ wherein a solution will become obsolete after time. Tambio will be the springboard for newer and better solutions in the future.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

CIC Wholly Owned Subsidiary, Cortex Technologies Corporation, Acquires Majority Ownership in Aftersales Technology Startup “Teko.PH.”

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Teko is happy to announce it has agreed to be majority acquired by Cortex Technologies Inc., the technology arm of Concepcion Industrial Corporation (CIC). This was a perfect fit, aligning a shared vision to innovate and reinvent aftersales appliance services in the Philippines while empowering Teko to provide even better opportunities for the freelance entrepreneur technician. This will also give Cortex and Teko a significant boost towards achieving CIC’s vision while leveraging its deep expertise, leading brands, and dominance in the appliance industry.

Cortex Technologies Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Concepcion Industrial Corporation focused on technology research and development,  announced the majority acquisition of Teko Solutions Asia Inc., a technology startup formed in 2017 to apply web, mobile, and cloud technology to the appliance service and repair business in the Philippines.

“This acquisition reinforces Cortex’s commitment to explore emerging technology and find ways to leverage it across the CIC’s group of companies, as well as CIC’s focus on building better lives and business,” said Sean Byrne, president & CEO of Cortex. “There’s an obvious synergy between Teko and the aftersales services offered by many of CIC’s consumer brands, such as Carrier, Condura, Midea and Toshiba as our consumers demand convenient aftersales service using mobile and web technology.

Byrne explains further “With’s technology and business model, this venture gives CIC an opportunity to build a nationwide aftersales network creating an appealing employment opportunity for individuals with the right skills, motivation, and entrepreneurial spirit”.

Teko utilizes a proprietary platform for real-time access to service and repairs for home appliances such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and water heaters, using self-employed, qualified and screened entrepreneur technicians – a first in the Philippines.

The Teko platform handles all interaction between the consumer and technician, giving the consumer a seamless and hassle-free way of maintaining their appliances. In a short time, Teko has built up a supply of over 850 certified technicians and covered over 4,000 jobs in the Metro Manila area.

Teko's website is at

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Philippine Creative Industry: Whats Next?

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 29, 2018
Creative Process Management Panel Discussion

The creativity of the Filipino has always been recognized worldwide. But such creativity is limited to a few types such as the performing arts and even sporadic forays in such shows as American Idol. But a wide range of Filipino creativity has yet to make a breakthrough in the international arena.

The Creative Industry Sector in the Philippines is a wide and varied sector since creativity takes many forms. It is not only in music or dance but also include design, film, game development, architecture, literature, all the way to software development.

During the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Fora, one of the panelists explained that aside from having advanced technology in creating, the Filipino tends to create not for a global audience unlike the South Koreans who have gained success not only I the performing arts but from their designs in cars to smartphones.

Another point noted that there exist no creative industry eco-system in the unlike its ASEAN neighbors such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These countries have invested I their creative industries and that is why the Philippines is lagging in the trillion dollars creative industry worldwide.

It was not the lack of talent stated Prof. Gaston Ortigas but the lack of investment on harnessing Filipino creative talent wherein the country has a large talent pool. Also, as cited by Mr. Hok Lee of the Korean Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, the government has to intervene and support the export of Filipino creativity such as what the Korean government has done even with the development of its K-Pop talents.

It was also noted that in sub-sectors such as the game development industry, government support via stable ICT infrastructure and the introduction of game development in the academe must also be given importance. The Information and Communications Technology curriculum and methodology must also be reformed. In 1 industry report, 60% of IT graduates are classified as “un-hirable” due to the lack of programming and coding skills.

Also, the stigma that “artists” are most likely to starve must be erased from our culture. This was the observation of Prof. Gaston Ortigas.

All-in-all, the Philippine Creative Industry Sector needs the cooperation of all Philippine economy stakeholders as well as the academe I nurturing and developing it to be competitive worldwide.

(This is a gist on the Panel Discussion on Creative Process Management during the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Fora)   

Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce of the Philippines Support PH Creative Industry Sector

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 29, 2018
JFC Participants in the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Fora. From Left: Mr. John D. Forbes, Mr. Ebb Hinchliffe, Mr. Julian Payne, and Mr. Naoto Tago

The Creative Industry sector got a boost from the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce of the Philippines (JFC) during the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Creative Industry Fora held last November 27, 2018, at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati.

The active participation of the JCF during the fora marked the support of this important economic group. The JCF members are as follows:

1. American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
2. Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
3. Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
4. European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
5. Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
6. Japanese Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines

Mr. John D. Forbes, Chief of Party, the Arangkada Philippines Project stated that this is the first time that the Arangkada Philippines Project held 2 such fora in 1 year since its inception in 2011. This is evidence that the JCF is committed in enhancing the Philippine Creative Industry Sector.

During the Press Conference held after the event, Mr. Ebb Hinchliffe emphasized that in order to proceed fro the success of the event, both government and private sectors together with various stakeholders I the creative industry sector must push for structural changes in Philippine economic, cultural and educational policies in order for the country to keep up with the dynamics of the global creative industry

Mr. Naotro Tago, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines disclosed that there are already more than 50 Japanese industry players and companies are engaged in various sectors of the Philippine economy. The creative industry is one of the sectors that they are interested in participating in. Citing that the Japanese Creative Industry has always recognized the huge talent pool of Filipino “Creatives,” they are will to assist in the development of this industry sector.

Mr. Julian H. Payne of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce I the Philippines emphasized that further development of Filipino creative talent is needed for it to be globally competitive and this can be achieved by greater cooperation between government and academia for more advanced training and education of Filipino talent.

Mr. Forbes also disclosed that current laws and regulations hamper the transfer of technology that is critical in further developing the Philippine Creative Industry sector. He pointed out to current pending legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate. By passing these laws, Filipinos can have more access to technology and training from experts abroad who are currently barred from practicing and giving relevant training to Filipinos.

Mr. Hold Lee during the fora related how the South Korean government took charge of the creative industry in their country with the mission of “Exporting Korean Culture<’ and currently Korean culture and Creative Industry products are widely distributed worldwide.

The JFC is committed to assist the Philippine Creative Industry sector in both trainings and technology transfer as well as promotion worldwide.

The Next Sunrise Industry: Arangkada Philippines Project

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 29, 2018
Arankada Philippines 2018 Fora Panel Discussion

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has opened up new frontiers for various industry sectors globally. One of this is the Creative Industry.

The Arankada Philippines Project hosted a fora last November 27, 2018, at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City. This is to highlight the potential of the Creative Industry for the country.

The theme is Creative Industries: The Next Sunrise Industry. It aims to bring empowerment to the Philippine Creative Industry that will harness the current creative industry sectors and talents in the country so as to serve as an engine of economic growth for the country.

Arankada Philippines Project’s objectives are to enhance the viability of Philippine industry sectors ranging from agriculture, technology and all the way to mining through its advocacies and active participation in these sectors and by coordinating with the government, the private sector, and international key industry players.

For the Philippine Creative Industry sector,  three (3) critical factors have been identified and subjected to sessions and panel discussions.

These are the following:

1. Creative Process Management
2. Talent Management and Development
3. Creative Hubs

It was emphasized early in the sessions that in the year 2013, the creative industry worldwide generated US$2.3 billion in earnings. And the Philippines has yet to tap into its own creative industry sector talent pool to participate in this growing industry sector.

It was noted that there are many aspects in managing the creative industry sector that has yet to be undertaken. An example of this is what Mr. Paolo Mercado, Founder and President of the Creative Economy Council of the Philippines (CECP) stated that the country has 1.2 million freelancers I the creative industry sector alone. This is more than the entire BPO industry currently employs. Thus, the potential of this freelance sector alone is in need of organizing and is one of the sub-sectors that need to be harnessed for the creative industry nationally.

But this sector also needs proper management and with the talents abounding in the country, these raw talents need further development so as to attain the next level In being able to compete globally. 

It was also noted that creative industries are varied and wide in scope, ranging from designing furniture, game development, architecture, animation, film, literature, and software development.

In the US for example, Silicon Valley has gained pre-eminence in software and hardware development. It is an example of a Creative Hub. Such a Creative Hub is also needed in the Philippines wherein the clustering of inter-related industries are undertaken so as to foster a culture of competition and innovation.

These are the main points of the Arangkada Philippines 2018 Fora and the task is laid out in order to achieve a globally competitive Philippine Creative Industry sector.
The fora were participated in by the DICT, DTI, members of the academe, industry sector leaders, and by the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Aikontech brings Beltone to the Philippines.

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, November 16, 2018

Last November 13, 2018, Aikontech which is a 35-year-old company has brought its hearing-aid products to the Philippines.

To put things in perspective, according to the World Health Organization, there are around 250 million people with hearing disabilities and hearing impairment in the world. About 2/3 of these identified people live in Asia and the Philippines along with Indonesia is among the Top 4 in that list.

The prevalence of hearing disabilities in this region can be attributed to several factors such as congenital, work-related, accident injury/trauma, and even lifestyle (those who go to loud venues and concerts or work in them).

This considerably contributes to the lessening of the quality of life of these hearing impaired people and is also a hindrance to gainful employment and livelihood opportunities.

Aikontech Hearing is now the distributor in the Philippines of various hearing aids for all the requirements of hearing-impaired persons in the Philippines.

With this, Aikontech offers Beltone hearing aids. Beltone was founded in 1940 to make high-quality hearing care to people.

Beltone with its decades of experience aims to give access to quality hearing aids with a clear focus on the different individual needs of the hearing impaired. The company believes that no individual should be denied an improved life with better hearing.

Aikontech is into distribution of IT products that include brands like Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Panasonic, McAfee, Huawei, Samsung, Lenovo, Logitech, Polycom and Jabra among others.

With an opportunity provided by the GN Group of Denmark, Aikontech also decided into the Hearing Aid industry sector. The GN Group owns Jabra and 3 other hearing aids brands such as ReSound, Belton end Interton. These premiere hearing aid brands provide technologically advanced hearing solutions and excellent customer care experience.

The Board of Advisers to Aikontech Philippines are the following:

1. Dr. Rina Reyes-Quintos, MD, MclinAud, FPJOHNS
2. Dr. Nathaniel Yang, MD, FPJOHNS
3. Dr. Ramon Antonio Lopa, MD, FPJOHS

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2019 Edition of Startup Competition by IdeaSpace Foundation Launched

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 15, 2018
IdeaSpace 2019 Startup Competition Launch.

This year’s Startup Competition by IdeaSpace was launched last November 13, 2018. IdeaSpace is also the country ’s leading and longest-running early-stage startup competition in the country and has been holding this competition for the past 6 years.

Unlike in the previous years’ competitions, the 2019 IdeaSpace Startup Competition will select 20 startups instead of the previous 10 selected for its accelerator program. What also makes it different this year is that the prize structure has been revised.

This is part of the “Pivot” that Ms. Diane Eustaquio, Executive Director of IdeaSpace announced. Going back to the history of the Startup Competitions held before by IdeaSpace, startups selected failed to utilize the fully the Php500,000.00 granted to them by the program. Instead, the startups tried to “economize” on the expenditure and when they needed more funds for their eventual take-off, then that is where it limited their full utilization.

Realizing such, this year, the prize structure was changed wherein the 20 selected startups for the acceleration period will receive Php100,000.00 as equity-free operations funding plus support in-kind worth Php500,000.

At Demo Day when the top 3 startups will be announced, each startup will receive Php1.0 million equity funding. This will serve as their “runway” according to Ms. Eustaquio.

“We are pivoting and making changes to the program to remain relevant and to address the gap that still exists,” said Rene Meily, IdeaSpace President.

The Philippine startup environment has 400 active startups as of 2017 out of the 547 founded since 2014.

According to Ms. Diane Eustaquio, the cash prizes are not the only benefits that chosen startups will be receiving. It will also include non-cash benefits such as Mentoring by industry experts, free Learning Sessions, Linkages to corporate partners, investor network and strategic partner resources, free office space use, and housing allowances for non-Metro Manila team participants.

The submission of entries started November 13, 2018, via and will be open until January 18, 2019.

A series of roadshows and learning sessions which will be announced on the following


Thursday, November 8, 2018

ICT Champion Offers Bacolod New Leadership

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, November 08, 2018
Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue: Tech-Driven Candidate for Mayor of Bacolod in the 21st Century.

A strong and dedicated champion for information and communications technology (ICT) in the countryside, Jocelle Batapa-Sigue now offers the City of Bacolod a chance for new leadership.
Last October 16 or a day before the last day of filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) for the May 13, 2019 mid-term elections, residents of Bacolod, including close colleagues of Batapa-Sigue were surprised to learn about her decision to run for mayor of Bacolod, challenging incumbent mayor Evelio Leonardia, who is now finishing his fifth term or a total of fifteen years as mayor of Bacolod .

Batapa-Sigue, 45, a lawyer by profession and a professor of law, in a press briefing last October 16, says her candidacy is about giving Bacolod a chance to “win” over status quo and open up to new ideas and solutions to speed up its advancement as one of the highly urbanized cities in the country.

She coins her vision for Bacolod in four letters – JOBS. These stands for jobs and investments, open governance, barangay development, and empowerment and sectoral and citizens participation. She believes that for Bacolod to steadily create jobs and attract investments, a comprehensive set of strategies, including trainings and certifications must be in place to ensure quality talent supply. She believes that good business environment includes efficient traffic management, sound environmental practices, and streamlined government processes, areas were the city is not able to address effectively.

Open governance, for her, entails the use of ICT to reduce red tape, promote transparency and accountability in government, make public services accessible, create an effective data collection to support policy research, and make available online platforms to bring government closer to the people and to effectively respond to citizens’ needs. Known for advocating the creation of smart or digital cities, Batapa-Sigue thinks it is high time for Bacolod to join the ranks of cities developing and utilizing a digital process that aims to provide convenience to its constituents.
2016 Ten Outstanding Women in Nation Sevice (TOWNS) in the field of ICT

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

PH Students to Compete in Global ICT Challenge

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, October 30, 2018
2018 Filipino Participants in the GICT (Photo courtesy of DICT)

Filipino students with disabilities will go to New Delhi, India for this year’s Global IT Challenge edition.

They are the winners of this year’s National IT Challenge (NITC) for youth with disabilities.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) organized the competition which aims to create awareness and enhance the IT capabilities of the country’s youth with disabilities.

The NITC will empower this sector so as to promote equal access to ICT but above – all to harness the untapped potentials of the Filipino youth.

A representative from a disability category was chosen and this will include two weeks of training and mentoring prior to the global competition.

The Philippine representatives are the following:

1. Justin Philip Gonzales of Philippine School for the Deaf – Communication Disability
2. Venus Alexis Arcayera Rescober of Quirino National High School – Visual Disability
3. Carla Mae Coyoca Pasigpasigan of Valenzuela National High School –Physical Disability
4. Lance Sebastian Llaguno of Valenzuela National High School – Learning Disability

“May this [competition] serve as an impetus for more initiatives, for more partnership because so much has to be done in ensuring a responsible and ICT empowered youth with disabilities towards the development of a disability-inclusive society,” Ma. Lourdes Aquilizan, Officer-In-Charge of DICT’s ICT Literacy and Competency Development Bureau said.

DICT Assistant Secretary Carlos Mayorico E. Caliwara and NCDA Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Carmen Reyes Zubiaga awarded the certificates, medals and cash prizes to the winners.

This year’s participants from 24 countries in the Asia-Pacific numbered 300 with 124 of them belonging to those with disabilities.

Diwata – 2 Launched

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Diwata - 2 with Solar Panels

The second Philippine MicroSat (Micro-Satellite) was launched yesterday at the Tanegeshima Space Center in Japan yesterday October 29, 2018.

The deployment of Diwata – 2 differs from its predecessor Diwata – 1 which was launched from the International Space Station (ISIS) last 2016. It was launched directly into orbit using the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency with the H-11A F40 rocket.

Diwata – 2 will have a higher satellite orbit that will enable it to have a higher service-life than Diwata – 1. Both satellites were developed in conjunction between the University of the Philippines Diliman, the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) and Japan’s Hokkaido and Tohoku universities.

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Council for Industry and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), Diwata – 2 has enhanced capabilities than Diwata – 1.

Diwata – 2 has its own deployed solar panels that will generate more energy for its operations. Also, an Enhanced Resolution Camera, which increases the resolution of images taken by its High Precision Telescope and Spaceborne Multispectral Imager (SMI) with Liquid Crystal Tunable Filter that will enhance its performance.

Both MicroSats will be utilized in monitoring weather, agriculture, environmental planning, national defense, and even urban and rural planning.

This is another step in having the country have its own Space Program that will be useful in national development.

TechBlade has been advocating the use of space technology in furthering national development since before Diwata - 1 was launched in 2016.

Monday, October 15, 2018

DICT, QBO kick off Startup BASIQS Workshops in 7 Cities

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, October 15, 2018
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and QBO Innovation Hub sign the MOA formalizing their partnership on October 9, 2018. (From L-R: Rene “Butch” Meily, President, QBO Innovation Hub; Undersecretary Monchito B. Ibrahim, Regional Operations and Countryside Development, DICT; and Katrina Chan, Director, QBO Innovation Hub. 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and QBO Innovation Hub (QBO) launched DICT STARTUP BASIQS, an introductory workshop on startup entrepreneurship, in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro last October 3, 2018.

Calapan was the first leg in a series of seven DICT STARTUP BASIQS workshops, which will also be held in Mati City, Tagbilaran City, Clark, Baguio City, Iloilo City, and Cagayan de Oro City. The workshop is designed to grow the country’s startup ecosystem by encouraging budding technopreneurs to realize their ideas through experiential learning and skills building.

“Through the Startup BASIQS Workshop, the DICT is taking on the challenge of providing the startups the support they need so they can start building their digital startups. I hope the startups and technopreneurs in the areas where the workshops will be held will take the opportunity of learning the basics of technopreneurship,” said Undersecretary for Regional Operations and Countryside Development Monchito B. Ibrahim.

The workshops are free and open to the public and participants can look forward to learning about the startup mindset, tech entrepreneurship, and tools such as lean startup and business model canvas– learnings they can add to their toolkit. Students, professors, and aspiring technopreneurs interested in participating in the upcoming workshop can register at

The DICT has formalized their partnership with QBO through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on 9 October. QBO is the country’s first public-private partnership dedicated to developing the Philippine startup ecosystem by supporting innovation, technology development, and entrepreneurship. The STARTUP BASIQS workshops are aligned with QBO’s vision to inspire the spirit of entrepreneurship across the country and provide Filipinos with the basic knowledge on how to start a startup. DICT and QBO have been long-time partners in their efforts to establish a strong Philippine Startup Ecosystem

“It’s our vision to see more Filipino startups succeed. We think that through more dynamic collaborations with the government such as this program with DICT to promote the innovation mindset in the countryside, we can realize this vision in the near future” said QBO Director, Katrina Chan.

The DICT STARTUP BASIQS workshops is a component of the seedPH Program, which aims to strengthen the development of communities in the countryside crucial to spreading the startup advocacy in the country. In the form of open innovation systems, startup diversity and maturity, startup support is critical as digital transformation is one of the criteria in the Tholons Services Globalization Index to rank Super Cities.

The workshops also support the Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startup initiative of conducting grassroots activities that encourage holding quality value-generating events.

About DICT – The DICT is the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that plans develops and promotes the national ICT development agenda. About QBO Philippines QBO Innovation Hub is a platform for the startup community to collaborate, develop talent, and grow. It is the country’s first public-private initiative for startups, created through a partnership between IdeaSpace, J.P. Morgan, DOST, and DTI.
Spurred on by the vision of Filipinos startups changing the world, QBO’s mission is to create a globally competitive startup ecosystem in the Philippines. For more information on QBO, please visit or send an inquiry to

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