March 4, 2024

BANGUED, Abra – At least a hundred entrepreneurs in the province attended the second Regional Startup Caravan held at the Abra Provincial Police Office covered court on Sept. 26 and 27.

The caravan which is focused on startup ecosystem mapping and information expo was led by the Technological Consortium for Awareness, Readiness, and Advancement of Knowledge in Innovation (Taraki), departments of Science and Technology, Information and Communications Technology, Trade and Industry, and other partners.

Taraki project leader Dr. Thelma D. Palaoag said aside from startup mapping, the caravan also aims to look into the needs of the startups in the province and bridge assistance from different government agencies to help local innovators.

Startup is defined as a “new business venture providing services or products to an existing and growing market. A startup is in the first stage of operations and comprises one or more entrepreneurs. The primary aim is to answer market demand by creating new and innovative products or services.”

During the activity, government offices shared their innovation initiatives, scholarships, and activities that support micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs, startups, innovators and researchers.

Palaoag said this will help promote startups and innovations and encourage an entrepreneurial ecosystem towards growth in the province.

“Napakaimportante nito because itong mga estudyante natin are the source ng mga brilliant ideas. So we try to nurture them and ito ‘yung pwedeng maging avenue nila na kung hindi man sila magiging empleyado, sila mismo ay magiging mga employers,” she said.

Topics discussed with students and participants include Startup 101, Design Thinking 101: Idea to innovation, and ecosystem mapping.

Jeancy Nicole Balino, a student participant from the Abra Valley Colleges, said the activity empowered students like her to realize their business ideas in the future.

“I’ve learned about innovations and how to start a business and to be an entrepreneur someday. This is a big help to generate our ideas,” she said.

The first regional startup caravan was held in Mountain Province and Ifugao last year.

The RSTW is an annual activity of the DOST to promote and showcase science and technology programs, projects, innovation, and research.

This year’s theme, “Siyensya, teknolohiya at inobasyon: Kabalikat sa matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na kinabukasan,” focuses on innovation as a tool for a sustainable, comfortable and secured future. – Jam Malingan