The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and Diosdado “Dado” Banatao, chairman of Philippine Development (PhilDev), launched on Thursday an incubator program seeking to transform the development of startups in the country.
AIM, in partnership with PhilDev, received a P14.8 million grant in initial funding for the AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator under the Department of Science and Technology Incubator Creation Program.
The program was driven by the fact that startups make up the Philippine economy, AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang said in a media briefing in Makati City.
“As you all know, startups, most of them micro-enterprises and small businesses, belong to the biggest drivers of the Philippine economy. From the 99.6 percent of local companies that make up the backbone of the local economy, a mere fraction of a percent belong to medium enterprises,” she said.
Kang said the institution and Banatao saw a “huge potential” in local startups, but stressed that there is a need to provide a program that could elevate how they handle their systems and business operations.
“They are small, but agile, and can pivot quickly in response to a fickle, demanding market,” she said.
“I remember, when we launched last year, Dado said we would look for “suicidal” entrepreneurs; those steeped in adversity, with the odds stacked against them, just raring for an opportunity to escape that vicious circle. Well, I am sure you will all agree, we certainly have lots of those in the Philippines,” she said.
Through the incubator program, small entrepreneurs can benefit from the mentorship of global visionaries, such as Banatao, Kang said.
Banatao founded several Silicon Valley companies, including Chip’s & Technologies, S3 Graphics, SiRF, Marvell, and Inphi. He is best known for pioneering two technologies that are widely regarded as the cornerstones of today’s PC: chipset and graphics acceleration architecture.
“As for AIM, aside from providing qualified startups rent-free working space, we will also gladly make accessible to them a mentoring program and the expertise of our faculty and alumni, as well as support from leading businesses and industries,” Kang said.
The institution said startups can get mentorship from serial entrepreneurs, industry experts.
They can access the global funding network of Banatao, PhilDev and AIM, as well as receive education and training calibrated to the needs of the startup’s founders, and go through demo nights and exclusive networking events for business development and investments.