Last September 2018, Dr. Ambrosio B. Cultura and Engr. Bronson G. Mabulay from the University of Science and Technology of the Southern Philippines (USTP) teamed up to go on a study visit in Cleveland, Ohio to benchmark best practices of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in effectively and successfully managing its tech incubator.
The study visit aims to look at how tech entrepreneurship is taught in universities in the US, and to know who the different stakeholders are in a startup ecosystem. These support the establishment of a Technopreneurship Hub (TechHub) at USTP and the integration of a Technopreneurship 101 subject to the university’s engineering curriculum.
Dr. Cultura is currently the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at USTP. He holds a doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering and has published papers on electrical power and renewable energy.
Along with Dr. Cultura is Engr. Mabulay who is leading the TechHub implementation at USTP. He is an engineering instructor whose fields of expertise are in plant operations management and process redesign/streamlining.
Prof. Daniel J. Lacks, Department Chair of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at CWRU, welcomed the two USTP officials when they arrived at the US-based university for their visit.
Starting off their activity, the three went to CWRU’s Sears think[box], an idea-nurturing seven-story hub where each floor is designed to cater to a specific need of a user-entrepreneur from ideation to incubation. The officials described it as the “perfect model” for their TechHub at USTP because of its design.
Sears think[box] is open and free to anyone who has an idea to nurture. Dr. Cultura and Engr. Mabulay would like to have these qualities in their TechHub at USTP; a TechHub that provides and supports aspiring student-entrepreneurs and innovators in bringing their ideas to life.
Culminating their study visit to CWRU, they focused on learning the teaching pedagogy of the Institute for Engineering and Management (IEM) and touring the university’s 3-D Printing laboratories.
The USTP officials met with Dr. Fehmida Kapadia, faculty member of IEM and President for the KAPAMED Consulting and JumpStart Inc., to learn about CWRU highlights Design Thinking and Customer Discovery in their engineering curriculum.
Welcoming the USTP officials at the 3-D laboratories is Dr. Rigoberto Advincula, a Professor in the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at CWRU. In their tour, they learned how 3-D printing can revolutionize the manufacturing industry in the Philippines and create new value for Filipino-made products. According to Dr. Advincula, honing more Filipino experts in 3-D printing is one of the ways our country can accelerate its innovation ecosystem.
The US Study Visit is part of the activities of the TechHub Project, a project co-implemented by the Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd). It aims to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in the Philippines by strategically developing a network of technopreneurship hubs nationwide.