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 https://dictstartupbasiqs.eventbrite.com.

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 www.qbo.com.ph or send an inquiry to hello@qbo.com.ph.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Third PH Telco Player Potential Bidders

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, October 12, 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has disclosed the companies that are participating in the bidding for the 3rd Telco player that will provide Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to the country.

Amidst recent controversies, the push for a 3rd Telco player has been gaining momentum due to the need for much-improved ICT services such as faster internet speeds.

According to the DICT, as of 11:00 A.M,. October 12, 2018, the following have already bought the bidding documents:

Potential bidders so far:

1. LCS Group of Companies with TierOne Communications
2. Udenna Corporation
3. Telenor Group
4. Now Telecom
5. PT&T Corporation
6. Undisclosed bidder
7. China Telecom

It is expected that there will be additional potential bidders until the deadline.

Pilot Run for the National Fiber Backbone by DICT

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, October 12, 2018
NGCP's Dark Fiber Network to be used for pilot run of the NationalFiber Backbone

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has scheduled the pilot run of the National Fiber Backbone during the 4th quarter of this year 2018.

This aims to accelerate connectivity among the different places in the country.

The project implementation, installation, and testing will activate portions of the 6,154-kilometer dark fiber network of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and will be a critical component of the DICT’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) that will interconnect the Information and Communications infrastructure of the country. The high-speed internet will connect the Government Network (GovNet) and Pipol Konek Free WiFi project that will provide free internet access to public places all over the country.

 “This signals the dawn of fulfilling our promise to the Filipinos in providing them with better connectivity,” said DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr.

The point-to-point routes will include seven localities namely, Benguet, Tarlac, Pampanga, Batangas, Mindoro, Albay, Camarines Sur, Cagayan, and Bohol. This will test the NGCP’s Optical Groundwire (OPGW) and the latest optical transport technologies currently available in the market.

Validation of the pilot project will then serve as the prototype for the National Fiber Backbone which was approved with a Tripartite Agreement between the DICT, NGCP and the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) which was signed last June 2018.

The TransCo-owned backbone grid is being prepared in anticipation for the completion of the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI) next year. The backbone will serve as the distribution network for the 2-million Mbps of data capacity coming from the state-owned international landing stations. 

A Php2.0 billion proposed budget for 2019 was submitted by the DICT to accelerate the NBP’s implementation, including the utilization of the backbone network.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Bacolod at No. 89 in Tholons Top 100

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, October 11, 2018

Bacolod City has regained its momentum in the Tholons Services Globalization Index (TSGI) this year. It is now placed at No. 89 of the Tholons Top 100.

Tholons International is the leader in ranking global outsourcing locations first included Bacolod City as No. 100 in 2010 ad with this Bacolod made its first mark in the rankings. From there the city placed 94th by 2013 and No. 85 in 2015. In 2016, Bacolod was ranked still ranked No. 85 but slid to 97th last year 2017.

The slide in ranking for 2017 was due to new criteria such as digital and innovation. This was according to Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, executive director of Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT).

Bacolod City had to improve on the low rankings it got from the new criteria set and now has improved its rankings. According to Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, “this feat is also because of the support of the community and key public and private organizations and institutions especially our growing startup and digital workers community.”

“This is a result of our strong government-academe and industry collaboration, constant engagement with schools and talent development stakeholders, and grit and determination to continuously challenge and redesign our own strategies to adapt to the requirements of global digital services,” the executive director of BNEFIT also added.

For a mid-size city, Bacolod was able to be included in the Tholons Top 100  Super Cities and it is the result of the synergies provided by the community, local government agencies, private businesses, and the academe.

Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, BNEFIT Executive Director

“I am so proud of the efforts of all the members of BNEFIT. It is our 10th year this year and we are truly grateful to our public and private sector partners including the city and provincial governments, schools and companies and most especially our tech-startup communities,” Batapa-Sigue stated.

This year, other Philippine cities were included in the Top 100. Manila ranked 2nd, Cebu at No. 11, Davao City is 75th, Sta. Rosa, Laguna is at 87th place and Iloilo ranked 92.

 With regards to the Top 50 Digital Nations, the Philippines is ranked No. 2 from its rank of No. 4 last year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Gobi Partners and Core Capital Launch a $10 Million Seed & Pre-Series A Fund for Philippine Startups

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Core Capital has partnered with Gobi Partners, a top Asian venture capital (VC) firm with over $1.1 Billion in Assets Under Management (AUM), to launch a $10 Million fund dedicated to supporting seed-stage and pre-Series A companies in the Philippines.

The Gobi-Core Philippine Fund (the PH Fund) will be co-managed by Core Capital, a new VC based in the Philippines founded by Carlo Delantar (Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018), Jason Gaisano, and its Managing Partner Ken Ngo. The Fund’s initial focus is on B2B e-commerce, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), health tech and logistics companies, and plans to expand into others sectors including travel, entertainment and retail tech in the future.

Gobi Partners, led by its Founding Partner Thomas G. Tsao, its managing partner Kay-Mok Ku, and supported by its teams across China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia will contribute its proven track record, tested processes and best practices to provide fund administration, advisory and investment support to this new partnership.

Speaking on the PH Fund, Thomas G. Tsao said, “We are very excited to make our first foray into the country together with Core Capital. We’ve been consistently amazed by the level of entrepreneurial talent in the Philippines. The same growth patterns that occurred in China and Indonesia are now happening in the Philippines.”

Core Capital Managing Partner Ken Ngo adds, “We believe in the Philippines, and at the same time, we also understand that there’s still so much that we can learn from other countries and VCs. With this partnership with Gobi, we are confident that we can strategically connect local and regional stakeholders. The creation of the Gobi-Core PH Fund puts us in a unique position to add value and support founders in the country’s growing startup ecosystem.”

Both Core and Gobi believe that there’s more to this partnership than just the establishment and management of the PH Fund. Now, Philippine-based startups will have access and can also leverage not just on Core’s vast Philippine network and business operating experience but also Gobi’s regional platform to help them scale across China and other Southeast Asian countries.

Founded in 2002, Gobi has invested in many key emerging sectors through its ten funds under management and 200 companies in its portfolio.

Despite its 16-year history, this will be Gobi’s first entry into the Philippines and the newly launched PH Fund shall act on Core and Gobi’s belief in the favorable timing, the potential of the country’s economy and the growing purchasing power of its young population.

About Core Capital

Founded in 2018, Core Capital is a venture capital firm in Manila, Philippines. Core Capital provides early-stage financing for technology companies with a focus on the Philippines. The firm invests through its first fund the Gobi-Core Philippines Fund, co-managed with Gobi Partners. 

About Gobi Partners

Gobi Partners is the first Chinese venture capital firm to expand into the ASEAN region. The firm’s regional platform supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages.  Founded in 2002, Gobi has raised ten funds to date, invested in over 200 startups, and has grown to eight offices across Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jakarta.

For more information or press-related inquiries, please contact:
Ken Ngo
Managing Partner, Core Capital
29F BDO Tower, 8751 Paseo de Roxas St.
Makati City, Philippines 1226
+63 917 128 0180

Shafinaz Shaharudin
Public Relations Director, Gobi Partners
+60 16 6677 064

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