MANILA – Filipino startups nationwide may now apply for the Department of Information and Communications Technology's (DICT) Startup Grant Fund (SGF) and receive up to PHP1 million grant.

In a statement on Wednesday, DICT Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said the department circular for the SGF has been signed and approved. The SGF aims to become a "vehicle" to support Filipino startups and build a strong startup ecosystem.

“The DICT fully embraces and promotes the importance of developing and continuously strengthening the Philippine Startup Ecosystem leveraging on the convergence of digital technologies, innovation, and entrepreneurial mindset of Filipinos," Sigue said.

Under Section 11 of Republic Act 11337, also known as the Innovative Startup Act, the SGF aims to provide financial grants for new and early-stage startups relating to startup development, capacity building, and network building.

It will be available to startups with products or services currently in the proof of concept, prototype, or minimum viable product stages in information and communications technology (ICT)-enabled sectors.

During the Philippine Startup Week held from Nov. 14 to 18, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said at least 10 startups are planned to be part of the first run of the grant fund.

“Apart from the grant fund of up to PHP1 million pesos that shall cover costs to further develop a startup’s ideas and prototypes, the DICT shall also provide grantees opportunities to meet great mentors and widen their network in the startup community,” Uy said.

The DICT's SGF program will be facilitated by its ICT Industry Development Bureau.

Interested startups may visit the Startup Philippines website at https://www.startup.gov.ph. (PNA)