The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-IPG) Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado cited Zeenoh, Inc., an entertainment software company that specializes on Internet of Things, video games, animation and other software applications as it received the Best Innovative SME Award in the ASEAN Business Awards 2016 held in Vientiane, Laos last September 5, 2016.

“We are happy to know that many of our local SMEs are being recognized by our neighbors as we urge them to continue to innovate and embark on available support services of the government,” said DTI Industry Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado. 

Jhondie Abenaza, CEO and founder of Zeenoh Inc., was a full time software engineer when he decided to start his own business. He took the Department of Trade and Industry’s free business course in 2007 which prepared him with the basics of setting up his own enterprise as a sole proprietor. A year later, Zeenoh was founded on September 10, 2008 as a pioneering game development company in the country.

Zeenoh started as an outsourcing partner for top video game studios from Japan, Korea and USA. As an end-to-end service provider for developing video games, it evolved into developing its own original content (Intellectual Property). The company started with mobile, web, PC, console and is now developing virtual reality applications. Zeenoh’s notable games developed are Patintero Playtime, released for mobile in 2010 and Nightfall: Escape, the first globally known full-3D game locally owned and made.

Abenaza encourages dreamers like him to take advantage of the entrepreneurship resources provided by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and looks forward to the collaborative opportunities presented by the recently established QBO Innovation Hub.

Terrado emphasized its support to local entrepreneurs and innovators as it prepares programs and services for the Startup Ecosystem Development Plan (SEDP). “We want our MSMEs, particularly those in the startup sector, to continue to venture with their creative solutions and innovative products and services as we further our strategies in penetrating the global digital economy,” added Terrado.  SEDP is expected to help enhance the climate for startup businesses, increase the success rate of Filipino innovative enterprises in introducing their products and services in the local and international markets.

As part of the DTI’s bold initiatives in supporting innovative enterprises in the country, QBO Innovation Hub was launched last August 8 in partnership with Ideaspace Foundation where support services are offered for innovators, explorers, investors, academic institutions, start-up mentors and enablers as well as a broad spectrum of partners and stakeholders from both public and private sectors. Located at the DTI International Building in Makati City, the hub aims to encourage more startups and innovation entrepreneurs in the country.

Recently, the Philippines improved 9 notches in the 2016’s Global Innovation Index, ranking as the 74th most innovative country among 128 surveyed in a report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and INSEAD.