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MVRK Simulations, ROC PH named as winners of DTI’s IDEA and ADVanCE for Creatives Programs

DTI IDEA and ADVanCE for Creatives Programs

The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Competitiveness and Innovation Group (DTI-CIG), in collaboration with startup accelerator Launchgarage, celebrated the innovation and drive of local creative startups as they awarded the winners of its Incubation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Assistance (IDEA) and Accelerating Development, Valuation, and Corporate Entrepreneurship (ADVanCE) for Creatives Programs during their Demo Day on April 15, 2024, at Whitespace Manila, Makati City.

DTI IDEA and ADVanCE for Creatives Programs

Launched in 2023, the IDEA and ADVanCE for Creatives programs are among DTI-CIG's flagship initiatives, aimed at fostering innovative startups in accordance with the visions outlined in the Innovative Startup Act (ISA) and the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA).

The Demo Day, attended by a diverse audience of industry professionals, investors, and stakeholders, marked the culmination of an intensive eight-week series of learning sessions and mentorship for 15 creative startups. The esteemed judging panel includes DTI-CIG Assistant Secretary Leonila Baluyut, Launchgarage Innovation Hub Co-founder Jojo Flores, and Philippine Art Events, Inc. Co-founder Geraldine “Dindin” Araneta, who evaluated the startups' pitches and shared valuable insights.

MVRK Simulations, a startup revolutionizing workforce development through gamified training simulations, emerged as the winner of the IDEA program, securing a pitch prize of Php 75,000.

“Being part of the IDEA program has been incredibly valuable. It's provided me with essential insights into starting a company, from necessary research to overcoming early-stage challenges. Access to this program feels like having a cheat code or a manual that helps me to transform our inventive business concept into a successful enterprise,” said MVRK Simulations Co-founder and CEO James Lo.

Aside from MVRK Simulations, the participating startups for the IDEA program included multi-vendor marketplace for Filipino entrepreneurs Produkto PH, media production agency Transcend Studios Inc., marketing firm Carisle Media Corporation, kid-friendly creative content platform Kwentoon, sports and fitness-focused Palaro app creators 7X7 Development Corp, and Wika Media, a tech startup that helps people with hearing/visual disabilities access educational videos and entertainment. Sustainable fashion startups Brave Story, Pamitisan Shoe Shop, and Denim & Denim were also part of the program.

On the other hand, ROC.PH Digital Marketing Services won the top prize in the ADVanCE program, earning Php 100,000 for its Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform designed for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

“From the mentorships to engaging with my fellow startups, the program has been invaluable, providing insights that I hadn't encountered before, which can be applied to our future planning. It is very informative and helpful, especially for startup businesses like mine,” shared Ron Oliver Clarin, CEO and Founder of ROC PH.

The ADVanCE program also featured Zamboanga-based creative solutions provider KikoMonster Creative Studio, digital learning video production company Bihasa, print ad-to-video animation conversion service AniMattify, and Filipino brand-focused marketplace Bentamo.

DTI-CIG Assistant Secretary Leonila Baluyut commended the participating startups and recognized the impact of the Philippine creative landscape.

"I would like to congratulate all the startups that have been part of the latest cohorts of the IDEA and ADVanCE for Creatives programs. Moving forward, DTI remains steadfast in its commitment to championing these programs, serving as a catalyst for the advancement of the Philippine creative industry. Through our unwavering dedication, we aim to showcase the ingenuity and innovation of Filipinos, to not only drive our nation's economic growth but also elevate our global competitiveness to unprecedented levels."

In addition to awarding cash prizes to two program winners, DTI is committed to supporting all graduates by integrating them into our network of mentors and investors, facilitating connections with potential opportunities, providing ongoing mentorship, engaging with local ecosystem stakeholders, and offering immersion trips to enhance their application of learned skills.

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