MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) launched the Startup Research Grant Program in 2017.
Two years since then, the 15 startups chosen for the program are showcased at the Philippine Startup Week 2019, Tuesday, November 19.
These 15 startups were chosen from an applicant pool of 65 from various sectors, becoming the first batch of DOST startup grantees. The fund was established to help these young companies "overcome R&D roadblocks, strengthen intellectual property, establish initial market traction, and refine their business model." They were given access to funds – a total of P64 million – and a chance to network with partners who may be able to help them.
Raul Sabularse, the deputy executive director at PCIEERD, said that the program was started to set a path for the Philippines to eventually become a "startup powerhouse." According to PCIEERD too, the program has generated 142 jobs, raised P35 million more in capital, acquired 221 clients, and generated P77 million pesos in revenues for the 15 startups just a year after having received the grant. Admittedly modest numbers, they said, but the potential is big for these startups to eventually scale and generate higher figures.
The 15 startups at the event recalled their journey so far, the growth they have achieved in the two years since the grant, and what they hope to achieve in the future, and credited DOST for aiding them during their earliest stages. Here are the 15:
MachiBox - developed robotic kits called MachiBot designed to increase interest in programming and robotics for students and beginners
Rurok Industries - a bicycle startup that develops performance bikes suspension technology that has features called "antisquat" and "antirise"
Easybus PH - developed a complete digital booking platform adaptable for all types of buses to address inefficient manual booking
Retailgate - provides AI-powered retail analytics by tracking consumer behavior in store
Grayscale - developed the Smart VISION system, an AI-guided system for the blind that provides information on physical objects around to help the user
Tactiles - developed the IQUBE, an app-powered educational toy that teaches kids about electricity
EduSuite - developed a campus management system that uses AI to improve management efficiency
Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise Inc. (FAME) - developed small-scale vessel trackers and monitors that serve as communication devices, establishing increased communication and safety at sea
Wela School Systems - provides student management systems for teachers and apps that can inform parents of students' attendance and other school updates
Kinovett Scientific Solutions CO. (BTBox) - offers biotechnology kits that teaches students basic scientific principles designed for schools with no science laboratories
Senti Techlabs - provides social media monitoring focused on understanding posts made in Filipino
Farmwatch Solutions Inc. - provides a remote monitoring system that connects farms to farmers, providing them with vital information that could help farmers make faster and better decisions
Nanotronics Inc. - pioneered the production of a material called cellulose nanocrystal derived from indigenous crops that can be refined into materials used in industrial production
Restograph - developed a restaurant management software that offers real-time sales analytics and data on daily operations
The Philippine Startup Week continues with the TBI Summit on Wednesday, November 20, which the DOST says is a conference that "aims to highlight Filipino startups and the government's support for these startups through the various panel sessions, creating avenues for startups, public, and private agencies to share best practices concerning business incubation and startup support."
The week concludes with the launching of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 11337 or the Innovative Startup Act on Friday, November 22. – Rappler.com