The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is set to launch the sixth (6th) Philippine Startup Challenge 2021 (PSC 2021) this September. The event is an annual startup competition started in 2016 which aims to encourage and support Filipinos to create innovative and relevant ICT products and services that may develop into viable business ventures and potentially solve social problems. 

“Through this initiative, we hope to promote the entrepreneurial spirit among Filipinos that will surely help our country advance in the global digital economy,” DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II said. 

As part of the Republic Act No. 11337 or the “Innovative Startup Act” which was enacted last 26 April 2019, the Philippine Startup Challenge seeks to aid in strengthening, promoting, and developing the Philippine Startup Ecosystem.  

The event also aims to bring together experts in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) from across the country to help establish a network of innovators, foster a culture of entrepreneurship in ICT, and discover the endless opportunities catering to vigorously advance science, technology, and innovation.

This year, the competition will be open for submission of entries that cover software and internet-based innovations and will cater to all startups in the ideation to minimum viable product stage.

Ms. Emmy Lou V. Delfin, Director IV of the ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB), encourages Filipino professionals and students to participate in the startup competition.

“We are taking the Philippine Startup Challenge 2021 to the next level as we include another category for Filipino professionals in the competition. Hopefully, with our Bureau’s initiatives, we can support Filipino professionals and students further so they can continue to improve their startup ideas,” Director Delfin said.

The Philippine Startup Challenge will be divided into two (2) categories for professionals and students, with a maximum of four (4) members per team. For the entire duration of the competition, the DICT together with its partner organizations and ICT councils, will be guiding and mentoring the winners in preparation for the next rounds. 

This nationwide competition will start from regional pitching competitions where three (3) regional winners will be assessed and chosen by the Regional Selection Committee. Regional winners will then advance to the Semifinal Round, where the top ten (10) teams shall move on to the national competition. The Finals for the professional category is set on the third week of November, with the five (5) winners to receive funding proposals.

The PSC 2021 is to be held in partnership with Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), Ignite, QBO, StartUp Village, Spring Valley, Huawei, and Microsoft, among others.

Interested participants are encouraged to visit the PSC website at https://dict.gov.ph/philippine-startup-challenge-2021 or to email the PSC Secretariat at psc2021_inquiries@dict.gov.ph.