MVP launches incubator plan for PH version of Silicon Valley

By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 06 2012 07:00 AM | Updated as of Mar 06 2012 06:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Hong Kong-based industrial conglomerate First Pacific Co. Ltd. managing director and chief executive Manuel V. Pangilinan launched yesterday a multimillion-dollar program that will help Filipino entrepreneurs develop groundbreaking technologies, and transform these into successful commercial products.

IdeaSpace will act as 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 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.

He also explained that this program for innovation and technopreneurship will go beyond commercial products and services but will also include solutions which can support social development and poverty alleviation.

The program will be run by IdeaSpace Foundation Inc., a non-profit foundation established exclusively to implement the program. The foundation is supported by the following companies: First Pacific, Metro Pacific Investments Corp., (MPIC), MPIC hospital group, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), Meralco, Smart Communications, 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 be 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.

IdeaSpace goes beyond current local technology business incubators (TBIs) through partnerships with top technology vendors, affiliation with top technology incubators and accelerators in the US and Asia to learn and replicate successes.