IdeaSpace Foundation, a pioneer early-stage technology incubator and accelerator in the Philippines, formally launched its 2017 IdeaSpace National Startup Competition focused on innovative technology ideas.
Now on its fifth year, IdeaSpace decided to accept more incubatees for 2017, increasing it to 15 startups into the final acceleration process, instead of the usual 10 finalists.
The acceptance of more startups is part of IdeaSpace’s efforts to expand support for the local startup ecosystem, which it noted has seen robust growth over the past four years.
Deadline for submission of startup ideas is on January 12, 2017.
“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.
All 15 startups that will make it to the finals next year will still receive P500,000 of equity-free funding, which means IdeaSpace will not have a stake in their early-stage startups.
The teams will also receive support for housing, transportation, incorporation, office space, communication, software, trainings and classes, as well as mentoring from executives of companies under First Pacific, the total value of which amounts to more than P1 million.
Launched in 2012, IdeaSpace has incubated and funded a total of 52 startups, some of which have grown and evolved into full-fledged business enterprises, including startups such as PinoyTravel and TimeFree Innovations.
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.
Newly appointed IdeaSpace president Butch Meily said the foundation has been extending its capacity into a “full ecosystem support” so that most of the startup businesses are guided every step of the way.
“We’ve realized over the years that startups need as much support as they can get in every step of the process, from bringing their ideas to life to launching them into the market, and even to making their startups grow further,” Meily said.
Aside from the incubation and acceleration program, IdeaSpace has also been a fervent supporter of startup community events in the country and overseas, such as the annual Geeks on a Beach conference, the Slingshot MNL program of the Department of Trade and Industry, and the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival.
IdeaSpace also launched this year the Intrapreneur Accelerator Program (IAP), which allowed internal product development teams from companies in the First Pacific group to pitch their ideas and undergo the rigors of incubation and acceleration under IdeaSpace.