Over 100 stakeholders from the public and private sectors participated physically and virtually in the recently concluded Cagayan Valley Startup Week 2021 (CVSW 2021) on 13-15 January 2021 organized by the Cagayan State University BizNEST in close partnership with the different government agencies in the region such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Agriculture and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The three-day event aimed to increase the awareness of the startup community on the different innovations and significant opportunities that are available under the new normal. It also aimed to inspire the startup community through sharing of best practices and success stories of startups in the country.

In his welcome remarks, Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson P. Soriano said that consistent with Republic Act No. 11337, also known as the “Innovative Startup Act”, the development and grant of incentives to start-ups are part of the Tuguegarao City’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Road Map. Mayor Soriano also lauded DTI-Region 2 for its strong support to the LGU in advancing its competitiveness in the national and international arena.

On behalf of DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba of DTI -Competitiveness and Innovation Group discussed DTI’s strong commitment to promoting innovation and foster collaboration for the recovery and resiliency of the Region.

Usec. Aldaba presented the innovation and start-up ecosystem performance in 2020 where the Philippines ranked for the first time as among the top 50 in 131 countries, 4 notches higher compared last year.

Meanwhile, in her message of support, DTI-Region 2 Leah Pulido Ocampo said that the aim should be to produce more tech-based startups who will provide digital and automated solutions for everyday living or for businesses, particularly in the areas of production, logistics, processing, marketing, and product servicing. She emphasized the need for startups that will make our lives and our industries smart, that smart homes, smart agriculture, smart logistics, smart processing, smart marketing should be the aim.

She also encouraged the startups to unleash their potentials and concretize their ideas in their minds in order to eventually come up with something wonderful that the community can benefit from.

Partner agencies presented their different programs, projects, and services in support to the development of the start-up community. Various topics focused on Enabling the innovation Ecosystem, Empowering Startups in the New Normal, and Tech pitching and Moving Forward to Industry 4.0 were also discussed. A brief press conference was also conducted with representatives from the media.

DTI-Region 2 Isabela Provincial Director Winston T. Singun delivered RD Ocampo’s closing message, sharing that DTI, in collaboration with all the other agencies, commits to pursuing its recommendation to expand the existing research arm of the RDC to what DTI proposes as the Regional Research and Innovation Development Committee, which will institutionalize multi-stakeholder collaboration and government support in the development of startups. Secondly, the establishment and rolling out of the Regional Inclusive Innovation Center (RIIC) in Region 2, which is expected to create a more robust innovation ecosystem and open more opportunities particularly on Smart Agriculture, with it being the strength and priority of Region 2. Finally, the crafting of a Regional Startup Roadmap that mirrors the overall directions from the national level, and which will lay down a cohesive strategy to make Cagayan Valley smarter and a breeding ground for tech-savvy and innovation-inspired startups!♦

Date of release: 22 January 2021