DOST-SEI, PhilDev launch Scholars Technopreneurship Training Program in NorMin 

The Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), in collaboration with the Philippine S&T Development Foundation-Manila, Inc. (PhilDev), has launched the Scholars Technopreneurship Training Program (STTP) in Cagayan de Oro City.

Spanning from May to November 2024, this seven-month capacity-building initiative aims to equip DOST-SEI scholars with essential skills in technopreneurship, design thinking, and innovative business and venture planning. Session one took place on May 20-21, 2024 at Limketkai Luxe Hotel, attended by 100 DOST-SEI undergraduate scholars from Northern Mindanao.

Through the STTP, SEI envisions cultivating an environment where innovation, wealth creation, resilience, and ethical values converge,” said Dr. Josette T. Biyo, former Director of SEI, during her kickoff message.

The program focuses on three main aspects: entrepreneurial skills, idea creation and feasibility analysis, and business planning and execution. Throughout the program, sessions will be held for two days each month, covering modules on the value of innovation, customer needs, market research, developing products or services, business models and plans, business finance and funding, intellectual property, and more.

Scholar-Participants pitching their startup plan in front of Dr. Josette T. Biyo and Engr. Elaine Macatangay-Morales after the pitching discussion rendered by Ms. Monica Mabaylan-Ruiz of USTP-CDO.

This structured approach ensures that scholars gain practical knowledge and skills essential for starting and sustaining a business. The culmination of the program in November features a pitching competition where participants will present their startup plans to industry experts and potential investors.

Also in attendance was Engr. Elaine Macatangay-Morales, Executive Director of PhilDev Foundation where she delivered an inspiring message for the participants. 

“Today marks the beginning of an exciting journey – a journey where science meets entrepreneurship, where your ideas have the potential to transform into innovations that can change the world”, Engr Morales said. 

Mr. Vince Manglicmot of PhilDev delivered an engaging talk on the history and landscape of technopreneurship in the Philippines.

Mr. Christian Rey Alison of CDOBites provided insights into the current innovation ecosystem in the Philippines and its local setting, correlating how entrepreneurship leads to innovation. He also discussed various types of innovation, including technological, business model, product, and process innovation, giving participants a broad perspective on potential ventures.

Mr. Yukio Toyoshima of PwC Japan also delivered a talk on digital technology innovation and its challenges, presenting case studies demonstrating how digital solutions have improved processes and services in various establishments.

A workshop on design thinking was facilitated by Mr. Diogenes Pascua of USTP-CDO. Valuable pitching tips were discussed by Ms. Monica Mabaylan-Ruiz of USTP-CDO, introducing the concept of the elevator pitch and preparing participants for future pitching activities.

Erica Cago, Director of the Northern Mindanao Association of DOST-SEI Scholars (NMADS) and a 3rd-year BS Computer Engineering student at USTP-CDO, shared, “Falling in love with the problem rather than the solution emphasizes the importance of deeply understanding and addressing the core issues faced by users… And that made me want to explore and have interest in creating my own startup.”

Dr. Biyo also highlighted future opportunities for top teams, saying, “For the pitching competition this year, the winning teams will not only receive cash prizes from SEI but also seed funding from the DOST Regional Office and special awards from SEI partners. We are looking into the possibility that the top teams or selected teams will represent the Philippines next year in the world’s largest electronic show, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, and the World Expo in Osaka in April.”

The STTP initiative by DOST-SEI and PhilDev envisions to transform scholars, aiming to instill entrepreneurial skills, foster innovation, and create a network of future technopreneurs in Northern Mindanao. (Efraem O. Egoc/DOST10)