CeBuinIT sets programs for technopreneurship

CebuInIT turns 4

AS IT celebrates its fourth year in mentoring and assisting local startups, a technology business incubator in Cebu is looking forward for a strengthened local technopreneurship scene for 2014.

Pauline C. Wade, project leader of the Cebu Business Incubator for Information Technology or CeBuinIT based in the University of the Philippines Cebu in Lahug, said there will be major programs and activities that will be launched for both technopreneurs and students.
This includes the future institutionalization of the Tech Transfer and Business Development Office (TTBDO) in UP Cebu, which she said is the first TTBDO office separate from that of UP Diliman.

The TTBDO office in Cebu, according to Wade, will provide entrepreneurs a holistic support to their businesses in terms of innovation and business development.

“This means the whole ecosystem is supported from idea generation, idea development, business plan development, to prototyping and all the way to commercialization,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

Intellectual rights

Wade said the establishment of the office will also help technopreneurs protect their assets by ensuring them that their intellectual rights are being protected.

However, the establishment of the office has to be approved first by the university’s board of regents before it becomes final. UP president Alfredo Pascual already approved the institutionalization of TTBDO.

Jeffrey Montecillos, UP CeBuinIT marketing specialist, said there will also be contests among students. One of them is the Ideya Challenge, which was already launched this year and participated in by UP Cebu students. The contest is similar to
that of Startup Weekend where participants pitch their business ideas.

Montecillos said the contest might be made open to students from other schools in the future.

He said there is also a plan to put up an Innovation Lounge inside the UP Cebu campus where students, teachers and industry players can regularly meet up and discuss technology-related matters.

Incubators network

Wade said there is need to strengthen the Technology Business Incubator network in the Philippines in order to put up more TBIs in the future.
She said the provincial government of Negros Occidental already approached the CeBuinIT team to help the province start an IT business incubator.
With the establishment of CeBuinIT and the series of programs and activities, Wade encouraged students to view them as opportunities to leverage their learning.

“Students can capitalize on the opportunities. They can immerse themselves in an environment where they can see a real application of what they have learned in the classroom… and the best people to learn from are technopreneurs who apply tech in real time,” she said.


Wade said that in the Philippines, there are only two TBIs specializing in IT that were funded by DOST, one is in UP Diliman and the other is CeBuinIT.
Since CeBuinIT’s inception in December 15, 2009, it has already trained over 80 students. Some of them were already absorbed by IT companies while others became absorbed by locators with whom they spent their internship.

Currently, CeBuinIT has 23 locators and is a self-sustaining organization since last year.

The Department of Science and Technology poured in a total of P8.5 million for CeBuinIT. Private organizations and individuals have also extended their expertise to CeBuinIT’s incubators.

By Jeandie O. Galolo, Sunstar Cebu
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 20, 2013.
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Cebu teams present apps to address health care issues

Social Innovation Camp Cebu

The University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu), DOST-UP Cebu Technology Business Incubator (CebuinIT), and Access Health International, with the support of Smart Communications, brought to Cebu the Social Innovation Camp Asia (SICA) last October 18-20, 2013.

The SICA Cebu leg was aimed to support startups that are focused on building and developing mobile and web solutions to augment the healthcare industry.

Two groups presented health care-related technology solutions during the Cebu leg.

One team produced a platform to help medical students with financial difficulties source funds for their studies. The other team proposed an electronic system of medicine prescription that lessens or removes errors in interpretation.

Four other finalists will make their pitch during the second half of the Cebu camp scheduled in November in Manila after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake with epicenter in Bohol disrupted the event schedule.

Medifund founder Jossy Onwude, a Nigerian who is studying medicine in Cebu, said African patients account for 24 percent of people suffering from diseases worldwide but are served by only two percent of the world’s physicians.

School fees

He added that Southeast Asia, where the Philippines is located, accounts for 29 percent of the world’s sick but only has access to 11 percent of its doctors.

Medifund’s solution is a global platform that allows students studying to be doctors and facing financial difficulties to ask people to help them pay their school fees.

Citing global figures, Onwude said 20 percent of medical students who drop out of school do so because of finances.

He decided to build Medifund when his friend Kristine Bless told him she was thinking of dropping out of medical school because she could no longer pay her school fees.

Onwude said he failed to find a crowd funding platform – a service that allows people to pitch in money to have a project implemented or product manufactured – that could solve his friend’s particular problem.

Medifund is preparing for a soft launch on October 28, 2013 when it will bring online its web-based platform so students can register and submit videos appealing to prospective donors for help.

Jill Lava, Social Innovation Camp mentor and program manager for community building and health at Smart said Medifund’s idea is very good and beneficial to medical students facing financial difficulties, adding that more doctors benefit the community in the long run. She explained that part of Smart’s campaign as a solutions provider is to find ways that technology may solve social problems such as those faced by the health sector.

PinoyRX, on the other hand, cited cases where doctor prescriptions were misinterpreted by pharmacists resulting in patients getting more ill instead of better.

In one case, a woman suffering from arterial blockage lost her leg because the pharmacist misread the physician’s directive to “resume Heparin” as “remove Heparin.”

Alexis Lugie Nonesa, one of the five people that make up the PinoyRX team, said the first version of their technology product is a mobile-responsive website that doctors can use for free.

When physicians prescribe medicine to patients, they can log on to the site, key in patient details, and print a copy. A second version will be a mobile application. 

Printed copy

Jonas Kee Quilantang said aside from a printed version, the prescription can also be sent to patients in the form of an e-mail or by SMS.

A printed copy of a prescription is necessary because a doctor’s signature is needed before pharmacies can dispense medicine. For physicians without printers, added Quilantang, the SMS copy can be used to countercheck the prescription.

Aside from being easy to use, PinoyRX makes prescribing easier for doctors because it includes a database of essential medicines listed in the Philippine National Drug Formulary.

Contributed by CebuinIT