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2017 Startup Competition launched by IdeaSpace

IdeaSpace is launching it  National Startup Competition for 2017. IDeaSpace started in 2012 by incubating and funding 52 startups, and more are targeted to join those who have become full-fledged enterprises by today.

Private sector involvement in startups are crucial in a country such as the Philippines, who majority of businesses employ 61% of the workforce. Ranging from agricultural businesses to high technology developments and processes, these enterprises are the real lynchpin of the Philippine economy. Let us categorize them into Micro Small and Medium Enterprises or MSMEs.

Given the financing structure for such industries in the country, the extremes of the industry sector gets easier financing. For large businesses and corporations, these usually get “clean” loans without any collateral requirements. At the other extreme are the first M, te Micro. These need financing ranging from Php50,000 to Php150,000. There are various government programs that cater to these enterprises and there are even politicians who would go into financing such since they have a perceived (helpful” image for the politicians.

Now for the Micros to graduate to the S and M, these are where the difficulties lie. No matter what industry be it in agriculture to app design and development the financing of  Php150,000 – Php 2 million are whom the banks will not touch with a 10 foot pole. But these are the crucial segments of the economy since these will spur growth in the critical “middle” areas of the population and the economy.  The banks would factor in collateral and guarantees, processing and monitoring and collection mechanics. Thus there is a gap between the large and micro enterprises with regards to financing.

This is where IdeaSpace comes in. Knowing th huge potential for technologically innovative ideas germinating in the minds of a relatively young population, IdeaSpace was the first to harness such potential. It goes beyond financing but also delves into creating an ecosystem wherein startups can germinate, thrive and flourish because of the said ecosystem.

For 2017, IdeaSpace will accept 15 startups whose development and growth will be accelerated by the program. 

“This year, we’re looking to extend our support to more startup founders with burning passion to start up their own business and help the country progress with the help of technology and innovation,” said IdeaSpace executive director Diane Eustaquio. 

What is important is that the Php150,000 ceiling will be breached since the winning startups will get the amount of Php500,000 funding and it is guaranteed as equity free. This will allow the startups to re-invest their earnings back into the enterprise so as to spur it for further expansion. Aside from the funding, support for office space, communications, software, additional trainings and notably mentoring from accomplished industry professionals will be provided by First Pacific. These support packages add up to Php1 million.

IdeaSpace is a non-profit foundation backed by First Pacific, Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC), Metro Pacific Tollways Corp (MPTC), MPIC hospital group, PLDT, Meralco, Smart Communications, Maynilad, Voyager Innovations, and PayMaya Philippines. IdeaSpace is also in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation.

Deadline for submission of ideas is on January 12, 2017

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