MANILA, Philippines—Business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan has launched a new multi-million-dollar, long-term program that aims to support Filipino technology start-ups as part of his personal mission to promote a science and technology culture in the country.
Earlier this week, Pangilinan, who chairs Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), launched “IdeaSpace,” an incubator and accelerator program to support technology entrepreneurs in the Philippines and the global market through partnerships between the MVP Group of companies and global IT companies.
The seed fund being invested will be augmented with parallel activities for mentorship, resources, and support.
“This is part of our commitment to the future of this country. We want to help jumpstart the creation of a Silicon Valley-like ecosystem in the Philippines. This program will support innovative Filipino ‘technopreneurs’ with great ideas that promises the potential of global and national commercial potential,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan said that this program for innovation and “technopreneurship” would also go beyond commercial products and services but would include solutions, which could support social development and poverty alleviation.
He said that while the program would be open to the public, it would have a bias of targeting start-ups from different colleges and universities.
The program will be run by IdeaSpace Foundation, Inc., a non-profit foundation to be established exclusively to implement the program. The Foundation is supported by MVP-led companies. These are First Pacific, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), MPIC hospital group, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), Meralco, Smart Communications, Inc (Smart), Digitel, Sun Cellular, SPI Global, ePLDT, Indofood, Philex Mining, Maynilad, MediaQuest, and TV5.
IdeaSpace targets start-ups that can scale 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.
Under IdeaSpace, the group will soon launch a national competition for the first batch of start-ups who will be immersed in an incubator program, which will include provision for office and IT space and facilities in Makati and in the Group’s Leadership Academy in Antipolo.
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 defined market runway and opportunities to be connected to potential investors.
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.
Benefits include mentorship from executives from the group companies, access to resources including legal assistance and advice, operational control, 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.