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IdeaSpace opens national search for startups: Up to P5M in funding offered for the best Pinoy tech innovations

IdeaSpace Foundation, Inc. (IdeaSpace) launched today its national competition in search of the country’s top ideas for technology entrepreneurship, the first private-led comprehensive incubation program in the Philippines. Aspiring technopreneurs and startups can start submitting their applications for the contest starting September 1 until January 7 next year. Ten tech-based ideas will receive funding and support worth Php2M for the first phase and up to Php5M additional capital during or after six months into the program.

“We’re excited to see what kind of game changing ideas we will get from this competition. We have been going the rounds all over the country through our bootcamps and there are so many promising tech ideas and entrepreneurs around. It’s time to help make these ideas into commercial realities.” said Earl Martin S. Valencia, IdeaSpace president.

Valencia, an engineer and Stanford MBA graduate, recently moved back from Silicon Valley to help start IdeaSpace with co-founder Marthyn Cuan, Vice President of IdeaSpace and Chief Information Officer of Meralco.

IdeaSpace runs an incubator and accelerator program to support technology entrepreneurs in the Philippines and for the global market through partnerships between the MVP group of companies and global technology companies.

A non-profit foundation, it is supported by the following companies: First Pacific, 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, Sun Cellular, SPI Global, ePLDT, Indofood, Philex Mining, Maynilad, MediaQuest, and TV5.

The companies contributed a total half a billion pesos funding for five years for the foundation, the largest private sector commitment for technology entrepreneurship in the country.

Aside from the initial seed money of Php500,000 per startup, winners will receive mentorship from executives from the group companies, access to resources including legal assistance and advice, operational control, free office spaces, housing provisions for those from outside Metro Manila and a clear partner route to markets served by any company in the group – whose range of business translate to millions of households, subscribers, motorists and others. In exchange for the support, IdeaSpace will have a 20% equity stake for each company incubated and the future revenues will go back to help fund other statups.

Winners will be announced by April 2013 and they will undergo incubation for six months.

In his recent speech at the 6th Summit of the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), Manuel V. Pangilinan, posed the challenge, “why can’t the next Instagram or Google be Filipino. This innovation void defined precisely the rationale behind IdeaSpace.”

Launched last March 5, IdeaSpace targets early stage start-ups that in the industries of water and power utilities, toll roads and transportation, healthcare, mining, telecommunications, media and food. The program is also open to applicants focused on solutions for other industries but have potentially significant global potential or developmental impact.

Startups which do not fall under the early stage target market for the competition can still connect with IdeaSpace for support through mentoring, partnerships and industry link-ups.

“The program goes beyond angel investing and provides incubation and acceleration with access to a wide group of companies to share and learn experiences, fast access to be defined market runway and opportunities to be connected to potential investors” said Cuan.

Aside from funding, each incubated company will go through a structured program hosted by the group’s Leadership Academy to teach them the fundamentals on how to run a successful and scalable business.

Since its launch, IdeaSpace has also been supporting the various activities of start-up community. In addition to this, the foundation has been conducting bootcamps to help promote and expand the startup culture in the country. Through partnerships with schools and local communities, IdeaSpace has organized bootcamps in several universities all over the country. These one day activities include tech talks and sharing of startup success stories, mentoring and an ideation session which culminates in a pitching competition.

For the complete mechanics and more information, visit ideaspace.ph. Follow us at twitter, @IdeaSpacePh and like us at Facebook/ IdeaSpacePh.

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