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Philippines aims to breath life into start-up ecosystem

Last year, the country launched a start-up road map but it failed to take off, reports Tech in Asia

Judith Balea I Tech in Asia 



When the Philippines launched a road map for start-ups a year ago, you would think all pieces were finally coming together. But the ecosystem hit a standstill. “In real terms, nothing happened,” Mon Ibrahim, innovation consultant at the Philippines Department of Information and Communications Technology, said last week. Under the road map, the country seeks to create 500 start-ups with total funding of $200 million and a valuation of $2 billion by 2020. “The road map is there but nothing’s happening on the execution side,” Jojo Flores, co-founder of accelerator Plug and Play, said. However this year, Jojo said they would pick up where they left off by setting up a formal organisation of start-ups in the Philippines called StartupPH.org. The organisation will serve as a council that will lobby for the needs of start-ups, and coordinate with the government in crafting friendly policies.

Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino filed a Bill seeking tax incentives for the start-up industry two years ago. Aquino says the Bill has since evolved. “After we filed the first version of the Bill in the 16th Congress, we went to and talked to different start-up groups and found that taxes are only one of many issues they deal with. So now, if you look at the Bill, there’s support for foreigners coming in and setting up here in terms of working visas, provisions on funding, and co-working spaces. Its scope is wider than when it began. In fact, we’re in the process of finalising it so we’re hoping to get start-ups to give their inputs,” he said, adding, "We’re hoping to pass this next year, if not, definitely before the 17th Congress ends...." This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here

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First Published: Mon, August 29 2016. 16:47 IST
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