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PhilDev U.S. Study Visit: Benchmarking in Cleveland, Ohio

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.

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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.

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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.


Preparing for the future: PhilDev Scholars meet Google PH Pioneer

Randy Reyes, Global Diversity and Inclusion Lead of Google.png

On January 12, ten PhilDev-Shell scholars participated in a career guidance session with Randy Reyes, Global Diversity and Inclusion Lead of Google and a pioneer of Google Philippines. The session was about career-building while pursuing personal passions.

Most fresh graduates go through the challenges of determining a career path to pursue after graduating from college. This is also the case for many of PhilDev-Shell’s scholars as discovered by PhilDev’s Scholarship team during the scholars’ peer counseling sessions. One of these challenges is deciding whether to pursue a career they are passionate about or a career that will better the lives of their families and provide them with financial stability.

The session with Randy is part of the support services provided to PhilDev-Shell scholars. The PhilDev Science and Engineering Scholarship (PSES) program go beyond funding talented students from various universities in the Philippines. It also provides support services such as peer counseling and career guidance to motivate scholars to perform better in school and ensure holistic development as individuals.

Randy shared his story and his journey to Google. He highlighted the importance of building confidence and leveraging on one’s strengths when finding one’s calling. He also emphasized to the scholars that it is normal for them to experience these kinds of challenges.

“The idealization of finding yourself, I think, is something to reckon with in general, but I don’t think it’s like one and done. I think you’re constantly trying to negotiate it and figure it out...and it’s okay,” Randy said.

Closing the session, the PhilDev-Shell scholars sought advice from Randy regarding balancing career and volunteering. Randy has volunteered to various social causes and advocacies while pursuing his career in the United States. His stories strongly resonated with the scholars since many of them are also involved in volunteer work for various organizations.

As parting words, Randy advised the scholars to take advantage of the opportunities available to them as they reach for their goals in life.

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PhilDev believes that a science and engineering education plays a critical role in accelerating national development. Invest in the future minds of the Philippines. Donate and fund our scholars http://www.phildev.org/fund-a-scholar


Fireside Chat with Dado Banatao at ASPACE Gallery

Last February 4, our Founder and Chairman Dado Banatao was featured at a Fireside Chat hosted by the Innovation for Social Impact Partnership (ISIP). At the event, Dado shared his insights and experiences as an engineer, entrepreneur, and investor. The chat was followed by a Q&A portion, which gave the participants a rare opportunity to ask questions directly to Dado.

Participants of the event included the Social Entrepreneurs (SE) of the Social Impact Accelerator. “It was a great opportunity for the Philippine startup community to learn from Dado, coming from his firsthand experience in using his technical expertise to invent, innovate, and scale businesses that improve the conditions of people. It was a great privilege for the SE founders to learn from him about growth strategies.” said Goldy Yancha, PhilDev Entrepreneurship Manager and ISIP Social Entrepreneurship Officer.

Dado believes that the Philippines has a strong capability to compete on a global level. He emphasized PhilDev’s work in promoting inclusive economic growth in the Philippines through supporting and spurring innovation and bringing in technical expertise through its wide network.

“PhilDev is here to help. We help not only entrepreneurs but also the government. We have taken Silicon Valley here to the Philippines. If you look at the profile of different nationalities in Silicon Valley, we outweigh the other Asian countries in terms of achievements, in terms of successful companies that were built in Silicon Valley. So, what we want to do here is for Filipinos to take advantage of opportunities here. If we have to compete with Silicon Valley, let’s do it. I’ve been there for so long that over time I realized that we’re just as good”

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The Innovation for Social Impact Partnership is a joint project between PhilDev, UNDP Philippines and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In this partnership, UNDP and PhilDev combine their strengths in social innovation, sustainability, technology, and entrepreneurship to enable social enterprises become scalable businesses.