Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Philippine Launches National Platform For ‘Services Industry’ Startups

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Philippine Launches National Platform For ‘Services Industry’ Startups

2535

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The Philippine government has launched a national innovation platform to develop startups in the IT-BPM, migrant workers and electronics assembly industries.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) signed on Wednesday night a partnership agreement with United States-based Plug and Play, which would facilitate the startup accelerator program for two years.

The program will identify gaps and opportunities in the three sectors, link industries, and later on build innovative solutions by investing on startups.

“The Philippines’ young, educated, and tech-savvy population positions our country as a rising startup hub in Asia, propelled by government and private support. With Plug and Play’s participation and partnership, we’ll be able to accelerate the process,” DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said in his speech.

The program will curate at least 40 startups annually, which will receive mentorship and access to Plug and Play’s deal flow sessions as well as DTI-sponsored co-working spaces.

Plug and Play Philippines co-founder Jojo Flores said there is currently no accelerator program that addresses the services industry.

“I have access to at least USD10 billion worth of funding from our network globally. Now, when I go to these VCs (venture capitalists), I can tell them we have the best service startups in the world because there’s nobody else doing it — only the Philippines will be doing it,” he told reporters in an interview.

The main goal of the program, he said, is to protect and add value to the Philippines’ services industry by developing sector-specific products.

“Once we are successful in doing that, we can resell the same products to the global market,” he added.

Pascual said some of the focus areas the initiative would also explore are food and agritech, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, among others.

Plug and Play implements over 80 industry-themed accelerator programs across the world, which run for at least six months per batch of 20 startups.

Some of the companies it successfully launched in the past were PayPal and Dropbox.

According to DTI, Manila alone has over 1,000 startups collectively valued at approximately USD3.5 billion. (PNA)