IdeaSpace Foundation Inc. President and Co-founder Earl Martin Valencia said his group is now accepting early-stage start-up ideas from founders based in countries from Southeast Asia.
“As we’ve seen in recent months, the local start-up community is more vibrant than ever. Investors from here and around the world, including those from Silicon Valley, all have their eyes trained on Philippine start-ups,” he said.
Now on its third year, the IdeaSpace competition continues to foster relevant ideas and breakthrough innovations from some of the region’s most brilliant minds by providing at least P1 million worth of seed funding, legal consulting, mentorship opportunities, office space, and market runway to eventual winners.
“Investors are taking notice, and we have the brilliant ideas that could take the world by storm. IdeaSpace hopes to foster and nurture those kinds of innovation,” Valencia said.
Just recently, IdeaSpace was instrumental in two of the biggest start-up community events that brought key global investors and local start-up players in one venue: Geeks on a Plane in Makati City and Geeks on a Beach in Cebu—both with Dave McClure of 500 Startups, considered the most active venture-capital fund in Silicon Valley, in attendance.
Interested groups and individuals may file their applications on or before January 15.
The top 20 ideas after three rounds of judging will officially enter IdeaSpace’s six-week incubation phase, where each start-up will receive a P50,000 grant for prototype development, presentation materials, and customer validation, among others.
After the incubation phase, the IdeaSpace board of trustees will select the top 10 start-ups that will enter the acceleration phase, an intensive 18-week program that will help each startup develop their products, set up their corporation and business permits, and conduct market validation, among others.
Each start-up that successfully enters the acceleration phase will get P500,000 in seed funding, plus a separate grant worth at least another P500,000 inclusive of business-management classes, marketing and financial consulting, intellectual-property consulting and incorporation, office space, and business registration costs, among others.
Since its launch in 2012, IdeaSpace has invested and nurtured early-stage start-ups that have eventually become full-fledged businesses with marked growth. Some of these include PinoyTravel, an online travel-booking system for provincial buses and ferries; TimeFree Innovations, a virtual queuing system that uses SMS for notifications; and SALt, an ecologically designed lamp powered by tap water and table salt, among many others.
A nonprofit foundation, IdeaSpace is supported by the following companies: First Pacific, First Pacific Leadership Academy, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., MPIC Hospital Group, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Manila Electric Co., Smart Communications Inc., Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. and its mobile brand Sun Cellular, among others.
With P500-million funding over five years, the initiative is the largest private-sector commitment for technology entrepreneurship in the Philippines.