The Ideaspace Foundation, a nonprofit organization that incubates and accelerates Filipino startups and promising entrepreneurs, has its sights set on going global this 2015 .With a strong 2014 behind them – including the graduation of their second batch of startups, foreign groups joining their competitions, and the international recognition of their products – Ideaspace is seeking a more active ASEAN regional role in cultivating impactful ideas.
“The world has seen how the Southeast Asian region is becoming one of the most important startup hubs in the world, and the Philippine is well-positioned to become the region’s innovation bright spot in the years to come,” said Earl Martin Valencia, President and Co-Founder at IdeaSpace. “Our startups have the talent, the skills, and now the resources to make it big regionally and globally.”
Valencia added that as the 10 member-nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malasyia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) draw closer to creating a unified ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the region will become a melting pot of startups thanks to the single trade market exposing one country’s creations to another.
From local to abroad
Various startups supported by Ideaspace that have gained international recognition include TimeFree Innovations, a virtual queuing endeavour; Tudlo, a provider of mobile tools for disaster preparedness; and SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting), a lamp and charger powered by saltwater
“These startups have proven that Philippine innovations, when combined with the grit and mettle of the founders behind them, can make it big in the world stage,” Valencia stressed. “This has been the vision of Ideaspace from the very beginning.”
The third year of the IdeaSpace Startup Competition will play host to the next batch of aspiring technopreneurs, with entries accepted through apply.ideaspacefoundation.org until January 15, 2015.
After three rounds of rigorous judging, only the best 20 ideas will go into IdeaSpace’s six-week incubation phase. Here, each group will be given a PHP 50,000 grant to concretize their thoughts, develop prototypes, create their presentation materials, and figure out customer validation, among others.
The organization’s Board of Trustees will then choose the top 10 startups to go into the acceleration stage. Lasting for 18 weeks, the participants will be given intensive mentoring for topics such as further product development, taking care of the legal paperwork, and conducting market validation.
Getting into the acceleration phase entails a PHP 500,000 seeding fund, an additional PHP 500,000 grant inclusive of necessities such as marketing and financial consulting, business management classes, intellectual property consulting and incorporation, office space, and business registration costs.
These funds come from IdeaSpace’s supporters: First Pacific, First Pacific Leadership Academy, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), MPIC hospital group, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Meralco, Smart Communications, Inc (Smart), Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) and its mobile brand Sun Cellular, SPI Global, ePLDT, Indofood, Philex Mining, Maynilad, MediaQuest, and TV5.
With a total funding of PHP 500-million over its first five years, IdeaSpace is the biggest private sector commitment for technopreneurship in the country.