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Saint Louis University TechHub Conducts Technopreneurship 101 Workshop

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Saint Louis University (SLU) held a one-day supplementary training for Technopreneurship 101 on May 5. Faculty members from the School of Engineering and Architecture participated in the activity. SLU in Baguio City is one of PhilDev’s partner universities that established a Technopreneurship Hub (TechHub) with support from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). SLU TechHub actively serves as platform to enhance and strengthen the Technopreneurship 101 course within their own university and their respective cohort universities and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Cordillera Regions.

Topics covered by the training include Business Model Canvas led by Mr. Joel Barquez, Founder and CEO of Blood Hero. The session focused on the different parts of a Business Model Canvas and its importance in the foundation of a startup company. Mr. Tivo Mallillin, Competence Manager of Nokia R&D, led the session on Lateral Thinking. He presented Eduard De Bono’s concept of Lateral Thinking where a problem solver should explore different ways of examining a challenging task, instead of accepting what appears to be the solution with seemingly the most potential moving forward.

Dustin Masancay, PhilDev Labs’ Incubator Manager discussed Human- Centered Design and the importance of designing products and ideas based on the needs of the customer. A mini design thinking workshop was also conducted during the session.

“Design thinking offers a new way of looking at problems and creating solutions relevant to meeting the SDGs. These are the types of innovations–inclusive and highly impactful–that we hope to support through programs like ISIP and the TechHubs.” said Dustin Masancay, PhilDev Labs Incubator Manager.

The activity was concluded with a panel discussion with entrepreneurs who shared their experiences in putting up a startup. Panelists include Au Soriano, Founder of PinoyTravel, Inc.; Jessica Manipon, Co-founder of Vesl Trade, Inc.; Janelle Dulnuan, Co-founder of Plot and Play; and Jason Bruno of Word Camp.

“We believe that in order to strengthen Technopreneurship 101, we must consistently push for continuous academic and entrepreneurial mindset development through activities such as workshops and trainings. This would enhance and supplement our knowledge and capacity to teach the subject to our students. It is through supplementary activities like this that we gain a better understanding and grasp of the subject and see the various practical applications which the students would better appreciate.” said Professor Donna Tabangin, Program Manager of SLU TechHub.

Technopreneurship 101 is a subject developed by PhilDev based on recommendations from Visiting US Professors the PhilDev brought in and deployed in various Philippine universities in 2013-2017. Through the partnership of PhilDev and CHED, Technopreneurship 101 will be part of the new engineering curricula, offered as a required General Education elective, beginning academic year 2018. The subject will be rolled out in more than 539 Philippine universities that offer engineering programs. In 3-5 years, PhilDev hopes for the Philippine universities to produce new breeds of engineers and scientists who would have the skillset to commercialize their innovations and inventions.

PhilDev Labs at INSPIRE PH

On April 28, 2018, INSPIRE.PH brought together leaders and changemakers in Entrepreneurship, Start-Up, Tech and Innovation, Cryptocurrencies and the Stock Market at the SMX Convention Center. The event was attended by over 1,000 participants from the tech and investment sectors. It was sponsored by Investagrams, an online platform that provides guidance to users who want to venture into the stock market. It also provides tools that inform and educate users on stock market trading.

PhilDev was part of the INSPIRE.PH event, setting up its own booth to entertain queries from participants who wanted to learn more about PhilDev’s programs and its newly launched PhilDev Labs, a hub for technology and innovation.

Dustin Masancay, Incubator Manager of PhilDev Labs was the panel moderator of the session with venture capitalists and incubators, Unicorns: Finding the Next Billion Dollar Startup. Members of the panel include Butch Meily, President of IDEASPACE/QBO; Artie Lopez, Co-Founder and Startup Coach of Brainsparks; and Jojo Flores, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer of Launchgarage.

The discussion mainly focused on the status of startups in the Philippines and what investors look at when investing in startups. The panel members also shared which sectors and local startups excite them most.

“We have started, as an industry, to put up a list together and we think there is between 500-800 startups in the Philippines now. It’s still below the 1000 mark compared to Indonesia’s size, so my point is we are not producing enough. I have to give credit to the government and the private sector who have been pushing the advocacy of bringing Technopreneurship in the country. Hopefully, the number will grow.”  said Butch Meily, President of IDEASPACE/QBO.

Members of the panel also provided practical advice to startup founders and entrepreneurs who wish to build their own startup.

“Since you are a startup founder, you need to look for people who have the same mindset as you, you have to look for people who are just as passionate about solving the problem that you want to solve. And the place for you to find those people is in other startup events. This (Inspire PH) is kind of like one. This is a very investing-centric event but there are a lot of startup founders and entrepreneurs here. So try to be more involved in the community.” said Artie Lopez from Brainsparks.

The panel discussion concluded with a positive tone that reassured startups and aspiring entrepreneurs of the support from different sectors, particularly within the startup community itself.

“We are highly encouraged by the prospects of an improved Philippine startup ecosystem. Thanks to the new programs and players joining to advance our cause. We at PhilDev are happy to play our part through our upcoming programs.” Said Dustin Masancay, Incubator Manager of PhilDev Labs.

PhilDev Joins the UP TMC Startup Meetup

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On April 14, 2018, a community of aspiring entrepreneurs came together to identify opportunities, share experiences, and collaborate with other entrepreneurs in the field. The TMC Startup Meetup was held at the Nokia Technology Center at the UP Technohub in Quezon City. Over 70 participants made up of startup entrepreneurs, students, members of the academe, and government officials attended the event.

PhilDev Program Director Emil Tapnio discussed the Innovation for Social Impact Partnership (ISIP) that PhilDev and UNDP are leading, with support from DFAT-Australia. PhilDev’s Program Coordinator Katherine Khoo also discussed the upcoming Accelerator Program that’s also being supported by ISIP, which will be launched under PhilDev Labs.

Other speakers during the event include the Director of the Department of Science and Technology Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), Dr. Joel Marciano who discussed the present and upcoming projects of the department and technology opportunities for commercialization. He also mentioned the importance of entrepreneurship in realizing the IT National Plan.

“We’ve been advocating the IT National Plan but listening to the speakers today, I knew that we can only realize that through Entrepreneurship,” said, Director of DOST-ASTI.

The National Information Technology Plan presents the Philippines' broad strategy to spur itself to global competitiveness through information technology. This plan sets down specific time frames for achieving goals related to laying of IT infrastructure. Having the use of IT pervasive in daily life and making the Philippines a Knowledge Center in the Asia Pacific. This plan was published in 1997, benefitting from a study undertaken by the National Information Technology Council (NITC) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Edison Cruz, Director UP TMC also emphasized on the importance of events like this in encouraging entrepreneurship in the startup ecosystem “Meetups stoke embers of entrepreneurship and pave the way for startups.” said Cruz.

The UP Technology Management Center (UP TMC) is a first of its kind in the Philippines and the ASEAN region being an interdisciplinary undertaking where it draws from the expertise, experience and perspectives of nine (9) UP Diliman affiliated units namely the College of Science, College of Engineering, College of Business Administration, School of Economics, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, National College of Public Administration and Governance, College of Home Economics, Asian Center, Institute for Small-Scale Industries.

The TMC Startup Hub is a group that aims to bring together aspiring entrepreneurs from the University of the Philippines’ Technology Management Center. They regularly conduct meetups wherein speakers from the academe, government, and private sectors are invited.