In preparation for the upcoming Philippine Startup Challenge 2014, the Department of Science and Technology’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Office will be holding a series of Startup 101 boot camps for teachers and coaches across the nation in partnership with the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) and with the cooperation of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) and the Philippine Society of IT Educators (PSITE). The Visayas leg will be the first of the series and will be held this June 4, 2014, in Cebu City.

The Philippine Startup Challenge is one of the startup initiatives that the ICT Office is launching under its SeedPH Program this year. The Philippine Startup Challenge is a student startup competition that aims to involve academic institutions in the college level from all-over the country. This was conceptualized together with the local startup community stakeholders and major players in the industry to encourage and inspire students to create innovative and relevant ICT services that may also be viable business ventures. Just recently, the Agency kicked off the first leg of its Startup Workshop series in Lingayen, Pangasinan last May 2, 2014. Through its SeedPH Program, the ICT Office aims to boost the development of the country’s startup ecosystem and targeting at least 50 local startups based in the Philippines with average annual revenues of at least 10 Million Pesos each by the end of 2016.

Lean Startup 101 Boot Camps for school coaches will be discussing lean startup methods and startup basics to equip the possible participants with basic skills and tools to build and operate a startup. Conduct of the workshops will be done in different regions to ensure that prospective participants from the countryside will be given appropriate orientation before the competition proper begins. In this series, the basic principles of Lean Startup will be taught to relevant faculty mentors who subsequently will be mentoring students throughout the competition. The whole-day seminar/workshop will be facilitated by software industry experts from PSIA.

According to major players and stakeholders in the Philippine startup community, there are many key challenges and issues that are currently faced by local startups and the entities that support them. One of the main issues that hinder the growth of the startups and its ecosystem in the country is the low number of investible ideas generated periodically. It was also identified that a bigger pipeline of innovative ideas will help stimulate activities for startups that will keep funders, accelerators, incubators busier. To address all these, the startup community has strongly supported the establishment of a national startup competition that will educate the youth on the basics of setting startups and entrepreneurship that would help jump-start the commercialization of ideas that address relevant issues in society.

According to Undersecretary Louis Casambre of the DOST – ICT Office, “ We strive to promote the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in ICT, as we serve as the government partner in building and harmonizing a healthy ecosystem for tech startups to be developed and be cultivated, we would also like to inspire young Filipinos to become ITpreneurs. This initiative would not have been possible if not for our public and private partners who share our goals in this endeavor.”

The schedule of the Lean Startup 101 Boot Camps are as follows:

June 4           Visayas Leg – Cebu City
June 14         Southern Luzon/Bicol Region Leg – Legazpi City
June 21         1st NCR Leg – Quezon City
June 28         Mindanao Leg- Davao City
July 19         Northern/Central Luzon Leg – Baguio City
July 26         2nd NCR Leg – Quezon City

About DOST-ICT Office – The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.

About PSIA –  The Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) promotes the growth and global competitiveness of the Philippine software industry. As an industry association, it nurtures a collaborative ecosystem of mature small and medium companies that are experts in niche technology areas; provides highly-English proficient, adaptive, and customer-oriented workforce; offers a robust and secure ICT infrastructure and cost advantage for high-value end-to-end solutions.

About NICP –  The National ICT Confederation of the Philippines Is the recognized, premier, and unifying advocate for countryside ICT industry development in the Philippines with missions to promote foreign and local investments and balanced development, share information and best practices and to transform the Philippines into a customer-oriented and competitive provider for global services.

About PSITE – The Philippine Society of Information Technology Educators is the premier national IT Professional organization transforming the academic community that enables and sustains the growth of a knowledge-drive Philippine economy. Committed in providing opportunities for the development of its members, PSITE thrives to advocate dynamic and responsive educational initiatives for an enhanced academic standard.

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