Filipino startups can now apply and receive grants of up to PHP 1 million as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) officially opens its call for proposals for its Startup Grant Fund (SGF).
The SGF, mandated under Republic Act No. 11337 or the Innovative Startup Act, aims to provide financial grants to new and early-stage startups in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-enabled sectors.
The DICT, together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), has been mandated to further develop the Philippine startup ecosystem through various initiatives such as the SGF. Startups can submit their proposals until May 12, 2023, and selected proponents shall go through a five-step screening process facilitated by the ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB).
Application to the grant fund is open for officially registered Filipino startups that have products or services in the proof of concept, prototype, or minimum viable product (MVP) stages in ICT-enabled sectors. This initiative aims to provide financial support to new and early-stage startups, facilitating startup development, capacity building, and network building.
During the 2022 Philippine Startup Week held last November, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy stated that at least 10 startups are to be part of the first run of the grant fund. Additionally, the DICT will also provide its grantees with opportunities to connect with esteemed startup enablers in order to help grow their network in the Philippine Startup Ecosystem as up-and-coming startup founders.
“This is the first time that we are having a grant fund so we are very excited to level up the support we can provide to Filipino startups. The grant shall provide support and incentives by bridging the gap in early-stage funding, and as a goal, we offer this to help and guide startups to be more investable,” Secretary Uy said.
Submissions will undergo initial screening and table review through the DICT’s IIDB, followed by the SGF’s Technical Evaluation Committee, comprising various startup enablers, accelerators, and founders. Proposals will then be reviewed by the Grants Committee composed of venture capitalists, investors, partner organizations and representatives from the concerned divisions/offices of the DICT. Once assessed and evaluated, selected proponents will undergo a final deliberation composed of DICT executive officials.
Undersecretary for ICT Industry Development Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, who will be involved in selecting the first batch of startup grantees, expressed her full support for this program and encouraged startups to submit their proposals.
Startups may start sending their proposals for the SGF through this form. For more information, visit the Startup Philippines Website and read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).