The Philippines’ startup ecosystem got a boost recently when the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and IdeaSpace Foundation (IdeaSpace), a technology incubator and accelerator, signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment and launch of the QBO Innovation Hub.
Located at the DTI International Building in Makati City, the QBO Innovation Hub aims to bring together innovators, explorers, investors, academic institutions, start-up mentors, funders and enablers and even partners and stakeholders from both public and private sectors in a constructive integration. It is also DTI’s way of showing its support to the startup community, particularly targeting startups with viable business propositions.
“This initiative is DTI-EMB’s way of providing relational form of assistance that boosts the climate of collaboration within the startup community, private sector, the academe and the government,” said Senen M. Perlada, EMB Director, DTI.
The Hub also serves as an avenue to urge more micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to collaborate and explore opportunities that disruptive technologies can offer.
At the launc, Rene “Butch” Meily, QBO Innovation Head said they are ready for business. He said they aim to be open and inclusive as possible and to collaborate with both local and international business groups and funders to produce game-changing breakthroughs to rival businesses around the world.
Aside from DTI and IdeaSpace, the Hub was made possible with the support from the Department of Science and Technology, and JP Morgan Foundation.
The QBO Innovation Hub is under the DTI’s Negosyo Center Plus operating model, a flagship initiative of the agency to encourage entrepreneurship in the country. It, however, will be more selective and focus more on mature startups. As the agency offers more services that cater to the needs of the startup community, more centers under the Negosyo Center Plus model will start assisting those in the startup and innovation sector.
QBO Innovation Hub is a natural progression in the efforts of IdeaSpace to help promote startup technopreneurship in the country, aside from providing equity-free funding, incubation, and acceleration through its national startup competition held annually since 2012.
The Hub was named after the iconic “kubo” which reflects the modern re-imagination of the traditional Filipino home and community space and developed in partnership with the BBDO Creative Agency. DTI hopes that QBO Innovation Hub will usher in a new breed of startups that will thrive in the innovation economy.