Brand & Business: DOST Gives P33 Million Grant to QBO Innovation Hub to Build Stronger Startup Ecosystem in the Philippines

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Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña and PLDT and PLDT Chairman and CEO and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan reinforced their commitment to Filipino startups at a joint appearance last week sealing DOST’s P33 million grant to QBO Innovation Hub, a public private sector partnership among DOST, the Department of Trade and Industry, J.P. Morgan and IdeaSpace, the innovation foundation of the MVP group.

The grant calls for QBO to raise the level of 12 Technology Business Incubators (TBI) around the country. Also present at the event were staunch supporters and partners of QBO Carlos Ma. G. Mendoza, Senior Country Officer for J.P. Morgan Philippines and Patricia Anne Javier-Gutierrez, J.P. Morgan Philippines Head of Communications.

In photo (L-R): Carlos Ma. G. Mendoza, Senior Country Officer for J.P. Morgan Philippines; Patricia Anne Javier-Gutierrez, J.P. Morgan Philippines Head of Communications; Ms. Russell Pili, DOST-PCIEERD Division Chief, RITTD; Katrina Chan, QBO Director; Rene “Butch” Meily, QBO and IdeaSpace President; Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation Chairman; Fortunato de la Peña, DOST Secretary; Dr. Rowena Guevara, DOST Undersecretary; Dr. Enrico Paringit, DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director; Engr. Raul Sabularse, DOST-PCIEERD Deputy Executive Director; Diane Eustaquio, IdeaSpace Foundation Executive Director; and Natasha Bautista, QBO Head of Operations.

Working towards the vision of creating over a thousand innovative startups around the country, and seeing the emergence of a Filipino unicorn in the next five years, the grant will support QBO in carrying out a nationwide project to strengthen TBIs. The grant also serves to help them develop more programs that will create an enabling environment for Filipino tech founders to scale their businesses and become globally competitive. 

I really appreciate that in addition to our own initiatives, we have a collaboration with QBO. The signing of the Innovative Startup Act authorizes us, together with DTI and DICT, to support and assist Filipino startups. So, thank you to IdeaSpace and most especially to QBO for inspiring us to help Filipino startups,” said Secretary de la Peña.

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“It’s about time to focus on science and innovation and there are  efforts for that — thanks to DOST,” said Pangilinan, who is also the chairman of the board of IdeaSpace Foundation. “We believe that with our stronger commitment, we will be able to put Philippine technopreneurs on par with its regional, if not global, counterparts.”

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“The DOST grant recognizes the enormous progress achieved by the public private sector partnership that produced QBO,” said Rene Meily, president of QBO and IdeaSpace. “DOST has been continuously holding activities with QBO, IdeaSpace and other partners to discover the Philippines’ next unicorn and we are grateful to them for their support. I hope that the golden era for Philippine startups may be just within reach.”

DOST has been working side by side with QBO since it was established in 2016. Since its inception, QBO has grown to have more than 5,000 members and over 300 tech startups representing various verticals. On top of implementing hundreds of startup development programs, including mentorship and specialized coaching and consultation sessions that have opened global opportunities for the founders, QBO, together with DOST, DTI, and J.P. Morgan, has also yielded gains in multimillion-peso funding and revenue raised for startups.

To learn more about QBO and its projects for startups, visit https://www.qbo.com.ph/.

About QBO

QBO (‘ku-bo’) is an innovation hub or a platform for the startup community to collaborate, develop talent, and grow. It provides startups with support and resources through events and capacity building programs as well as focused interventions designed to improve access to markets, knowledge, capital, and talent. QBO is the country’s first public-private initiative for startups, created through a partnership between IdeaSpace, J.P. Morgan, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Trade and Industry.

Spurred on by the vision of Filipinos startups changing the world, QBO’s mission is to create a globally competitive startup ecosystem in the Philippines.

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