Philippine Startup Week Caps Off With the Signing of the IRR of the Innovative Startup Act

Photo shows from left to right: Mr. Rene “Butch” Meily, QBO Innovation Hub President; Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, Undersecretary, Department of Science and Technology (DOST); Fortunato T. Dela Peña, Secretary, DOST; Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Gregorio B. Honasan II, Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT); Rafaelita M. Aldaba, Undersecretary, DTI-Competitiveness and Innovation Group; Emmanuel Rey Caintic, Assistant Secretary, DICT; and Jose Arturo C. De Castro, Undersecretary, DICT-Legal Affairs, Policy, Planning & Finance.

The first-of-its kind Philippine Startup Week (PHSW19) caps off in high spirit with the signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations for the Republic Act No. 11337, also known as the Innovative Startup Act. Present at the signing, held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, are Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Pena, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, and QBO Innovation Hub (QBO) President Rene Meily, along with Filipino startup advocates, enablers, and communities.

The Innovative Startup Act was signed by President Duterte last April 26. This legislation creates the Philippine Startup Development Program that is set to offer “programs, benefits, and incentives” for both startups and enablers. It aims to ‘strengthen, promote, and develop’ the Philippine startup ecosystem.

The PHSW19 is a multi-city, simultaneous gathering of the Filipino startup community which aims to solidify their commitment to raise the level of the industry. It was created through the collaboration of the DOST, DTI, DICT, QBO, the country’s first public-private initiative for startups created through a partnership between IdeaSpace, J.P. Morgan, DOST, and DTI.

The gathering gave startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs an avenue to grow their network and find like-minded people; they also had various opportunities to learn in community event sessions and interactive activities such as ‘Embracing Googliness: Applying Google Culture to Startups’ organized by Google, ‘Cultivating a Culture of Innovation and Collaboration for the PH Startup Community: The PLDT Innolab Advocacy’ led by PLDT Innolab, DICT’s ‘Tech Advantage Summit’, and many more.

By bringing together the country's startups, the Philippine Startup Week inspired innovation, encouraged business networking, showcased technologies, and helped build the country as a fast-rising startup hub.

"The Filipino startup community has been thriving and has shown great promise in recent years," said DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Pena. "By coming together these startups are able to support one another towards better chances of success. The linkages with startups in other countries are also able to develop synergies and expanded markets. I am confident that under the one government approach we can accelerate the growth of the number of successful startups in our country.”

Entrepreneurs are one of the backbones of nation-building not only because they provide jobs and add to government funds, but also because they help paint the country as a progressive nation open for possibilities and business activities.

"The recent Philippine Startup Week gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to level up their own enterprises. It showed that the government and private sector are coming together to create an environment conducive for startups, making it easy for investors to see potential in the country," said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. “Events like these will enable the Philippines to become home to world-class startups."

As a nationwide endeavor, startups in other areas including Albay, Bohol, Butuan, Pampanga, Baguio, Iloilo, Cagayan, Davao, Dumaguete, and Laguna, held simultaneous activities highlighting the growth of the industry that also showcased the massive potential to make it even bigger in the future.

"The Philippine Startup Week 2019 is a great avenue to bring together startups across the Philippines, providing them opportunities to build linkages and to learn from each other's experiences. For three years, your DICT has been implementing and continuously developing programs aimed at promoting startups. The passage of RA 11337 will enable us to explore more ways to widen our reach in this area," said DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II.

"QBO strongly believes that startups in the Philippines have all the potential to be at par with its regional counterparts," said Rene Butch Meily, president, QBO. "That is why we are determined to create an ecosystem where they can thrive and succeed. By pooling all the relevant government agencies and members of the private sectors, QBO pushes for more support so ideas will get a headstart and existing startups will get a boost."

It is hoped that the Philippine Startup Week will drive more innovations and inspire more startups to go ahead with their ideas and make it happen for the community and for the nation.

For more information on Philippine Startup Week 2019, visit:

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