The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and local early stage technology incubator and accelerator IdeaSpace Foundation launched Monday a new startup innovation hub called the QBO Innovation Hub.
Pronounced as “kubo” referring to nipa hut or traditional Filipino home and community space, QBO was designed for Public-Private Partnership or PPP for the Philippine innovation ecosystem.
IdeaSpace claimed QBO is a natural progression in their efforts to help promote startup technopreneurship in the country, aside from providing equity-free funding, incubation and acceleration through its national startup competition held annually since 2012.
DTI and IdeaSpace signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment and launch of the QBO Innovation Hub at the DTI International Building in Makati City for startups and innovation entrepreneurs.
DTI-EMB director Senen Perlada said the QBO partnership is the department’s support to the startup community, particularly targeting those with viable business propositions.
The hub aims to link innovators, explorers, investors, academic institutions, start-up mentors, funders and enablers as well as a broad spectrum of partners and stakeholders from both public and private sectors to convene in constructive interaction.
“This initiative is DTI-EMB’s way of providing relational form of assistance that boosts the climate of collaboration within the startup community, private sector, the academe and the government,” Perlada said.
QBO is also planned to serve as an avenue that urges more micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to collaborate and explore opportunities that disruptive technologies can offer.
“We hope to open more opportunities for market access and capital, and mentorship for our startups, especially the growing number of young entrepreneurs,” Perlada added.
Aside from DTI and IdeaSpace, the innovation hub was made possible with support from the Department of Science and Technology and JP Morgan Foundation. It takes its cue from the rise of innovation districts around the world – the likes of Silicon Valley in the United States, Block 71 in Singapore and Tel Aviv, the center of “Startup Nation” in Israel.
Manuel V. Pangilinan, head of IdeaSpace, PLDT and First Pacific, said many other players have emerged to help build and grow startups since the launch of IdeaSpace in 2012.
“As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. We note with appreciation that the government has shown a keen interest in collaborating with private sector partners to help raise the Philippine startup scene to global standards through the QBO Innovation Hub,” Pangilinan said.
IdeaSpace as a non-profit foundation is supported by First Pacific, Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC), PLDT, Smart Communications Inc (Smart), Manila Electric Co (Meralco), Indofood, Philex Mining, Maynilad, MediaQuest, and TV5.