Representatives of DTI, METI, JETRO MANILA, and the Philippine and Japan Startups 

MAKATI CITY —The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) of Japan and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Manila, and with the support of TechShake, took part in the celebration of the Philippine Startup Week 2023 (PHSW2023) as they organized the Philippines-Japan Startup Pitch: Empowering Local Communities through Innovation held on 22ndof November 2023 at the Makati Diamond Residences, Gallardo Room.  

The event, designed akin to a Business-To-Government (B2G) matching, seeks to cultivate innovation and collaboration between LGUs and Japanese and Philippine startups. To identify the most urgent social challenges faced by local governments, DTI conducted a Social Challenges Survey initially in various LGUs across Regions I, II, III, IV-A, CAR, and NCR from August to September 2023. Thereafter, DTI, METI, and JETRO Manila have meticulously selected and shortlisted fifteen (15) startups capable of providing solutions to the challenges identified. 

Expressing her hope for the great impact that the event will bring in fostering growth of the startup ecosystem within the region, DTI – Competitiveness Bureau Director Lilian G. Salonga stressed, “Witnessing game-changing technologies that will shape our future, we hope to leverage their potential and discover solutions that will not only address local issues but also contribute to solving global challenges.”  

Director Salonga also expressed her utmost appreciation and gratitude to METI and JETRO for taking the time to visit the Philippines and making a positive impact on the local business ecosystem. 

Elaborating on burgeoning Philippines-Japan economic relations, Mr. Yoshikawa Tetsushi, Deputy Director-General for Trade Policy, Trade Policy Bureau, METI Japan, highlighted the potential of the Philippines to achieve high economic growth, “The Philippines has the second largest population in the ASEAN region, with over 100 million people, and the second youngest median age in ASEAN at 24.5 years, making it home to a wealth of talented human resources.” Mr. Tetsushi also shares their concept of “Co-creation,” which is the root of this initiative. They believe that one form of co-creation is to create innovation in collaboration with startups, as innovation is the key to growth, and startups are the driving force behind innovation. 

Emanating from these aspirations, Mr. Kazuo Nakamura, Executive Director of JETRO Manila Office, officially introduced the 15 innovative solutions brought by their carefully selected startups. 

There are five Philippine startups, namely, MYLO, LYCAN MOTORCYCLES, FISH-I ANALYTICS, AGRO-DIGITALPH, and DALI INNOVATIONS, and ten Japanese startups, namely, SPECTEE, ASTER, AEROSENSE, MAMORU, LEARNINGBOX, ANY-EDGE, INSTALIMB, ZIP INFRASTRUCTURE, OCEANEYES, and SAGRI enthusiastically pitch their innovative solutions in the crowd composed of representatives from the LGUs, Government Agencies, and Private Organizations in need of solutions for critical areas such as Disaster Risk Management, Education, Healthcare, Traffic and Urban Mobility, Fishery Resource Development, and Agriculture. 

Giving importance to an in-depth discussion among the startups and the potential collaborations, the organizers set up a networking zone. 

Overall the event was attended by roughly 140 participants coming from LGUs, Government Agencies, and Private Organizations, and is assumed to foster partnerships, developments, and investments for both the Philippines and Japan. ♦

Date of release: 24 November 2023