DICT calls for students to pitch startup ideas

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is looking forward to developing more entrepreneurs by calling on senior high school and college students to be part of its annual startup pitching competition that will pave the way for their innovative ideas to turn into reality.

“This is really to highlight the value of entrepreneurship rather than for students to become employees when they graduate. Another option for students is to pursue a startup journey,” said Marvin Manuel, ICT Industry Development Bureau focal person of DICT Western Visayas, during a press conference on the sideline of the launching of the National ICT Month celebration in Iloilo City on Friday.

Manuel said the idea of a startup and the processes of formulating business ideas through innovations and technology have yet to reach a wider audience, so the pitching competition is one way to raise public awareness.

The call for applications for this year’s Philippine Startup Challenge at the regional level will end in September and the online pitching competition will be held in October.

The winner will have the chance to join the national face-to-face pitching competition in Panglao, Bohol in November in time for the Philippine Startup Week.

The winners will have a chance to be mentored or sent to other countries to benchmark or look for other technologies to be used to enhance their business ideas.

Meantime, eight existing startups from Western Visayas have responded to the call for Startup Grant Funding with the possibility of receiving PHP500,000 to PHP1 million in startup funds.

“Hopefully some of them will receive the grant funding,” Manuel added.

DICT Western Visayas Director Ralph Joseph Moncatar said the monthlong celebration of ICT Month “highlights the crucial role of ICT in various social and economic spheres in the society”.

This year’s celebration with the theme “Connecting Communities, Enriching Lives, Forging a Digital Future Philippines” seeks to encourage Filipinos to embrace the digital transformation era by promoting innovation, collaboration, impact, and inclusivity,” he added.