Monday, February 25, 2013

iZone-iHub : Changing the Rules of Startup Assistance

An invention is, more often than not, very slow to transcend from conceptualization to implementation. It often requires a critical mass of talents and resources to market and commercialize a single technology no matter how breakthrough it is. This is the main reason why technology business incubators are being established to accelerate the successful development of tech startup firms through an array of business support resources and services, developed and orchestrated by the incubator through its network of contacts and affiliates.

I've read a lot about companies and groups coming up with programs that are aimed to tap into the potentials of entrepreneurs. They are venture capitalists whose ultimate goal is to discover bright new innovative ideas that could make a fortune, and give them a lot of bragging rights to say they invested on that entrepreneur's little project which that's now making a name in the technology industry - meaning the next Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

They are also targeting the vibrant and aggressive students from colleges and universities and whose fresh look into the world and alternative ways of thinking  might work miracles and come out with the next money-making idea. The youth of today are highly exposed in technology and social media.They are fast-learners and highly experimental so it would be less of a surprise if the next big bright new idea would come from them.

There's Ideaspace from Smart Communications Inc. and Kickstart Ventures from Globe Telecoms that were formed as pioneering programs to nurture upstart “technopreneurs” and help them scale up their businesses by providing a comprehensive support system including seed capital, technical assistance and business linkages. Both subsidiaries of the two largest Telecom companies believe that while many Filipinos have very good breakthrough ideas for their own independent businesses, and the capability to make these scale efficiently through ICT, web and mobile applications, a lot of them do not have the necessary resources to pursue their ambition. 

There's even a lot of more groups like Mozilla's WebFWD to help startups hit the accelerator, companies like BlackBerry and Accenture sponsoring hackathons, and bigger events like the Global Startup Battle whose participants came from several Startup Weekend hackathons that were ran from all over the world. In other words, the search for the next big bright idea has indeed grown into a massive movement.

But there's this company that tries to change the rules of giving support to startups, and they call themselves iZone-iHub. They advertise themselves as a tech or techie venue where every I.T. person (that includes the nerds, dorks, dweebs and geeks) can go and make use of their free services and facilities - Internet access, coffee, computers and even digital projectors. Their site says that they are an online community that provides Pinoy techies and innovative individuals a room for collaboration. It aims to encourage knowledge sharing among those who have the passion for Information Technology. They also have a techie guy available at the site to provide technical assistance to the techies. The big plus is iZone-iHUB has an on-going contest were an individual or group can win as much as fifty thousand pesos worth of prizes. The head honchos of iZone-iHub accepts all pitches or proposals of both new or enhanced ideas, and if they see a breakthrough or potential in your ideas, they can provide funding and support to commercialize your idea and make it profitable.

iZone-iHub will soon be having a Grand Launch on the 18th of January, and their biggest event on the16th of February called the Techno Summit which is highlighted by a hackathon event. I can't wait to be there and witness two great gatherings of techie and business minds.Don't miss out on these opportunities to rub elbows with your fellow techies and get the chance to listen and meet the speakers they invited to grace the occasion.

Aside from business magnate Mr. Dan Pena, philanthropist, technology advocate, and iZone-iHub founder, there will also be Agham Partylist Representative Angelo Palmones, a co-founder and the first president of the Philippine Science Journalists Association, Inc. (PSciJourn) and the honorable Manila Vice Mayor "Isko" Moreno or also known as Francisco Domagoso attending the two big events of iZone-iHub.  These personas are three of the most prominent advocates of technology in the Philippines.

To end this article, we probably all realize by now that tech incubators have been experiencing a recent growth around the world. However, while there seems to be a lot of funding available for great ideas, the  handing out of seed capital is not sufficient anymore. They should also provide facilities, mentoring programs, intensive courses on how to launch and sustain a successful business, and business network introductions. These are equally essential to kickstarting the dreams of aspiring technopreneurs, and are the possible future plans of iZone-iHub which everyone should look forward to.

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