THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it hopes to roll out a P250-million startup fund by early next year.

Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba said the Startup Venture Fund (SVF) had been delayed by the change in administration.

“We’re just finalizing the guidelines and then it will be implemented. We hope that by the beginning of 2023, we will be able to do that. We had a change in administration,” Ms. Aldaba told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of a briefing in Taguig City last week.

“The new sets of leaders are still reviewing the pending projects for implementation. We are just trying to complete that process. Definitely, we are going to implement the project,” she added.

On Nov. 19, the DTI collaborated with the National Development Co. (NDC) and partnership platform for startups QBO Innovation Hub to launch the SVF.

The SVF’s P250-million budget is from the NDC and is targeted at startups in the seed to series B stage.

In a statement, Ms. Aldaba said that the startup ecosystem has grown to over 1,000 active startups.

“Looking back, the Philippine startup ecosystem has grown so much since we first got together in 2015. Back then, only 100 Philippine startups were reported to be active, with $40M in investment and funding. Today, we see individual startups raising $30M in one round alone and growing the ecosystem to more than 1,000 active startups,” Ms. Aldaba said.

Ms. Aldaba proposed that schools and universities review their curriculum to guide students into a technology entrepreneurship track.

She added that investors and industry should collaborate to develop local talent, with the government’s role seen as creating an enabling environment for startups to grow and innovate.

“While the Philippine startup ecosystem has yet to reach its full potential, we Filipinos are not lacking in talent or mindset. What we need are concrete actions to build ecosystems for startups to innovate and disrupt the status quo, building new solutions which will be our anchor in driving our future economy forward,” Ms. Aldaba said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave