By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios
Ensuring to pursue its commitment to support and strengthen the intellectual property of the Filipino people and local startups, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) to scale up the intellectual property (IP) management skills of local startups trained under the world-class AIM Dado Banatao Incubator (AIM-DBI) Program.
Under the MOA, IPOPHL will expand AIM-DBI startups’ technical knowledge on IP through a series of workshops and skills training.
IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba touted the deal with AIM as a “watershed event” for the local startup community which has been experiencing exponential growth in funding in recent years and even during the pandemic.
Citing the Foxmont Capital Partners’ 2020 report titled the “Philippine Venture Capital Report,” Barba said local startups recorded $51.8 million in early-stage funding in the first half of 2020, higher than full-year 2019’s $37.9 million even in the midst of COVID-19.
“Global trade of intangible assets have grown exponentially over the years at a rate that one could only imagine for traditional trade. IP assets are today emerging as key business differentiators. IP ownership and management are defining competition. And we want our startups to be prepared for this so they are able to carve out a successful position for themselves,” Barba said.
IPOPHL hopes the partnership could further AIM’s capability and influence in helping startups better optimize the benefits of their IP to contribute to the country’s social, economic and technological development.
“AIM’s excellence in providing startups with world-class training and support through its wide network of key partners make this institution an important link in the country’s innovation ecosystem. Partnering with them will immensely help IPOPHL in our goal of dispersing IP knowledge and embed in the culture of startups the practice of creating and investing in IP strategies,” Barba said.
AIM-DBI Executive Director Primitivo F. Paypon, Jr. said the partnership with IPOPHL affirms the institution’s established recognition of the importance of IP in the local economy.
“If IP is in place and investments are carefully attracted, our local startups will be able to create more and provide better economic opportunities to its consumers and stakeholders,” Paypon said.
For its part, AIM-DBI will help bridge IPOPHL services closer to its THINCOMMUNITY, a network of startups in various stages. With a membership of 47 startups, the THINCOMMUNITY has so far generated 465 jobs and garnered more than 87 international recognitions for its innovative ideas and influence in the local startup scene.
The AIM-DBI is the country’s first incubator that is housed in a business school and supported by the Department of Science and Technology. It provides high-impact startups in the early stages with world-class mentorship, customized training, and a support network to build and grow their business.