Israel Embassy, Davao consortiums gearing up Davao to be investable place in Philippines

Published August 12, 2022, 5:01 PM

by Ivy Tejano

DAVAO CITY — The Embassy of Israel, in partnership with the University of the Philippines in Mindanao and the Innovation and Development Accelerators Consortium for Startups in Davao Region (IDEAS–Davao), is gearing up Davao to be recognized as one of the most investable cities in the Philippines.

Photo courtesy of Ivy Tejano / MANILA BULLETIN

The Israel Embassy and its partnered consortiums in Davao organized on August 11, Thursday, a ‘Davao–Israel Innovation Night: Davao Startups Spotlight’ at Acacia Hotel in line with their first Davao Startup Week in Davao Region.

The occasion started with a press conference followed by a formal program.

Photo courtesy of Ivy Tejano / MANILA BULLETIN

IDEAS–Davao project leader Miguel Carlo Guillermo said the innovation night is one of the events that will highlight all the entrepreneur startups in the region.

He added that this event is for their partnered consortiums and the rest of the world to witness how the startup ecosystem has grown here over the years.

The Davao Region Startup Week 2022, which starts on August 10 and ends on August 14, is their main event highlighting the startup community of the region, presenting a variety of events that bring together business makers and owners, startups, investors, public and private organizations, and ecosystem leaders.

“We are here trying to showcase Israel’s innovations, give a stage for Davao–based startups, and see how we can collaborate and build innovation bridges between Israel and the Philippines,” said Nir Balzam, a mission deputy chief of the Israel Embassy in Manila.

“We want to touch the ground with different provinces and cities, not only in Metro Manila because innovation is everywhere,” added Balzam.

The Embassy of Israel is actively creating bridges of innovation with the country by collaborating with the Philippine government and the private sectors.

Last June 2022, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) signed an agreement with Israel Innovation Authority for joint collaboration on innovation.

Israeli Chamber of Commerce external affairs vice president Itamar Gero said these events are to present Israel’s innovation, support the startup community here in Davao, and expose the Davao entrepreneurs’ startups.

He added that as a businessman, he believes in the young talents and a fresh ecosystem that wants to collaborate, listen, and learn from Israel.

“The events like this innovation night are part of the initiatives of the UPGRADE TBI – the support system for the startups growing in the Davao Region. We began to spotlight all our startups. We believe that all our startups have global potential, not only in Davao. This would be the platform to pitch their startup products, looking for more significant opportunities,” Guillermo said.

Guillermo added that they would like to promote a spirit of collaboration among the startups and possible investors, and to other parts of the consortiums such as the government and the private and public sector.

He believes that this will greatly benefit the visibility of the startups in hopes that the Davao Region will be recognized as one of the most investable cities in the Philippines.

“Why Davao City? We believe in all Davao City people’s talents; perhaps, our people here do not need to look abroad for greener pastures. We believe that we all have the talent to grow our own business and startup ecosystem not only here in the region but nationwide and globally, and it is possible with all the support from the government and other stakeholders,” Guillermo said.

The Davao-based startups that pitched during the event were Virtualahan, Artificial Intelligence Meets Human Intelligence, GeoPik Technologies, Aguila Software Incorporated, Coffee for Peace, Geo Pindot, Infinit LMS Solutions, DPI Virtual Tour, Sureplus, and Green Habits Agri Venture.

The event was a joint effort with Israel’s Honorary Consulate in Mindanao based in Davao headed by Honorary Consul Jorge Marquez.

Also in attendance were DOST-PCIEERD executive director Dr. Eric Paringit, representatives from government offices including the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), representatives from Davao City Government, and the Chamber of Commerce.