By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, January 17, 2022; Business World

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and PhilDev Foundation recently launched two programs that seek to support the growth of startups in the country.

On Jan. 12, the DTI and PhilDev introduced the Incubation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Assistance (IDEA) and Accelerating Development, Valuation, and Corporate Entrepreneurship (ADVanCE) programs to help local startups.

According to the DTI, the two programs will provide customized support such as coaching, mentoring, training, and workshops to address issues faced by local startups.

“Along with micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), startups are the bedrock of the economy. Hence, supporting startups would be crucial to create a huge pipeline of quality startups,” Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba said.

The DTI said the IDEA program is for early-stage tech startups. The said program encourages collaboration among startups, mentors, investors, and the government to produce market-ready innovative science and technology products and services.

In contrast, the ADVanCE program is targeted at growth-stage tech startups. The program seeks to help the expansion of business operations and allow startups to deliver products and services that aim to solve societal needs.

“These programs are designed to nurture, develop startups, and ensure that they will become economic assets, as competitive job-generating platforms. In these programs, startups will access tailored workshops and mentorship from global talent, market readiness assessment, legal and financial support services, and many more,” PhilDev Foundation Executive Vice-Chairman Eric Tomacruz said.

The DTI said startups that are interested in the program can send their applications to PhilDev’s website until Jan. 17.

“Let us all work together towards increasing business ideas and creating committed founding teams with an aligned vision and high innovation potential. I also look forward to our strong collaboration with PhilDev and other partners towards the successful implementation of these programs and supporting our startups in their business venture journey,” Ms. Aldaba said.