The Startup ecosystem in the Philippines is young, vibrant, and full of potential. Startups introduce innovative products and create new business models that address changing societal and market needs. As such, it is important for the government to support the development of the startup ecosystem to foster an innovative and entrepreneurial culture in the country. DTI, DOST, and DICT, together with other government agencies are working together in order to further develop the Philippine Startup Ecosystem through the implementation of the implementation of R.A. 11337 or the Innovative Startup Act.
The Innovative Startup Act provides benefits, incentives, and other forms of support to the startup ecosystem including the provision of startup visas, expedited processes, establishment of the Startup Venture Fund, Grants-In-Aid, the crafting of the Startup Ecosystem Development Program, and the establishment of Startup Ecozones, among others.
The nurturing of Startup Ecosystems are at the forefront of the government’s initiatives in forging partnerships, bridging gaps, and enabling stakeholders to ensure a competitive, innovative, and inclusive Philippines.
SMART (Strategic MSMLE & Startup) Link
SMART Link aims to match leading-edge innovative startups in the Philippines with commercial products to traditional enterprises (MSMLEs) through conducting business-to-business matching sessions or Smart Link Sessions. The objective of this program is to facilitate partnerships and collaborations between startups and traditional enterprises to: (i) provide startups an opportunity to access different markets across different industries thereby increasing revenue streams; (ii) expose traditional enterprises to startups and engage in innovative activities (e.g., through acquisition of digital solutions); and (iii) drive digitalization in traditional enterprises to increase firm productivity, competitiveness, and business resiliency.
Startup Acceleration and Incubation by DTI (startupAID)
The startupAID program aims to assist innovative startups in their product launch, commercialization, and scaling up. It helps accelerate the growth of viable technological startups by undergoing a specialized training program co-developed with partnered startup enablers.
DTI partners with local and international startup enablers to provide a specialized incubation/acceleration program designed to enable tech startups pursue business development, fundraising, and other strategic opportunities. Program participants will be exposed to the enabler’s extensive network of corporate, technology and investment partners as well as mentors and advisors.
International and Local Exposure Assistance Program (ILEAP for Startups)
As one of the lead host agencies of the Innovative Startup Act, the DTI is mandated to support the growth of local startups and the development of the country’s startup ecosystem as a whole. By doing so, more entrepreneurial opportunities are facilitated and more job-generating businesses are established. Among the benefits and incentives that host agencies can provide to qualified startups is support to their participation in local or international startup events or competitions.
Global Acceleration Program
The Global Acceleration Program (GAP) aims to assist startups survive their early stages, scale up, and globalize. It seeks to help accelerate the growth of viable technological startups with priority given to those startups that address the challenges brought about by the covid-19 pandemic. Startups will be immersed in the global ecosystem to enable them to pursue global business development, fund-raising, and other strategic opportunities. The program will help startups get across the tail-end of the “Valley of Death” and further increase their market reach and valuation by expanding into regional and global markets.