Action plan for start-ups in the works



The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently met with other stakeholders in a first of a series of dialogues for the purpose of formulating an action plan to make it easy for start-ups to emerge, survive and grow in the country.

Led by DTI Secretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr. the meeting was attended by Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino, representative Filipino start-ups, and a delegation from multinational companies from the United States led by David Thomas.

The local start-ups cited their problems and concerns while the American businessmen shared lessons on creating an enabling environment for start-ups, as experienced in the United States.

The discussions will serve as inputs to a start-up eco system development plan the DTI plans to release by the middle of the year.

The development plan will list down the policies and programs to be undertaken. It will complement the start-up road map earlier prepared by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which provided an overview of the tech start-up ecosystem in the country and what it envisions to be by 2020.

According to DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado, the plan will “focus on the environment that will make the businesses thrive. “What are the blockers that make it hard for them to start a business – both legislative and non-legislative? What are the different programs we should push and coordinate with the DOST? How do you help startups commercialize research, talk to banks so they can get access to capital? We also want to help them with the promotions when they’re ready with their products,” she explained.

The ease of starting a business is possibly the biggest need which surfaced during the meeting.  Senator Aquino  said, adding “there should be openness to failure, which of course isn’t only an issue of culture but also of policy.”

According to serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, a startup is a “temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” A startup, which he argues in the context of the tech industry should be short for “scalable startup,” which seeks not  only to prove the chosen business model, but to do so quickly, in a way that will have a significant impact on the current market.

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