Tech startups need mentors, says DTI Cebu

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva August 24,2016 - 09:36 PM

AN official from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu emphasized the importance of networking in the growth of the local tech startup community.

DTI Cebu Provincial Director Maria Elena Arbon said that while Cebu is second to Manila in terms of startup density, but it is still considered to be in the “baby stage.”

“There are still many things that can be done to improve the local startup ecosystem,” she told Cebu Daily News.

Startup companies, she said, will need to be linked with more mature entrepreneurs so they will be able to discover and harness their strengths.

At this stage, what is needed is to build a strong startup culture by enabling these fledgling tech companies to grow.

Last month, the DTI in partnership with other stakeholders introduced the Launchpad mentorship program which aims to turn startups into full small- and medium-sized enterprises in the future.

Not only will they be able to gain insight on how to grow their businesses, startup founders will also be linked to local businessmen that might provide financing in the future.

Since the kickoff last July, Arbon said at least 10 Cebu-based tech startups have already expressed intent to participate in the program.

Arbon said among these companies were Bizlertech Inc., owned by Gregorio Virtudazo; BFC Online Services, represented by Wendel Butch Diano; Fresh2ket, represented by Queeny Jane Cabizares; Soft Asset Ventures, founded by Rey Reroma; Tarshare, represented by Thomas Riddenour; Getmoreph Inc., owned by Grace Granlund;, of Daryl Becera; ESCooped Media, represented by Ruben Liceria Jr.; and still unnamed startups represented by Jose Segura Jr., Sedrix Caritero and Federico Camacho.

DTI will hold its briefing for participants on Sept. 7, with Joey Gurango, the former president of the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), as resource person.

The Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT) is also going around universities to encourage students to take part in the briefing.

Arbon said the participants will be introduced to Launchpad and will be taught about business models to prepare them for the pitching session two weeks after.

Launchpad is patterned after PSIA’s program for startup founders in Metro Manila and is the first of its kind to be launched outside the area.

Ten to 15 startups from Cebu will be chosen to undergo a six-month program with the PSIA.

Arbon earlier said that startups need mentorship more than funding, as funding will come once their businesses gain traction and have already attracted a market.

To further strengthen the growing startup ecosystem in Cebu, Arbon said they will hold a crowd-funding seminar for startup founders and small to medium-sized enterprise owners in October.

Crowd-funding is defined as a funding practice for a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the internet.

Arbon said the DTI will also undertake measures to introduce more traditional micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to electronic commerce (e-commerce).

She said that once MSMEs shift their operations to the digital space, there will also be a greater need for digital startup services.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: CEDF-IT, Department of Trade and Industry, DTI, PSIA, technology

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.