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  • Writer's pictureAteneo Intellectual Property Office [AIPO]

Taking the First Step Towards Sustainable Innovation: DOST-PCIEERD-funded SPRINT-STEP Launches

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

In the spirit of continuous and sustainable innovation, the Short-term Program for Researchers on Innovation and Technopreneurship (SPRINT) — Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) Training had its successful launch last 28 November - 30 November, 2023 at the Ateneo Blue Nest, Areté Sandbox Zone, Ateneo de Manila University. 

SPRINT-STEP, a project led by Ms May Ann Udtojan MSc, Business Development Officer at the Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO), is generously funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), is dedicated to empowering scientists and engineers with essential entrepreneurial skills tailored for sustainable innovation models. This comprehensive program aims to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, effectively bridging the realms of research and business. Participants will be equipped to not only identify commercial prospects but also to create plans and convey the value of their research to potential investors — a journey that builds upon their rich research experience.

There are eleven (11) startup teams who took on this challenge, and they are: 

  1. STARPLAN (De La Salle University - Manila)

  2. INFRASPEK - Shelled UAV (Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology) 

  3. LUNGSOD  (UP Diliman)

  4. PASADA (Technological Institute of the Philippines)

  5. ASIMOV - HAWKS (DOST - Advanced Science and Technology Institute)

  6. Smart Sniffer (University of Santo Tomas)

  7. AeroComp (UP Diliman)

  8. HESS (Holy Angel University)

  9. SESSY E - Boat (Mapua University)

  10. PISOLAR (University of Southeastern Philippines)

  11. CALAMI-T (University of the Cordilleras)

Day 1: An Energizing Start with Team Building and Collaboration

The launch of SPRINT-STEP commenced with an inspiring session led by Mr George "GQ" Quitoriano ME, resident entrepreneur of the AIPO. Participants were immersed in a dynamic series of team-building activities meticulously crafted to enhance teamwork and foster camaraderie among their startup group. What set this session apart was the strategic connection of games to actual business activities. Mr Quitoriano ingeniously wove real-world business scenarios into the exercises, creating an immersive experience that not only strengthened teamwork but also provided practical insights applicable to the entrepreneurial journey that lay ahead.

Photo: STEP teams underwent team-building activities during Day 1 of the launch

Day 2: Building the StartupTeam and Business Insights

Continuing the momentum, Mr Quitoriano gave focus into strategic leadership and skills mastery. Participants delved into the art of "Building/Organizing a Startup Team", guided by Mr Quitoriano's wealth of experience in cultivating effective and synergistic teams. As the day progressed, Engr Benjamin Mirasol, Head of AIPO’s Commercialization & Business Incubation Group, took the stage, illuminating essential aspects such as Business DNA, Time Management, and the Entrepreneurial Mindset.

Complementing these insights, Proceso "Jon" Fernandez Jr PhD, AIPO director, shared invaluable perspectives on "Being Smart with SMART Goals," offering a comprehensive tool for participants to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape with effectivity.

Photo: AIPO SPRINT-STEP team, PCIEERD team, and SPRINT-STEP startup teams

Day 3: Marketing Fundamentals and Industry Insights

The final day featured Mr Antonio Jr P Feria, faculty member at the John Gokongwei School of Management of the Ateneo de Manila University, unraveling the nuances of Marketing Basics, covering crucial aspects such as Value Proposition, Product-Market fit Validation, Beachhead Markets, and Customer Segmentation. Also a compelling panel session ensued, featuring Mr Roland Benzon, CEO of Wika Media and Mr Sergius Santos, CEO of SolX Technologies. Their insights provided a panoramic view of industry trends and best practices. 

As the event drew to a close, Ms Russell M Pili, DOST-PCIEERD Chief of DOST-RITTD, delivered closing remarks, encapsulating the essence of the transformative journey embarked upon during SPRINT-STEP.

Photo: AIPO SPRINT-STEP team with the PCIEERD team

SPRINT-STEP directly addresses challenges in tech commercialization, acknowledging the prevalent limited training and support for aspiring entrepreneurs. Participants expressed sincere gratitude and fulfillment, underscoring the significance of the valuable feedback received during the program. 

SPRINT-STEP's overarching goal is crystal clear — to empower participants to spin off their technology and emerge as successful entrepreneurs. As the launch event concluded, participants departed with enriched entrepreneurial skills, a renewed sense of direction, and the collective aspiration to carve out successful entrepreneurial paths. 

In essence, the launch of SPRINT-STEP marks not just the inception of a program but the beginning of a transformative journey for scientists and engineers, propelling them towards entrepreneurial success in the ever-evolving landscape of innovation. 


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