/ 7 February 2021

WITH the continuation of the National Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation Program Phase II, the Visayas State University is committed to launch more agricultural business start-ups in Eastern Visayas in the next two years.

VSU said the ATBI program aims to accelerate the development of technology-based start-ups in the region into becoming viable and sustainable businesses through the support from the Department of Science and Technology and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development.

The VSU Technology Business Incubator, a new research and development unit under the Director for Innovation, will implement the ATBI program in Eastern Visayas starting January 1 of this year until December 31 of 2022.

“The second phase of the program will continue to provide extensive mentorship from business practitioners, business development support experts, and financial capital institutions who will guide local agri-startups to scaling up their unique business ideas,” VSU said.

Started in 2017, the university succeeded in incubating thirteen start-ups with products ranging from soya-cocoa, mushroom in brine, dried pineapple, macapuno biscotti, vacuum-fried jackfruit, and cassava cookies, among others.

“The initial thirteen agri-startups were provided with facilities for business acceleration, assisted in trademark and utility model applications, supported with product commercialization through the conduct of entrepreneurship boot camps and production training, while establishing government partnerships and market linkages in Leyte and Southern Leyte,” the school said.

To lay the initial groundwork for business acceleration, VSU-TBI also collaborated with the local chapters of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in both Baybay City and Ormoc City, as well as the provincial chapters for Leyte and Southern Leyte.

“Aside from incubating more agricultural start-ups, the second phase of the ATBI will now proceed to business acceleration after successfully helping thirteen initial incubates,” it said.

The university added the program may strengthen technology transfer and commercialization efforts to address the problems of its phase I, including constraints on product development and acquisition of financial capital that would increase production efficiency and market penetration.

“Moreover, phase II will include the provision of additional facilities for business acceleration at the newly constructed VSU Innovation Building while adopting an updated organizational structure,” VSU said.

“The program will likewise continue providing business development, technical support, mentorship, and raising of venture capital for the previous thirteen startups, as well as open opportunities for any new potential incubates,” it added.