SEARCHING FOR INCUBATEES.  Leyte Provincial Science and Technology Director John Glenn Ocaña (left) said Thursday (Sept. 30, 2021) the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 8 (Eastern Visayas) would open three slots in its technology incubation program. Anyone from the IT-BPM industry can apply and present a business plan. (Photo courtesy of John Glenn Ocaña

MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 8 (Eastern Visayas) will open three slots for startup companies in the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector to benefit its incubation program.

"It's free to become an incubatee in the TBI (technology business incubator) facility operated by DOST-8 and EVSU (Eastern Visayas State University). For a startup to become an incubator, it just needs to apply and present a business plan," Leyte Provincial Science and Technology Director John Glenn Ocaña told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview Thursday.

He said basically, the DOST provides training, mentorship, and market exposure and lends computers to the incubatees.

"This assistance hasten(s) the development of the incubatees into stable business entities," Ocaña said, adding that the Freight Process Outstanding Solutions, Inc. (FPOSI) is among its pool of mentors.

According to DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, the FPOSI is the biggest BPM company in Eastern Visayas, employing more than 1,000 people.

Currently, five incubatees are being accommodated by the DOST-8 – Telmo Solutions, Paytaca, ICT for the People, Prodatum Achor Global 8 Co., and TRAEMCO International.

"Because of the pandemic, and because the TBI facility is currently being fixed, the incubatees are operating in their own houses or offices. We lent them computers to help them increase their equipment and be able to hire more people. They (used to) worry about providing computer sets to new employees as this would entail a huge cost. This (problem) made them limit employing people," Ocaña said.

He noted that the incubatees also decided to operate in their own places due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) protocols that discourage crowding.

Normally, he added, at least five per batch of incubatees could be accommodated in the TBI.

The incubation is usually two years to three years.

"But right now, since all incubatees are assisted from their own places, the TBI is opening three additional slots for new startup applicants, starting last quarter of this year. The DOST was also able to purchase additional computers that the startup firms can borrow," Ocaña said. (PNA)