Globe launches program to support ‘technopreneurs’By Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Globe Telecom has unveiled a pioneering program to nurture upstart “technopreneurs” and help them scale up their businesses by providing a comprehensive support system including seed capital, technical assistance and business linkages.
According to the Globe, its “incubator” project, the first of its kind in the Philippines, aims to build an “end-to-end” support system that integrates the ‘hardware’ of big companies with the ‘software’ of mentorship and community partnership.
Globe announced in a press statement on Tuesday that startups supported by the Globe incubator would have the advantage of access to various platforms of Globe usually open only to large established companies.
Minette Navarrete, head of Globe new business group explained in the statement that this project would provide the startups with the efficient environment and tools needed to “build and test” as well as with seed funding to enable them to focus on project execution. There will also be a startup development program with mentor and community feedback and support for integrating into business networks.
“There are people with the aptitude and the desire to become entrepreneurs, but they face many hurdles to giving up their day jobs. Even if they did launch their business, they may not have the training, capital, and business network to enable their startup to scale. Incubation makes resources available to those who need them,” Navarrete said.
“But unlike many corporate incubators, the Globe incubator does not have profit or capital gain targets: it’s not just about the money! The Globe incubator will offer seed funding, yes, but cash is only part of the story. We will make facilities available, offer education and mentorship, and introduce entrepreneurs to the people and companies who can help them expand and succeed,” she said.
She noted that while many Filipinos have developed good breakthrough ideas for their own independent businesses and the capability to make these scale efficiently through information and communication technology (ICT) web and mobile applications, a lot of them have not obtained the necessary resources to pursue their ambition.
As such, Globe incubator aims to provide enough funding for aspiring entrepreneurs to quit their jobs and focus on starting up the business, with incubation programs lasting from three months to one year before graduation, and giving other technopreneurs a chance to avail of the same support and experience. If the startups needed more strategic or financial support, the Globe incubator would be open to other strategic or financial partners participating.
Given the nature of the founders and backers, Navarrete said that the startups could engage in developing new ICT applications, websites, and other tech-related undertakings. They could equally be traditional businesses, which would use technology to create a better customer experience, improve operating efficiencies or expand their reach.
They could qualify for seed capital to help them launch their company faster and introductions to partner companies within the Globe, Singtel and Ayala networks here and abroad to help them scale bigger, the statement said. The program aims to provide startups with education and training tailored to their needs, one-on-one mentorship from experts in various fields, and peer support from the local startup community.
Globe sees this project as timely given the recent resurgence of tech incubators around the world. While there is funding available for good ideas, the most successful incubators have learned from the painful lessons of the dotcom bubble bursting.
“The old fire-and-forget model of simply handing out seed capital and providing facilities is not sufficient; mentoring programs, intensive courses on how to launch and sustain a successful business, and business network introductions are equally essential to kickstarting the dreams of aspiring technopreneurs,” the company said.
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