DICT to build P10 million ‘incubation hub’ for startups

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Feb) – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in Davao Region will allocate P10 million for the construction of a two-story “incubation hub” for startup companies.

DICT-Davao Director Alimbzar P. Asum (left) and Information and Communications Technology Davao President Samuel Matunog discuss the “incubation hub” for startup companies in Davao City in a forum Wednesday (21 February 2018). MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

During the “ICapehan 2018: Connecting Ideas in Touch with Tomorrow’s Technology” organized by the Institute of Computing of University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) on Wednesday, DICT-Davao director Alimbzar P. Asum said the construction will commence this year.

He said the DICT-Davao would provide computers, internet connection, and other tools necessary to run the facility, which will be managed in partnership with the Information Communications Technology (ICT) Davao.

Within the facility, Asum said they will put up a co-working space for online workers and an area for Technology for Education (Tech4Ed) project, an initiative that promotes alternative learning for basic education and digital skills training.

He said Tech4Ed Center “narrows the digital divide and bring government services nearer or closer to the people especially to those who have no access to gadgets and internet.”

The Information Communications and Technology Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Internet Café Association of Davao (ICAD) forged a partnership in 2015 for the implementation of Tech4Ed to achieve two major thrusts: internet opportunities for all people and investing in people through digital literacy.

ICT Davao president Samuel Matunog said they position the incubation hub as a shared facility for the startups to “to promote their ideas, to promote their products and services and, at the same time, to link up with those who have to support their projects.”

The construction of the incubation hub came five years after the ICT Davao proposed to government to set up a facility like this to mold budding developers of technology-based products, Matunog said.

“We are excited about this opportunity and we hope this facility will be a common shared facility for all of us, so that our startups will have a common place to go,” he added.

He said they envision the facility to be at par with that of their counterparts in Southeast Asia.

Matunog said that most of the startups are faced with a number of problems in the development stage such as having projects but are difficult to promote due to lack of common facilities, which they intend to address by setting up a physical location where their projects can be located and link up with potential partners who would fund their projects.

He said they would provide coaching services to train technology-based entrepreneurs how to manage their businesses, access funds for their projects, improve product brand and design, and develop their projects for “commercialization.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)