Philippine govt urges VCs to invest in local startups

The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging venture capitalists to invest in local startups as the country continues to improve its position on the global innovation index.

DTI reported that the Philippines climbed to 83rd rank from its 100th position in the 2015 global innovation index of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

“There is no better time for the Philippines than now,” said DTI Industry Promotion Group (IPG) undersecretary Nora Terrado, noting promotional initiatives for startups and innovation in the Philippines continue to add up.

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Terrado said, what qualifies Philippines’ to be the next innovation hub in Asia is its strong compliance to the intellectual property rights protection. On a regional scale, the country ranked second for both patent protection and IPR protection in 2014.

And with over 30 Filipino inventors holding 23 patents assigned to 12 foreign companies, DTI sees startups as viable catalysts to the information era.

“There are stories of success in the Philippine startup scene. What we can do is to encourage these startups, link them to venture capitalists, and help them to improve their capacity to enter the global economy,” Terrado said.

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But aside from technoprenuership, she said, DTI is also looking into developing a new breed of small and medium enterprises in the field of agriculture, biotechnology, electronics, e-commerce, among others.

DTI is scheduled to hold its Slingshot Philppines (SlingshotPH) 2016, a startup conference at the World Trade Center Tent in Pasay City, from April 21 to 26 . SlingshotPH was organised last year to serve as an annual event meant to get the small businesses at the centre of global and regional trade.

In August 2015, the ICT Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO) launched its first ever tech startup roadmap targeted at creating 500 startups accounting for a cumulative valuation of $2 billion by 2020.

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