MANILA – With the enabling policy from the government and support from the private sector, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba projects that the Philippines’ startup ecosystem will grow to USD10 billion by 2028.
On the sidelines of the PH Startup Week launching in Makati City on Monday, Aldaba said the value of local startups by the end of the Marcos administration will grow more than double the current value of Metro Manila startups, which is at USD3.5 billion in 2023.
“In the next five years, we want it (Metro Manila startups) to double. Maybe USD10 billion (for the whole country) until the end of the administration. I hope we reach this target with all the different programs and policies, infrastructure being built in order for us to create a more dynamic and vibrant and robust startup ecosystem,” she told reporters.
Aldaba is also pushing for larger share of startups outside Metro Manila to the total value of the startup ecosystem of around 20 percent by 2028.
She said Metro Manila alone now has over 1,100 startups, 60 incubators and accelerators, and more than 50 investors and venture capitals.
Aldaba underscored that the Philippine Innovation Act and Innovative Startup Act enacted into law in 2019 have helped in the expansion of the local startup ecosystem.
“These laws are crucial in providing the necessary resources that are needed to promote innovation as well as boost the growth and development of the country's startup ecosystem,” she added.
The Philippine Innovation Act establishes a National Innovation Council and innovation plan to build innovation centers and business incubators.
On the other hand, the Innovative Startup Act provides financial subsidies, such as tax breaks and grants for startups, startup visas, build startup ecosystem, startup grant funding and an innovative startup venture fund.
“Our goal goes beyond economic metrics and growing more unicorns but it is about cultivating a culture of innovation. Where creative ideas are encouraged, risks are taken, and new solutions to all and emerging challenges are actively sought,” she said.
Aldaba said an innovation ecosystem is also crucial in attracting investments, generating employment and enhancing the country's competitiveness.
She likewise highlighted the government’s support of PHP800 million in grants to research and development, which also benefitted more than 900 startups and incubators.
To further support the growth of the startup ecosystem, Aldaba said the DTI will be building a Creative and Innovation Hub in Marikina to support creative and innovative startups and Industry 4.0 Pilot Factory that will provide availability of new technological equipment.
She said Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research will also be built, which will be a hub for data scientists and other researchers to support the AI needs of micro, small and medium enterprises, startups and large enterprises. It will likewise serve as a place for AI startup trainings, entrepreneurship and mentorship.
Aldaba said the DTI is also in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a USD400 million loan to fund the Innovation Gateway, which is a go-to place for innovation activities.
The agency has secured the land from the National Development Company (NDC), a 1,200-square-meter land in Pasay City, she added. (PNA)