The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) named its Regional Startup Champions, or Rainmakers, during the three-day Startup Champions Summit held from 15-18 November 2018.

The Startup Champions project identified 18 Rainmakers who has the capacity and commitment to build their local startup communities and support them in building their respective startup ecosystems through training, exposure and introductions to existing startup ecosystem stakeholders.

The full list of Regional Startup Champions:


Cordillera Administrative Region Janelle Vincent C. Dulnuan
Region 1 Louise Ian delos Reyes-Aquino
Region 2 Mc Allen Reonel Sebastian S. Cacacho
Region 3 Dennis R. dela Cruz
Region 3 Dr. Grace Fabros-Tyler
National Capital Region Carlo P. Valencia
Region 4A Jairus Matthew Z. Larona
Region 4B Ranjit G. Montablan
Region 5 ArlanAlzaga
Region 6 John Dave Dueñas
Region 6 RayjandTalabanGellamucho
Region 7 Listerlyn Joy C. Garingo
Region 8 Fernando Quiroz Jr.
Region 9 Heidee L. Soliman
Region 10 John Dave del Rosario
Region 11 Engr. Franch Maverick A. Lorilla
Region 12 Lord Bonie A. Dalinas
Region 13 Dennis Dagsa
ARMM Hamdan U. Guro



The Rainmakers are expected to provide input on all startup activities in their regions, and help raise local awareness about the seedPH program. Moreover, they will work with the DICT – ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB) and respective DICT Regional Offices in organizing and promoting local events to build the local startup community.

The initiative supports the DICT’s seedPH Program of enriching and strengthening the development of communities in the countryside crucial to spreading the startup advocacy.

“We are excited now that we have finally identified local champions. We have found allies who will work with us in creating an enabling environment for startups nationwide. The Rainmakers will help the DICT, through the IIDB, to provide appropriate support and capacity-building activities targeted towards the needs of their respective startup communities,” shares Emmy Lou Delfin, the OIC-Division Chief of IIDB.

The DICT has partnered with IdeaSpace and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) in order to strengthen startup communities and promote inclusive innovation all over the country. This project specifically targets the empowerment of local startup community builders in order to achieve a strong Philippine Startup Ecosystem.

“It is a shared value for both organizations to scale opportunities around innovation. Knowing that there are a lot of competent and committed Filipinos all around the country was the impetus of undertaking this initiative,” says the Deputy Executive Director of IdeaSpace, Ms. Goldy Yancha.

This early, the Startups Champions have already identified potential challenges that they need to address in their local startup communities.

John Dave Dueñas, a Startup Champion for Region 6, is concerned that his startup community may be losing its sense of creativity, which is an essential characteristic for startups. “The Startup Champions Project will help me create a platform for entrepreneurial youth in our province and that will help nurturetheir creativity and stay competitive,” he pointed out.


Hamdan Guro, the ARMM Startup champion, wants to re-energize his hometown of Marawi City by helping develop the City’s own startup community by initially building the youth’s awareness of the opportunities available within the ICT industry, particularly in the startup sector. “The Startup Champions Project will be very helpful in what I want to achieve in my City. Once I have formed my team, I know that the other champions will be able to help me capacitate my team members so that we are well prepared to face the task of building our startup community.”

One of the most cited challenges was the gap between the cultures of traditional entrepreneurs and the startups. Region 5 Startup champion ArlanA lzaga relates, “both the traditional and startup entrepreneurs in my region need to learn to work together to create a robust local ecosystem, in order to maximize the benefits that we can gain from it. I consider myself both a startup owner, and a traditional businessman, so I feel that I can bridge this gap and effectively advocate developing the local startup community, and transmit to them what I learned during this three-day Summit. Our region has been one of the early adopters of technology, so we should not hesitate in finding out the other ways using technology can benefit us.”



The DICT is the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that plans, develops, and promotes the national ICT development agenda.

IdeaSpace is a non-stock and non-profit organization dedicated to supporting innovation, technology development, and entrepreneurship as a path to nation building. They help budding technology entrepreneurs and develop ground breaking innovations and transform these into successful businesses. They believe that technopreneurship – entrepreneurial ventures involving high technology – is important and critical factor to the progress of the Philippine economy as a whole. Their program goes beyond just providing funding for startups; they offer a program that combines incubation & acceleration needed at the critical phases when ideas are being turned into actual commercial products.