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DTI invites creative startups to jumpstart businesses with IDEA, ADVanCE programs


24 January 2024 Manila, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Competitiveness and Innovation Group (DTI-CIG), is looking for creative startup companies to onboard to their two programs designed to support and strengthen the creative industries in the Philippines.

DTI-CIG, led by Undersecretary Rafaelita “Fita” M. Aldaba, in partnership with startup accelerator Launchgarage, has launched the creatives edition of the Incubation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Assistance (IDEA) and Accelerating Development, Valuation, and Corporate Entrepreneurship (ADVanCE) programs aimed at providing customized support to creative startups in the Philippines to help them become market and investment-ready.

The application period is until 31 January 2024. To know more about the programs and submit applications, interested parties can visit the official websites of IDEA program-creatives edition and ADVanCE program, as well as DTI-CIG Facebook page.

“The programs are a testament to the Philippine government’s belief in the immense potential of Filipino creativity and entrepreneurship. By providing the much-needed support and platform, we are setting the stage for creative startups to not only thrive locally but also make a significant impact on the global stage. The creative sector is a vital component of our economy and cultural identity, and through initiatives like these, we aim to foster an environment where ideas can flourish, talents are honed, and success stories are born,” Usec. Aldaba said.

The Philippine creative industries play a significant role in the national economy. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed the creative economy amounted to ₱1.60 trillion in 2022, contributing 7.3% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Furthermore, the sector was responsible for employing almost 7 million Filipinos that year.

IDEA for Creatives edition will onboard ten (10) early-stage creative startups and enterprises to support and enhance their entrepreneurial capacity and readiness. Under the program, selected startups will participate in various educational workshops aimed at transforming their inventive business concepts into successful enterprises. Each will be paired with experienced mentors and coaches to guide them in their startup journey. The program culminates with a showcase event, where startups can present their ventures to program stakeholders, angel investors, venture capitalists, corporate representatives, and key figures in the ecosystem.

Early-stage startups that are operating in the Philippines with a minimum viable product, registered or in the process of registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or DTI, with 60% of its founders Filipino, and with at least two founders committed to the IDEA program, are eligible to apply.

Meanwhile, an initial pool of 10-15 startups will be chosen to participate in the ADVanCE for Creatives. After the preliminary screening, they will be assessed based on organizational capacity, business maturity, and readiness levels. From there, five participating startups will be selected to proceed to the acceleration phase and undergo intensive training based on the specific interventions identified from the needs assessment.

To be eligible, startups should be in their growth and expansion stage and are based in the country with at least two years of operations with revenue, SEC or DTI-registered, with 60% of its founders Filipino, and with at least two founders committed to the ADVanCE program.

DTI welcomes all creative startups within the domains of audiovisual media, digital interactive media, creative services, design, publishing and printed media, performing arts, visual arts, traditional cultural expressions, and cultural sites to apply to the programs.

We call on all eligible creative startups to seize this unparalleled opportunity. Join us in this endeavor to transform your innovative ideas into successful enterprises and become part of a movement that celebrates and elevates Filipino talent and ingenuity,” Aldaba shares.

The IDEA and ADVanCE programs are aligned with RA 11337, or the Innovative Startup Act, aimed at providing benefits and programs to strengthen, promote, and develop the Philippine startup ecosystem. Their latest cohorts will focus on the creative industries in accordance with Republic Act No. 11904 or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA), which mandates the development of a vibrant and globally competitive Philippine creative sector by protecting and enhancing their rights and boosting economic capacities.


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