If you had Netflix during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, odds are that you saw the Korean drama called Start-Up in your recommended list of must-watch TV series, gave in, and viewed its episodes one after the other. With its unique plot regarding startups themselves and familiar love story like in Filipino rom-coms, it easily became a hit in the Philippines; perhaps Start-Up has even awakened the entrepreneurial spirit of some Filipinos to start their own companies.
But like in the series, to launch a startup, you must have your own groundbreaking idea that has the potential to disrupt an industry or change how things are currently being done. This is what separates a startup from a small business. In short, if you ask me, a startup’s most unique trait is that it challenges the status quo, and more or less involves technology to make that happen.
Once you have that idea, you have to develop a business model and provide a framework on how to deliver that idea, goods, or service to serve its bigger purpose. As they say, an idea is only as good as its execution.
This is where it gets tricky – going from an idea to execution is easier said than done.
It takes more than just an idea to become a successful startup and eventually become a full-blown, big company. If you do not have a tech or business background, it is understandable to get confused a lot. Lack of resources and support would also be a major issue to push through no matter how great the idea is.
Good thing we have the likes of IdeaSpace Foundation and QBO Innovation Hub in the Philippines to take care of disruptors like you. Best part? The services of these incubators and accelerators are free.
Essentially, what both IdeaSpace Foundation and QBO Innovation Hub do is to give you and your idea the boost required towards growth. They will connect you with other startups, engage with a network of entrepreneurs, innovators and investors, and scale up the business to greater heights.
According to Ideaspace Foundation’s website, they offer an acceleration program, an alumni program, an Opportunity Fund, and an external relations program, ensuring that they give founders the support needed at the critical phases of their businesses. Since 2012, this Smart Communications-backed organization has supported a total of 107 startups and mentored more than 300 entrepreneurs, with a total of PHP 180M funding deployed for startup and ecosystem support activities in the country. It partners with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and the Asian Institute of Management.
On the other hand, QBO Innovation Hub is an incubator, a product of public-private partnership, led by the IdeaSpace Foundation and supported by JP Morgan Foundation, the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). As stated in its Linked profile, QBO, pronounced as kubo, was created in 2016 with three objectives: (1) provide startups with access to capital, resources, information, and expertise; (2) develop the entrepreneurial talent pool; and (3) create successful startups through customized programs that accelerate growth.
Lots of startups have come out of these two and found relative success in their endeavors. If you’ve heard about Pinoy Travel, Blood Hero, Portfolio MNL, and Valea Health, these startups are all supported by Ideaspace. Meanwhile, Investagrams, OneWatt, MAD Travel, Senti, and Cropital have been handled with utmost care by QBO.
So if you have that million-dollar idea and want to take it further, build your own team and ask for the services of the mentioned incubators and accelerators. Maybe, just maybe, you have been motivated to replicate what the above startups have achieved, but using your own idea. I say, go for it! You have Ideaspace and QBO, among others, to provide support.
Echoing the writing in the baseball owned by Nam Doo San in the Start-Up series, some final words: Follow Your Dream!