Partner groups pledge startup development support for Kwadra TBI

ISAT-U Kwadra TBI recognized its agency partners and eight pioneering startup incubatees during a virtual event that had officials from enabling agencies and organizations pledging support to the incubator and its initiatives.

The ceremonial signing of agreement was, according to Vice President for Research and Extension Dr. Carmelo Ambut, “an indication of a thriving ecosystem needed to nurture the robust technology transfer environment in our region.”

“There is fear in our hearts” as they “face lots of challenges,” mainly because Kwadra TBI is a “pioneering work” for ISAT-U, Ambut said.

“But with you (partners) on our side, I am adamant and certain that no amount of challenges would hinder us from realizing our contribution to the national goal” of building a strong startup and tech transfer ecosystem, he added.

ISAT-U Kwadra TBI is a startup enabler funded by the University and the DOST-PCIEERD under its HEIRIT (Higher Education Institution Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship) program.

One government agency and two organizations have signed memorandums of understanding detailing the nature of the partnership that they will have with the incubator.

DTI Regional Office VI shall give Kwadra TBI access to its network of support, especially for business development, while the latter provides incubation support to the winners of the agency’s startup competition Slingshot. Regional Director Rebecca Rascon represented DTI.

Meanwhile, Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, represented by Chairman Terrence Uygongco, shall connect Kwadra’s startup incubatees with the business community for investment readiness while the incubator exposes the business community to investment opportunities in the startup ecosystem.

For its part, Leave a Nest Philippines, a subsidiary of the Japan-based international research group Leave a Nest, shall provide support for the commercialization of research, particularly on deep technology and manufacturing, and work with the incubator in developing the deep tech and manufacturing ecosystem in Iloilo and the Philippines.

Kwadra partnered with Leave a Nest Philippines – represented by managing director Dr. Yev Dulla – to strengthen its international linkages.

These partner agencies will also help form the Western Visayas unit for HEIRIT’s ReSEED (Regional Startups Enablers for Ecosystem Development) program – the UMWAD, or Unified Movement in Western Visayas to Accelerate Startup and Spinoff Development.

Through the incubator, ISAT-U will “share its expertise in science, engineering, and technology, and help create and optimize prospects for would-be technology entrepreneurs and startups,” University President Dr. Raul Muyong said during the virtual ceremonial MOU signing held over Zoom on November 18, 2021.

They also want to be “contributors to economic development, most especially in this time of pandemic, through job creation and generation, development of entrepreneurs, and promotion of public-private partnerships for regional development,” Muyong said. “I am confident that our partnership will make a positive contribution to the people of Iloilo.”

All eight pioneer startup incubatees were present at the virtual ceremonial signing. They are the following:

– Workable Spaces Inc., a company that maximizes the efficiency of spaces through modular design, represented by founder Wilfredo Sy Jr.

– Panublix, a textile sourcing platform connecting tropical textiles and artisans, represented by cofounder Noreen Bautista

– Bakal Lokal, an e-commerce platform hosting local products produced by micro, small, and medium enterprises, represented by cofounder Anvie Magbanua

– Panay 360 by Views, a tool showcasing 360 virtual tours of properties, establishments, and retail stores in Panay and Guimaras islands, represented by cofounder Vida Aurora Sy

– Klevrly, an education mobile app that allows teachers, students, and parents to interact and collaborate, represented by cofounder Eljohn Sienes

– Triptify, a trip management application integrating ICT solutions in modern jeepneys, represented by cofounder Nico Guarnes

– Gnosys IT Solutions, a digital solutions provider that “helps companies boost their productivity and make them future-ready,” represented by cofounder Brennan Terre

– Insight Crypto, a trading bot that automatically buys and sells cryptocurrency for users on the Binance trading platform, represented by cofounder Rommel Jun Payba

The DOST is “happy to see things moving forward in spite of the difficulties that we have during this pandemic,” said the agency’s Iloilo Provincial Director Engr. Sheila Oberio. “DOST Region VI continues to be committed to this kind of endeavor, especially that what we are doing really helps our community through science, technology, and innovation.” 

DTI Regional Office VI Assistant Regional Director Ermelinda Pollentes and Russel Pili, chief of the DOST Innovation Council’s Research Information and Technology Transfer Division, also attended the ceremonial signing. #

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