How PH can boost tech entrepreneurship

by Fidea Encarnacion,

Posted at Mar 18 2014 03:48 PM | Updated as of Mar 20 2014 06:13 PM

Industry leaders, educators, and policy makers discussed the development of science and technology-based entrepreneurship in the Philippines at the IDEA Global Entrepreneurship Symposium 2014 on Monday. photo by: Janine Asuncion

MANILA – Promoting innovation in the Philippines through science and technology-based entrepreneurship must start with young students, experts said at a symposium held on Monday.

During the IDEA Global Entrepreneurship Symposium 2014, Joey Conception III, founding trustee of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, said students are key in order for the Philippines to be able to adapt to technology.

The students must be provided with a proper educational system that will be able to focus on teaching science and technology and how to create new concepts.

“In the future will be technology… [and] we have to start with our young kids. Those are the most important. These are the kids who easily adapt to new technology. Hopefully, by then, [we’ll have a properly aligned] educational support system," he said.

Dr. Cayetano Paderanga, Jr., a professor at the University of the Philippines School of Economics and former director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said that what is really needed is risk-taking.

Pushing a cause like technology entrepreneurship would entail a lot of changes, especially for the teaching institutions.

“The root of that is really in the first level. Unfortunately, we tended to take the easy way out. Science and technology, including mathematics, is not easy [and is] not an easy language… What we really need to bring about is risk-taking. With this, there are a lot of things we can dwell on.”

Dado Banatao, Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) chairman and noted Silicon Valley visionary, shared how an example of a successful start-up business can be used to motivate others to follow.

“I always go back to this simple example that all we need is one very successful start-up here. Risk-taking could be very, very rewarding. It would be nice, with all these efforts…. Let’s create a simple answer," he said.

According to Banatao, the Philippines is at a disadvantage for being behind other more developed and advanced countries. There should be more risk-takers in the industry who have enough confidence to make new ideas.

Ahmet Alpdemir, management consultant at Shimdi Venture Advisors, challenged professors to mentor and give training to students with high potential.

"I'd like to challenge the professors there. In the early stages of college education I think [it is crucial] to find those engineers that have innate personality traits...and enroll them in mentoring or scholarship programs."

The IDEA Global Entrepreneurship Symposium 2014 was an event organized by the Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) in partnership with the United States Agency International Development (USAID) which focused on the development of Filipino science and technology experts who can be world-class entrepreneurs.