by Keanu Aebramh G. Costales

The startup ecosystem of Central Luzon has just gotten bigger, better, and more ready to help aspiring startup entrepreneurs in the region thrive and break the mainstream industry through business incubation and acceleration.

Through the Startup Ecosystem Leveraging on Opportunities and Networks for Growth (SULONG) Central Luzon Consortium, academe-based and government-initiated technology business incubators (TBIs) find a convergence point for future partnerships and collaborations among themselves.

To chart the consortium’s direction in the next few years, the Bulacan State University – BARAS TBI, consortium lead, initiated a strategic planning event, with the theme “PAMIABE-ABE (Pagsasama-sama)” held March 2-3 in Bulacan State University.

BulSU President Dr. Cecilia Navasero-Gascon, in her opening remarks, said, “We are grateful for the confidence and support lent by our inter-institution members for the partnership and trust you all invested in SULONG Central Luzon.”

Dr. Gascon further emphasized the role of the consortium joined by eight TBIs, as of writing, in addressing the gaps and maximizing opportunities to stimulate economic growth and prosperity in the region

Currently, BulSU takes the driver’s seat of the consortium as the project lead for the DOST-PCIEERD-funded Regional Startup Enablers for Ecosystem Development (ReSEED) project in Central Luzon.

Also part of the consortium now are PSAU Sibul TBI, Holy Angel University – Encephalon TBI, Bataan Peninsula State University – SINAG and SIKAT TBIs, Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology – iMETAL TBI, Tarlac State University – ASLAGAN TBI, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. 3 TBI.

Christian M. Manalac, Jr., Sibul TBI project development officer, said, “There have been many initiatives undertaken to expand the startup ecosystem in the region, yet these are usually fragmented and inconsistent.”

“Thus, we are delighted to have had the opportunity of working with SULONG Central Luzon to develop our short-term and long-term plans for startup development here,” he continued.

For his part, Manalac mentioned he will include in the incubation and acceleration pathway the efforts and opportunities presented by the consortium insofar as providing a wider range of support to Sibul TBI incubatees.

During the event, the participating TBIs drafted future plans and action points which were then presented to DOST-PCIEERD for the continuation of the consortium fund. Also present were key players in the government and industry to open doors of opportunities for incubators and their incubatees alike: Department of Science and Technology 3, Department of Trade and Industry 3, THRIVE Central Luzon, Reactor School, Embiggen, and New Energy Nexus Philippines.