DOST teams up with Techtalks anew for Startup Weekend Cebu 4

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THE Department of Science and Technology, through its Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), is again supporting Startup Weekend Cebu which will be on its fourth staging come June 6-8 at the University of the Visayas (UV) Gullas Medical Center in Banilad, this city.

Startup Weekend Cebu 4, organized by Techtalks.ph and DOST-ICTO, is aimed at generating breakthrough ideas from tech communities in the Visayas region.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour competition where developers, designers, marketers, technopreneurs, and venture capitalists come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startup businesses.

The concept, which started in the U.S., is a global movement to empower young entrepreneurs to nurture their innovative ideas into becoming sustainable businesses.

The event gathers experts and practitioners from different fields of businessto mentor the participants as they launch their concepts into business reality.

The whole event involves the participants in different stages of the business cycle including idea creation and business pitching, prototype development, mentorship and networking sessions until product or business presentation to possible investors and funders
According to Mon Ibrahim, Deputy Executive Director of DOST-ICTO, the DOST-ICTO has been moving forward in its new thrust to uplift the entrepreneurial spirit in the ICT industry, and in line with this, it is supporting Startup Weekend Cebu 4.

“The ICTO believes that providing support in countryside entrepreneurial activities is an effective way in livening and expanding the local economy through ICT,” Ibrahim said. “Promotion of homegrown ICT products and businesses will not only provide employment in the locality but also provide innovative and creative solutions through their products and services.”
Tina Amper, founder and president of lead organizer TechTalks.ph, said the DOST has since been very supportive of their activities, which now includes a Startup Weekend in Bohol later this year.

“From the first Startup Weekend Cebu to `Geeks on a Beach’, the DOST has been a consistent backer,” Amper said. “The DOST has always been there for us, and we are very grateful to them, specially to Usec Casambre and director Ibrahim.”

Undersecretary Louis Napoleon C. Casambre is the executive director of DOST-ICTO, while Monchito Ibrahim is deputy executive director for policies.

During Startup Weekend, participants get acquainted with one another starting on a Friday night. They pitch startup concepts they are passionate about, and form teams around the most popular ideas. They refine their ideas and business plans and start building product prototypes with the help of the onsite mentors, and then present what they have accomplished in a four-minute pitch and demo by Sunday evening.

Following the success of its inaugural staging in May 2012, Startup Weekend Cebu organizers successfully staged its second and third and now decided to hold its fourth leg in June due to the incessant demand of startup enthusiasts in the Visayas and Mindanao area again in partnership with DOST.

With the support of DOST, Amper said the 4th edition of Startup Weekend Cebu in June is again expected to be a resounding success, as well as the first Startup Weekend Bohol in Tagbilaran.

The DOST and Techtalks are likewise co-organizing Startup Weekend Bohol which, according to Amper, has already drawn the backing of Bohol Gov. Edgar M. Chatto.