IdeaSpace: Bringing Silicon Valley to the Philippines

March 16th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Filipino venture capitalist Manuel V. Pangilinan wants his native land to become the next Silicon Valley. He recently announced the launch of IdeaSpace, a “technology incubation hub” owned by his holding company First Pacific Company Ltd.

IdeaSpace aims to help Filipino tech entrepreneurs with their startups, in a country where its people are known as early adopters of new technology. Business news sites have declared the Philippines as the “texting capital” and “social networking capital” of the world because of high consumption and penetration of such technologies.

“(We Filipinos are) already well-known worldwide in singing and acting, maybe it’s time that we develop more scientists and engineers,” Pangilinan chided in an interview with

IdeaSpace has set aside 500 million pesos (US$11.6 million) for the “financial reward of future success” of selected startups, whether already-established or just waiting to be hatched. These startups will also be given partnership opportunities with Pangilinan’s companies ranging from healthcare, telecommunications, consumer products, utilities, and mass media.

IdeaSpace will be holding a nationwide competition beginning April as it receives applications from eager young entrepreneurs. These ideas would undergo multiple layers of evaluation. A board of judges would then choose startup ideas that IdeaSpace should support based on its potential to become commercially profitable.

Once selected, the chosen team or teams will meet up with Pangilinan to discuss funding requirements. IdeaSpace recommends a team of at least five people, with at least one member with a science or technology background. The incubation period would depend on the level of technology the team is looking to develop. The teams will also be given full autonomy over their original ideas.

However, there are challenges ahead. According to Pangilinan, Filipinos as a people do not celebrate success in business. Even parents encourage their children to find a job rather than putting up a business, which they this would risk them of losing money.

Follow IdeaSpace on Twitter for more information.