Technology business incubation facility to rise in Sta. Rosa, Laguna

MANILA, (PNA) — Stakeholders in the ICT industry including government as industry enablers converged in a forum to signify support, assess and present plans in the establishment of technology business incubation (TBI) facility in the Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

Marilou Toledo, Regional Director of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Calabarzon said that the proposed TBI facility is hatched through the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP) of the DTI’s industry cluster development program and in in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

“Santa Rosa is a global destination and been the ‘center of excellence’ for the ICT industry in Calabarzon as it has succeeded in hosting ICT-enabled businesses and itself a business model of the industry – a strength and reason why we focused on it”, Toledo said.

Technology business incubators provide new firms and entrepreneurs in the more innovative, more advanced technologies with physical facilities (in a pay-per-use basis) and a variety of business services to help them increase their chances of surviving in the early stages of development.

Mayor Arlene Arcillas said that the TBI will provide more opportunity for investments and employment in Calabarzon.

“I am very proud and excited that Santa Rosa will be the venue of empowerment through innovation, incubation and investment. So far, the TBI would be the only local government-initiated TBI”, Arcillas said.

Monchito Ibrahim, deputy executive director of the Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) said that technopreneurs must be provided with mentors and the basic facilities of an innovation center such as a TBI to become successful.

Antonio Del Carmen, president of the Laguna Industry Network for Knowledge, Innovation and Technology (LINK-IT) emphasized the role of the academe in the development of technopreneurs and adapting to the changing development needs of ICT.

“Entrepreneurship shall be mainstreamed in the ICT education system since the ICT, a recession-proof industry, has big potentials in Calabarzon that will lead to the development of more micro businesses”, Del Carmen said.

In his testimony, Deogracias P. Villame, chief executive officer of Itemhound Corporation, an incubatee and beneficiary of the DOST-PEZA Open Technology Business Incubator in Quezon City, said that the TBI helped his company grow amid the difficulties it encountered during start-up and development stages.

“It has been a great opportunity to be assisted and supported in a TBI besides having the chance of meeting personalities that are already successful in the business”, Villame said.

The DOST, with its packages of assistance in forms of technical training and funding, will work on ‘ICT preparedness’ alongside with state universities and colleges.

Big names in the business processing management (BPM) industry such as Convergys will take charge also in the training for students.

Also seen as musts are the implementation of dual training systems (a combination of school/classroom learning and job exposure in industries) in collaboration with partners in selected industries; the teaching of non-voice skills in senior high schools (K-12); and the holding of a national competition in business plans to encourage the creation of new and innovative business ideas.

Meanwhile, an interim TBI / BPO Centrum will be set-up at Sta. Rosa’s old City Hall and will conduct start-up activities in cooperation with the DOST-ICTO, Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), Joey Gurango and Arup Maity of SPRING, and Jojo Flores of ‘Plug and Play Tech Center’ fame.

Other sites of TBIs in the Philippines include the Ayala Technology Business Incubator (AyalaTBI Network), the DOST-PEZA Open TBI, and the Cebu Business Incubator for I.T. (CeBuinIT)