Last February, the Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO) concluded its first ever training program for researchers who aim to commercialize their technologies. The project titled “Preparing Researchers as Entrepreneurs Program'' (PREP) was a collaborative project between AIPO and the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). Researchers with PCIEERD-funded projects from different universities participated in the program while faculty from the School of Management were tapped to serve as their mentors.
PREP was established to bridge the gap between research and industry by equipping researchers with the entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to commercialize the products of their research. These skills and knowledge are designed to help researchers identify and communicate the commercial potential of their technologies to increase the chances for commercial success.
Module 1 participants
The program officially kicked off in October of 2020 with the participants being assigned mentors to guide them through the program material. Different entrepreneurship topics were tackled in modules and over the course of seven weeks, the participants underwent workshop sessions, mentor consultations, and panel presentations.
Module 6 participants
The researchers were tasked with the final output of crafting a pitch deck to apply their learnings from the program. Their pitch decks were then presented to potential investors during the culminating activity of the program, the Demo Day, held on February 4, 2021.
Demo Day slide cover
Based on the proceedings of Demo Day, the researchers were able to clearly communicate the value proposition of their technologies which led to new commercialization opportunities. With the participants demonstrating mastery of the entrepreneurial skills which the program aimed to equip them with, PREP was considered a resounding success.
Looking towards the future, PREP is being considered as a requirement for PCIEERD’s grant-giving technology commercialization programs such as FASTRAC to ensure better chances of successful outcomes. Complementary programs are also in the works to cover technologies in various stages from conception to scaling in order to form a clear commercialization pipeline for PCIEERD-funded technologies.