Measures to attract investors for NorMin local start-ups begin

Science & Technology

The Department of Science and Technology – Northern Mindanao (DOST-10) is drawing up measures to attract more investors for local start-ups.

In an interview Wednesday, DOST-10 Director Alfonso Alamban said having investors or venture capitalists directly supporting budding entrepreneurs in the region is one of the “weak spots” that they intend to address as part of its Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (RIICs).

“Start-ups or technology-based businesses are usually developed by students and professors in universities, and they reached out for possible investors that could help them materialize their ventures,” he said.

The DOST’s role in RIICs was part of the partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which had its roots in 2018 through the signing of Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap.

In Northern Mindanao, Alamban said he has consulted with the city’s business group, the Oro Chamber, which launched the OroBest Innovation Program in 2020 for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Discussion of the program of innovation started in 2018, the first (innovation) summit. After that, by 2019, we already reported our accomplishments,” he said.

DTI-10 Director Ermedio Abang said Northern Mindanao has produced two innovation programs that have been piloted under RIICs.

Aside from OroBest, Iligan City’s “IligaNice” was also launched last year through its local chamber of commerce group along with the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology.

“Right now, we are replicating the program to other provinces and local governments such as in Ozamiz City’s ‘Awesome-miz,’ and in Bukidnon as well, so we can promote business innovations. Another one is in Camiguin on food innovations,” he said.

Effects on businesses

One of the businesses benefitting under the RIIC is the two-year-old Dirtbag, a laundry service operated by entrepreneur Richard Ebdalin.

He said through the program, their business model was incorporated with technology to provide accurate location mapping between clients and the business establishment.

“They help us with our technology research. Right now, they help us in the implementation of our routing algorithm which will help our know-how become efficient when it comes to pick-up and drop-off (of laundry items from clients),” he said.

Ebdalin said the DOST-10 has partnered with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in developing the innovation for it.

The cost of technology would amount to PHP1.8 million, which includes research and the pooling of experts.

Raymundo Talimio, the Oro chamber president, said other than Dirtbag, the city presented three success stories under the RIIC that included local food manufacturer Bestfriend Goodies; food supplement Green Pastures Corporation; and arts and crafts supplier Oro Handmade Innovations.

“We have a lot in the pipeline. Unfortunately, the (current USAID partnership) program has ended, but we are very grateful and happy, that they will come back in the next two months in another form,” he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency