Benilde HiFi TBI Team at the kick-off held at the Grand Hall of the World Palace Hotel in Davao City. From left: Incubation Manager and OIC-Director Paul Pajo, Partnership Advancement Director Robin Serrano, Center for Intellectual Property Management Director Atty. Janice Tejano, Partnership Advancement Officer Patricia Go-Manere, Incubation Coordinator Alex Abear and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Camille Albarracin. —

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DoST-PCIEERD) recently ranked the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Hub of Innovation for Inclusion (HiFi) 1st among 27 universities and colleges to receive a Technology Business Incubator (TBI) grant.

Through this award, Benilde HiFi is now classified as an accredited TBI, with the shared goal to promote technopreneurship by nurturing financially viable business startups into sustainable operations. This initiative will be able to develop entrepreneurs, create jobs and promote public-private partnerships in regional economic development.

DoST-PCIEERD received a total of 89 applications from diverse Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) around the country, which underwent the meticulous screening by a panel of industry experts.

To be admitted to the TBI program, learning institutions should have active research and development. They must possess facilities that may be tapped by future startups. They should likewise have existing partnerships with business schools, industry associations or private organizations. They should also offer entrepreneurship or technopreneurship programs.

Ateneo de Manila University and Philippine Women’s College of Davao placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The Central Philippine University in Iloilo landed 4th, while the University of the Philippines Baguio clinched 5th.

Benilde HiFi will announce the lineup of activities for the next two years, which includes Benilde Trailblazer Startups that cover Human Centered Design Thinking and Benilde Prize Metaverse Hackathon. There will be workshops on Project Curation, Crowdfunding, Acceleration and Incubation Bootcamps on social innovation, intellectual property and new product and enterprise development.

A series of Social Innovation Talks (SITalks), Benilde Alumni Technopreneur (BEAT) Awards, IP Innovation Challenge, PDGII – Taft Love Open House and La Salle Social Innovation Townhall are likewise slated.

“With the DoST team working with us, we foresee more active participation by our students and faculty with HiFi, and would rev up the interest of the industries and communities we work with and serve,” Partnership Advancement Director and TBI Principal Investigator Robin Serrano noted.

“We will be able to directly support our incubation initiatives with the funds from the grant,” he added. “The recognition will enable us to bring in more supporters and believers in HiFi as well as our schools and programs involved in its initiatives.”