DICT Startup Grant Fund – Frequently Asked Questions

Published: April 4, 2023


1. Who is eligible for the grant fund? 

ICT-based startups who have registered as a business in the Philippines and have a registered startup number shall be eligible to apply for the DICT Startup Grant Fund. The SGF encourages startups who are either in the (1) “proof of concept (POC) to prototype” or (2) “prototype to the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)”.  Please refer to Section 8 of the DICT Department Circular 001 s. 2023.

2. One of the requirements is to register our startups in the Startup Philippine Website. Do we need to provide proof of registration or will the DICT already have a list of registered startups?

Yes, SEC/DTI permits will be asked upon registration. This will then be cross checked by the Startup Philippines Website Evaluators. 

3. Should the startup be registered through Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)?

Startups are required to be registered either through the SEC or DTI to be eligible for the DICT Startup Grant Fund. They are also required to register through the Startup Philippines Website as well (register.startup.gov.ph).

4. How does one sign up as a startup?

The link to the Startup Philippines Website is startup.gov.ph. You may create an account via https://register.startup.gov.ph/user/signup. Startups need to register through this portal in order to avail of the grant fund.

5. Will there be templates for us to follow for the application requirements? Where will we find them?

Templates for the documentary requirements are available via bit.ly/SGF2023Templates

6. I have a small business right now but I plan to turn it into a startup in the future, am I eligible to apply?

You can apply as long as your business fits the eligibility and evaluation criteria as stated in Section 9 and Section 10 of the Department Circular.

7. Can the grant fund apply to existing digital startups who have been in the market for more than a year and are planning to scale up?

The startup can apply for the grant fund given that the product they are trying to develop is eligible under the two categories of the projects under the DICT Startup Grant Fund (Section 8). If the startup is planning toward scaling up, the DICT recommends to avail of other fund programs by other government agencies offering support for scaling up.

8. Are students eligible for the grant fund?

Yes, as long as the startup they are a part of fulfills the eligibility criteria (Section 9) stated in the Department Circular.

9. I participated in the last Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC), am I allowed to apply? 

The requirements for the SGF are different from the Philippine Startup Challenge. If you can comply with the SGF requirements as stated in the Department Circular, then you remain eligible.

10. I have already applied for the grant fund of DOST/DTI but I am still waiting for the results, am I allowed to apply?

No. As the DICT wants to give equal chances to startups, we prefer to avoid concurrence on funding (Section 9). Since the DICT SGF will be offered in cycles, you may wait and apply then.

11. I am currently a beneficiary of other grant funds from DOST and DTI, am I still eligible to apply?

Double granting is not allowed. The grant period should not coincide with other agencies or organizations. Please refer to Section 9(b).

12. Our startup has been supported by our LGU, are we still allowed to apply?

If the startup is in POC or Prototype, and the LGU is only a client and not another benefactor, then the startup is allowed to apply.

13. In case there are changes in the documents we submitted, i.e., change of prototype design or budget allocation, are we allowed to change it in the future? 

Since the release of funds will be only granted once, budget realignment and other changes are not advised. Any proposed changes stated in Section 16 of the Department Circular shall be reviewed by the ICT Industry Development Bureau.

14. Can startups that were not accepted for the grant apply again after 6 months? 

They can apply again once a new call for applications has been opened, but the DICT may also refer them to its other startup programs that may better fit the apparent needs of their startup.


1. How long will the application and evaluation take? Is there a specific timeline on the date of announcement on who qualified for the grant fund?

The application period will be open until May 12, 2023. After the submission of proposals, all proposals shall go under the table review of the ICT Industry Development Bureau, where proponents with complete and correct submissions shall be evaluated by the Technical Evaluation Committee on technologies used, and by the Grants Committee on investability. The screening period shall be done by July 2023.

Grant administration

1. To what extent will the grant cover? Will the grant cover everything that our startup needs or is it limited to PHP 500,000 – 1 million? 

 The grant fund ranges from Php 500,000.00 to Php 1,000,000.00. The grant will depend on the approved Financial Plan for the startup’s product development. Please refer to Section 11(d) of the Department Circular for other costs.

2. Should the grant fund be the sole fund of the startup? Is it fine to have other funds from the incorporators of the company?

The sole “government” funding should be from DICT alone; however, a “counterpart” funding is allowed and should be properly indicated in the Work and Financial Plan (WFP).

3. Do we need to consult and refer to DICT for everything that we will procure? What processes should we follow?

All equipment necessary for the implementation of the project shall be stated in the approved Financial Plan. Every equipment shall still be subject to the evaluation of the DICT and the agency reserves its right to request for canvassing documents before procurement (Section 18).

4. How will the DICT monitor the progress of our startups? 

The DICT will monitor the progress of the grantees through the assistance of mentors and its regional offices. Please refer to Section 13 of the Department Circular.

5. Can we request for an extension on the project implementation?

A grantee may request for an extension of their project activities for a maximum of one (1) year beyond its approved original duration. Please refer to Section 14 of the Department Circular.

6. Is there a chance for the grant to be nullified? 

The DICT reserves its right to terminate grants in case the grantee fails to comply with any of the provisions and requirements stated in Section 19 of the Department Circular.

7. What will happen to the procured equipment if the project did not push through?

It has to be returned to the DICT. The DICT reserves the right to transfer ownership of a procured equipment of a terminated grantee, as stated in Section 19 of the Department Circular.

8. What if the requested fund isn’t fully utilized at the end of the project duration?

The grantee shall return the unexpected balance or amount not utilized to complete the project. This shall be stated in the Startup Grant Agreement between the DICT and the startup. Please refer to Section 12(g) of the Department Circular.