IdeaSpace bringing business ideas into realities PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 16:11

One of the national government agencies I admired in Western Mindanao is the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-IX. Two years ago, January 20, 2012, it was honored by President Benigno S. Aquino III with the 2012 Philippine Quality Award – an award that recognizes an organization competence of international caliber. I give credit to DOST-9 Regional Director Dr. Brenda Nazareth-Manzano for spearheading the men and women in upgrading its facilities involving science and technology to improve the economy of our region thru science.

With the slogan, “Towards Performance Excellence,” this 31 year old government office has evolved. “As we expand our services and work with more customers and organizations in the region, we feel that it is important that our direction perfectly reflects our identity,” Director Nazareth said.

Last 2013, DOST-IX renewed the vigor and enthusiasm to spur its achievements the year before. It has advanced towards a mission of fostering a productive and innovative S&T sector for a better quality of life in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

One of the major thrusts of DOST is partnering with private sectors in building up Technology Business Incubator (TBI) to achieve its potential. And this is happening now with its current projects with the Zamboanga Information Communication Technology (ZICT) Council. Together both parties are tapping the human resources and potentials of our city to develop a dollar-earning information technology industry.

On May 3, DOST in coordination ZICT will have a technopreneurship bootcamp by IdeaSpace Foundation at Garden Orchid Hotel. The event invites students, business people, local scientist, schools, and innovative people to share their business ideas where technology can be applied and make it a reality. 

A non-profit organization, IdeaSpace, tours around the nation to help budding technology entrepreneurs develop groundbreaking innovations and transform these into successful businesses. It goes beyond just investing in startups; IdeaSpace offers a program needed at critical phases when ideas are being turned into actual commercial products combining business incubation and acceleration. This means if your idea is deem to be workable and profitable IdeaSpace will provide seed funding, mentorship, office space, legal assistance and other business assistance.

IdeaSpace Zamboanga is also supported by the Department of Labor and Employment in commemoration of the celebration of Labor Day in the month of May. 

Here are some of the frequently questions asked from IdeaSpace
• DO I HAVE TO BE AN I.T. GUY TO JOIN IdeaSpace?
Nope. We are looking for novel technologies in all areas, not just wireless apps.  While we encourage all IT folks to enter the competition, we also encourage entrepreneurs in the areas as far as agriculture, food technology, infrastructure, energy, etc.
• THE TEAM IS ONLY ME, MYSELF AND I. DO I QUALIFY?
Nope.  You need to pull in a friend or a colleague to be your founding partner.  You have to have at least 2 and a max of 3 members of the team. We highly recommend having a tech co-founder, someone who can execute.
• HOW MANY TEAMS WILL GET A CHANCE TO BE INCUBATED IN IDEASPACE?
We will fund up to 10 start-ups to be incubated in IdeaSpace in our Makati offices for 6 months.
• IF I WIN ONE OF THE SPOTS INTO THE IDEASPACE PROGRAM, HOW MUCH MONEY DO I GET?
This is the question everyone likes to ask. Well, for each of the start-ups incubated, we will give an initial grant of P500,000 over 6 months.  After the incubation period, we will have a discussion with each about their budget for scaling up, where we could give additional funding via a convertible note based on a start-up’s needs at that time.
• IS IT JUST MONEY?
No.  We feel that the value for the start-ups is in everything else that you need to thrive and focus on building.
Also, the value is that you will be connected to a potential industry partner that could make your start-up scale, which is the market runway you need to start your venture. For example, your start-up’s valuation gets better if a big company is among your first partners.
• WHAT IS THE CATCH?
We will require each start-up to give the foundation 20%.  We must emphasize that the returns of the 20% will all go back to the foundation for future start-ups batches.
For more information how to join IdeaSpace, visit ZICT Office, Third Floor of MCC Building in San Jose, Zamboanga City (in front of Zamboanga Central School) or visit www.ideaspacefoundation.org. Emaul maubello@gmailcom or zict.org@gmail.com.


By Dante Corteza

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”