10 Local Startups Complete DICT’s STEP UP CALABARZON 2023 Cohort 

Published: December 11, 2023

Ten budding local startups set off as the Startup-Tailored Empowerment and People-focused Upskilling Project (STEP UP) CALABARZON 2023 Cohort.  Juan D’Job, eXportHub Philippines, E-CO-IN, Pamana, KaliMap, Turo, GAWA, Care4Juan, Tangkilik, and IMIS presented their business ventures during the STEP UP Graduation and Demo Day at the Batangas State University (BatStateU). 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), through its ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB) and Region 4A Office, in collaboration with the Center for Technopreneurship and Innovation (CTI), capped off the series of learning sessions with a pitching session and a complimentary tour at the STEER HUB, BatStateU. 

IIDB Director Emmy Lou Delfin commended the startups for their effort and commitment to complete the mentorship program. “This is a solid foundation — a remarkable symbol that screams: behind the groundbreaking innovations in the Philippine Startup Ecosystem is a vibrant and ever-supportive community that champions advocacies and learning. Truly, homegrown heroes of this day are the global changers of tomorrow”, she added as she congratulated the startup teams. 

STEP UP’s 10 startup teams presented their digital solutions to the renowned panel of reactors comprised of PCMD and Co. Quality Assurance Review Partner Mark Paul Ramos, Center for Technopreneurship and Innovation Head John Richard Esguerra, Robin Philippines CEO Emmanuel Bobis, Ask Lex Founder Academy Founder Felix Veroya, Center of Business and Innovation Head Ericson Mendoza, and DOST representative Joyce Ann Santos. 

The compressed mentorship period for the acceleration project which ran from November to December covered areas on Business Model Canvas, User Interface and User Experience, Design Thinking, SEC Registration, and Pitching. Renowned startup professionals delivered the following session such as Mr. Roy Platon, Ms. Georgia Martelino, Ms. Mary Joie Cruz, Dr. Felix Veroya, and Mr. Mark Paul Ramos. 

Meanwhile, DICT Regional Director Cheryl Ortega emphasized in her speech that the graduation day is not the end of the DICT’s support for the startups. She noted that the Department, through its Region 4A Office and its local enablers, will continue its support moving forward. 

STEP UP CALABARZON aims to offer countless opportunities after accelerating the startup’s growth. CTI Head John Esguerra enumerated the increase in the cohort’s Technological Readiness Level as he presented the STEP UP Impact and Progress Report.