IdeaSpace opens 2014 startup competition to entries from Southeast Asia

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IdeaSpace Foundation, a privately backed technology incubator in the Philippines, announced that innovative startup ideas from around the region will also be accepted for its 2014 Startup Competition that runs until January 15, 2014.

Now on its second year, the IdeaSpace Startup Competition expanded outside the Philippines to attract inspired and marketable startup ideas from neighboring Southeast Asian countries as the prominence and relevance of the region in the global startup scene becomes more crucial.

“Whenever we tell the IdeaSpace story to investors and venture capitalists in developed countries, they are always curious about the kind of innovation and unique startup ideas that come out of the emerging markets such as the Philippines and Southeast Asia,” said Earl Martin Valencia, president at IdeaSpace.

“Southeast Asia as a market is interesting for companies worldwide as we can see from the number of investors flocking the region, solidifying our belief that the Philippines and neighboring countries have a huge potential in making a significant dent in the global startup scene,” Valencia added.

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Valencia said that opening the competition to early-stage startups from around the region will bring in the kind of diversity in the kinds of science and technology innovations that can positively impact the lives of billions of people living in emerging markets like Southeast Asia.

Under the IdeaSpace program, the eventual winners for 2014 will receive initial support of more than $24,000 (P1 million) worth of funding, services, and training under a six-month business incubation and acceleration program. They will also receive business mentoring and office space in Makati as well as housing for non-Metro Manila participants, among others.

Individuals and groups with fresh technology ideas may submit their entries for the 2014 competition through the IdeaSpace website until mid-January next year.

Incubation and acceleration

For 2014, the IdeaSpace program will be divided into two phases: incubation and acceleration.

After three rounds of judging, 20 teams from the local and regional entries will be chosen for incubation.  During the incubation phase, the top 20 finalists will undergo a 3-day bootcamp followed by a six-week program that will help enhance their entrepreneurial, business and marketing skills, besides building team dynamics. 

During the phase, the chosen teams will receive a P50,000 grant to be used for prototype development, presentation materials, and other initial operating expenses. 

After incubation, the teams will be required to present their prototype and business model before a board of judges. Up to 10 start-ups will then be chosen for the next phase of the program.

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During acceleration, the teams will receive an outright cash investment from IdeaSpace of P500,000 and a separate grant worth at least another P500,000 inclusive of business management classes, marketing and financial consulting, intellectual property consulting, and incorporation and business registration costs, among others.

After graduating from the acceleration period, IdeaSpace will evaluate and deliberate whether to give additional investments of up to P5 million to graduating startups that deserve increased funding.

A non-profit foundation, IdeaSpace is supported by the following companies: First Pacific, First Pacific Leadership Academy, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, MPIC hospital group, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Meralco, Smart Communications, Digitel Mobile Philippines and its mobile brand Sun Cellular, SPI Global, ePLDT, Indofood, Philex Mining, Maynilad, MediaQuest, and TV5.