Gov’t, private sector team up to position Bataan as tech startup hub
Ramon Garcia Jr.’s technology investment firm DFNN Inc., the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Freeport Area of Bataan are teaming up with Silicon Valley’s Plug & Play to become “founding anchors” in the Horizon Philippines startup and innovation project.
DFNN, DICT and the Bataan Freeport operator “will collaborate to build and accelerate the thriving startup and innovation ecosystem in the Philippines with the goal of positioning Bataan as a hub for technology, new employment opportunities and sustainable economic development in the region.”
“Horizon Philippines is a gateway to transformative technologies that will drive our strategic initiatives and position us for sustainable growth,” DFNN president and CEO Ricardo Banaag said in a statement on Wednesday.
Plug and Play is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm present in over 50 locations worldwide. It helped startups raise over $9 billion in funding, which includes successful exits in Dropbox and Paypal.
Plug and Play opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore in 2010, and have since expanded to the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.
In a text message, Garcia, who is DFNN executive chair, said bringing regulators into the picture allowed them to focus on innovating without having to parse regulatory complexities later on.
Regulators are thus important partners in growth, according to Garcia.
“The partnership will also [give] DFNN and [forward-looking] Filipino companies insights into the latest tech innovations that may complement our operations and shareholder value especially in cybersecurity, [business to business] platforms and generative AI [artificial intelligence],” he added. —Miguel R. Camus