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DOST seeks P3-B fund to support startups

/ 04:52 AM November 23, 2019

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) says the government needs P3 billion to help develop a thousand startups before President Duterte steps down of his office in 2022.

Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said his department had so far helped developed about 200 startups, through different support systems such as helping them in research or in developing their prototypes.

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De la Peña said this on Friday after he and other cabinet secretaries signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Innovative Startup Act, which aims to help develop the startup ecosystem in the country.

The DOST is one of three lead implementing agencies of the law. The others the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, whose heads also signed the IRR yesterday.

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It is unclear at this point where the DOST would get the P3 billion needed.

Not every new and small company is necessarily a starup. It has to have an innovative and scalable model, according to Katrina Rausa Chan, director of Qbo Innovation Hub, the country’s first public-private initiative for startups.

Meanwhile, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said state-owned firm National Development Co. (NDC) would invest in select startups, therefore making the government part owner of the budding business.

Lopez is chair of NDC, the government’s investment arm. While the guidelines for selecting which startups to support are still being fleshed out, Lopez said NDC might initially allot P125 million for 50 startups.—ROY STEPHEN C. CANIVEL

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TAGS: Department of Science and Technology, DOST
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