Mapúa to nurture spin-offs and start-ups in newly launched technology business incubator
Mapúa University has launched the DOST-Mapúa Think and Tinker Laboratory last January 27, a technology business incubator (TBI) designed to provide support to spin-off projects, start-up businesses, and entrepreneurs also referred to as incubatees in the form of training courses and access to its laboratories and experts.
The new facility is established in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). It began operating in October 2021 and is currently focusing on organizing services and organizational support for incoming incubatees.
The DOST-Mapúa Think and Tinker Laboratory will tandem with Digital Pilipinas. Mapúa and Digital Pilipinas will carry out activities in the TBI, from faculty and student immersions to collaborative research and development projects, including the co-creation of micro-certification courses with Mapúa School of Graduate Studies, and the co-creation and co-incubation of innovation and technology projects, among others.
“Innovation is the driving force for progress and development. In this new economy, no academic institution can ignore its new role of generating innovation. Innovation helps to generate value in the form of revenue and jobs, and of vehicles for bringing solutions to society, these vehicles being start-ups and spin-offs,” shared Dr. Jonathan W.L. Salvacion, Dean of Mapúa’s School of Graduate Studies and the project leader of the TBI.
Mapúa will share its equipment and facilities in the Yuchengco Innovation Center and its other laboratories. Its schools and departments will be involved in identifying or supporting technologies for licensing or commercialization via the spin-off or start-up route. Its researchers and faculty members will serve as mentors, advisers, or consultants to incubatees and the TBI itself. It will also mobilize its graduate and undergraduate students to support the incubation activities.
The TBI will also call for entrepreneurs to locate in the incubator. They can be students and faculty members from Mapúa or entrepreneurs from outside the University. It will then provide ideation and hackathons to initiate researchers into the TBI.
Trainings in ideation, creation of business model, negotiations, accounting, and the legal aspects of business operation will be conducted for incubatees. Support will also be given in getting customers, developing their products for better market fit, and establishing their office address.
The TBI will take charge of the early-stage development of incubatees, while the more mature ones will receive advice or training in accounting, valuation, and regulations concerning business operation from the laboratory director Mr. Jacinto Asuncion, in coordination with Mr. Concordio Quisaot, Dean of Mapúa’s E.T. Yuchengco School of Business and Management.
As the Philippines’ premier engineering and technological school, Mapúa’s instruction serves as the backbone of its research, development, and innovation efforts. The activities in the DOST Mapúa Think and Tinker Laboratory are seen to help enrich and update the University’s teaching and learning by bringing new knowledge directly to the classroom and by exposing students to experiential learning through research. More so, it is a venue where the University can share its expertise not only in the technological and research aspects but also in the field of business.
“With the technology business incubator, we hope to be able to contribute more significantly to the country’s efforts of ramping-up technology commercialization,” expressed Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, the president and CEO of Mapúa.
“We eagerly look forward to partner with entrepreneurs, upon whom depends the dynamism of our economy.”
Apart from the TBI, Mapúa’s Innovation and Technology Support Office has continued performing functions such as providing help to students and faculty members who wish to protect their inventions, rolling out trainings and other educational services, and liaising with Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to maintain applications for patent, among others. Its Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office participated in the licensing of the Mapúa trademark to two manufacturers and in supporting the activities of USHER, Mapúa’s first spin-off, during the pandemic.