Sunday, September 9, 2007

The CEDF-IT Model

Much have been said and written about the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT). In fact, it was discussed as a possible model for regions gearing up to be ICT hubs of the Philippine Cyber Corridor during the recent consultative workshop held by the Commission on ICT (CICT) at the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCO) last September 5, 2007. The rise of the ICT sector of Cebu is greatly attributed to the programs of CEDF-IT and other regions are learning from their practices and experiences.

CEDF-IT is an offshoot of the first Cebu IT Summit convened last March 2001. The Cebu IT Summit identified the need to enhance the quality and quantity of human resources in the IT industry and CEDF-IT was the response to this challenge by the major players in the industry, the academe, and government and NGOs.

CEDF-IT was organized to undertake the following six-fold mandate: (1) promote and support the development of IT education in the tertiary level through a Faculty Development & Incentives Program and a Students Scholarship Program; (2) enhance IT education in the tertiary level by assisting member-schools in curriculum development, improvement of equipment, and other related concerns; (3) promote the early acquisition of relevant IT knowledge and skills in the primary and secondary school levels by assisting these schools integrate IT education within their curriculum; (4) assist in the promotion and provision of non-formal IT skills training through short-term certificate courses; (5) guarantee the efficient absorption of qualified IT graduates by industry through an employment mechanism set-up solely for this purpose; and (6) serve as an advocacy group for the formulation of pertinent HR-related IT policies, beneficial national and local laws, and appropriate incentives program by the national and local governments.

The flagship projects are the following: (1) IT Teachers Academy; (2) Professional Certification Center; (3) HR Survey & Monitoring Unit; (4) R&D Center & Institutionalization Unit; (5) Entrepreneurship and Incubation Center; (6) Quality Assurance in IT Education; (7) Cebu is an IT Education Hub; (8) Global Outreach for IT Pinoys.

The Board of Trustees is private sector-led. The officers and directors are a good mix of people from the academe and industry.

It is worthy to note that during the years 2001 to 2003, only 100 to 300 graduates were appropriately employed from a total pool of 2,200 graduates. In year 2006, 600 graduates qualified for entry-level employment with a 1,500 minimum demand industry, from a pool of 2,200 graduates. A very substantial improvement indeed.

Incidentally, CEDF-IT's vision-mission is: the foremost HR development source in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT); and nurturing quality ICT education by establishing high industry standards. Their slogan or mantra is “matching jobs with people and matching education supply with industry demand".

CEDF-IT has a certification program called Philippine IT General Certification Examination (Phil-IT GCE). It may be considered as an overall evaluation of the graduate’s level of cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning as specified in B.S. Computer Science, B.S. Computer Engineering, B.S. Information Technology, and B.S. Information Management curricula, as well as the graduate’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes pertinent to advanced or latest trends in IT as required by industry. In a way, the PHIL-IT GCE serves as an interim solution for the need for a board examination, testing the IT skills of Filipino would-be professionals, with IT skills set by Filipino IT professionals, yet addressing international industry benchmarks.

In the span of six years, the following tenets have characterized the CEDF-IT model: (1) CEDF-IT is private sector-led; (2) CEDF-IT enjoys exemplary government support; (3) CEDF-IT endeavors to exercise development-oriented “empowered leadership”; (4) CEDF-IT is an “entrepreneurial venture”; (5) CEDF-IT “core and foundational values” animate its way of doing and being.

CEDF-IT has been instrumental in positioning Cebu as a location for the development of IT services (e.g., software development, IT deployment services) as well as IT-enabled services (e.g., BPO, call centers, multimedia web). CEDF-IT is also building Cebu's image as an innovation island, similar to the Silicon Valley model.

To further prepare graduates for absorption in industry, various trainings and seminars were held along the years. Bridge courses for entry-level software developers were also developed (e.g., Oracle, Microsoft.Net, Java, PHP Web Programming, IPv6, Systems Programming in C). The Career Link Services Center takes care of the efficient absorption of graduates in industry and a quarterly newsletter is published to highlght the activities and achievements of CEDF-IT. In 2006, CEDF-IT celebrated its 5th anniversary with a big party.

Source: Presentation slides of CICT during the Philippine Cyber Corridor Briefing last September 5, 2007 at MEDCO.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Philippine Cyber Corridor

A consultative workshop on the Philippine Cyber Corridor was held at the Conference Room of the Mindanao Development Council (MEDCo) last September 5, 2007. The event was organized by the Commission on ICT (CICT) and facilitated by Ms. Patricia Abjejo, Director for Cyberservices, with two other companions.

Key ICT sector leaders from Davao City (Region XI), Cagayan de Oro City (Region X), Zamboanga City (Region 9) and General Santos City (Region 12) were in attendance. The main components of the consultative workshop were: (1) briefing on the Philippine Cyber Corridor; (2) the process of becoming an ICT hub; (3) the need for ICT councils; (4) the DOLE workforce development initiatives.

The Cyber Corridor is envisioned to be home to numerous cyberservice providers that supply expert services in various field of ICT like business process outsourcing (BPO), contact centers, animation, medical and legal transcription, software development, e-learning, e-entertainment and gaming, and other back office operations (e.g., finance and accounting, human resource development, etc.).

The Cyber Corridor was highlighted in the State of the Nation Addresses (SONAs) of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (years 2006 and 2007) as the fifth "super-region" of the Philippines (aside from the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, the Metro Luzon Urban Beltway, Central Philippines, and Mindanao) with the firm resolve of "spreading the development away from the inequitable concentration in Metro Manila. The Cyber Corridor encompasses centers of technology and learning running the length of all "super regions", from Baguio to Clark to Metro Manila to Cebu to Davao and neighboring areas. The Philippines ranks among top off-shoring hubs in the world because of cost competitiveness and more importantly, our highly trainable, English-proficient, IT-enabled management and manpower."

The core mandate of CICT is to strengthen and sustain the status of the Philippine Cyber Corridor as the preferred ICT destination in the global ICT space. This mission springs from the CICT vision of an ICT-enabled business environment that shapes and empowers the economic dreams and aspirations of the 21st century Filipino.

The CICT has been conducting scorecarding exercises in various locations in regions wanting to be part of the corridor. The exercise determines the viability of other areas in the Cyber Corridor outside of Metro Manila as potential locations for ICT investors willing to relocate to the regions. Currently, 33 locations have been scored, 14 of which have locators already existing. The 14 scored sites with already existing locators are the following: Baguio, Clark/Pampanga, Sta. Rosa/Laguna, Rizal/Cainta, Lipa/Batangas, Legaspi/Albay, Naga/Camarines Sur, Cebu, Iloilo, Tacloban/Leyte, Dumaguete/Negros Oriental, Bacolod/Negros Occidental, Davao, Cagayan de Oro. The 5 scored sites with expected locators by end of year 2007 are the following: Cabanatuan/Nueva Ecija, Dagupan/Pangasinan, Subic, Cavite, Tagbilaran/Bohol. The 14 remaining scored sites that have no existing locators yet are the following: Poro Point/La Union, Tuguegarao, Tarlac, Bataan, Bulacan, Quezon, Puerto Princesa/Palawan, General Santos, Kidapawan/North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Koronadal/South Cotabato, Sarangani, Bukidnon, Zamboanga.

The Cyber Corridor promises a number of benefits. The first is job generation. Two million jobs are projected by year 2010 plus additional upstream jobs in training and construction, and downstream jobs in transport, food services, and infrastructure. The second is regional development -- from Baguio to Zamboanga. This will indeed change the face of the nation. The third is locator options. The important factors for consideration will be cost, lifestyle, scalability, retention. The fourth is dispersion of demand. This will minimize wage inflation and poaching/attrition.

The Philippines is competitive in the ICT global space because of the following strengths: (1) reliable infrastructure support in terms of real estate, power, and telecoms; (2) quality human resources with an abundant labor force of 32 million; (3) investment incentives; (4) strong partnerships and linkages with national and local government agencies, industry leaders and associations, and academe; (5) strong private sector initiatives.

The challenges that face the Philippine ICT sector are the following: (1) sustaining adequate supply of skilled ICT workforce; (2) cost of electricity; (3) high software piracy rate; (4) lack of cyber laws (anti-piracy, data privacy, cyber security).

CICT proposes the following steps to becoming an ICT hub and part of the Cyber Corridor: (1) DTI-ROG pinpoints viable locations within the Cyber Corridor; (2) DTI-ROG gathers concerned stakeholders for the exercise (e.g., LGUs, academe, representatives from telecommunications, power, real estate, PNP, among others) to gather data and build an ICT ecosystem profile for the location; (3) CICT and DTI-ROG conduct scorecard exercise which is basically a self-assessment of the capabilities of the location and find out its readiness to host an investor/locator; along side, a SWOT analysis is also conducted to determine the strengths & weaknesses of the location; (4) CICT then conducts an ICT strategic planning workshop to map out what needs to be done to address crucial locator requirements; (5) CICT monitors the progress of the location in carrying out strategies to increase its competitiveness; (6) when the location has addressed the issues/challenges identified, then CICT declares the location ready and endorses it to BPAP vendors as a viable location for investment.

In developing the ICT ecosystem, the following areas the bases for the score card: (1) workforce potential; (2) telecoms infrastructure; (3) real estate; (4) vendor support; (5) LGU/community support; (6) power infrastructure; (7) transport infracture; (8) incentives; (9) quality of life. In a scale of 1 to 10, the location makes a self-assessment of its own capabilities and readiness to host investors/locators. The score carding exercise intends to address the weaknesses of the location in order to establish a complete cyberservices ecosystem which is key to attracting locators. Each location is encouraged to have its own "unique selling proposition" or "differentiator".

This whole planning exercise in the regional level gives CICT a more accurate picture of the workforce. Infrastructure build-up programs can be rationalized (depending on the score cards). Locations can build on respective strengths, avoid duplication of efforts, and minimize competition for locators. The key word is to "synergize". Locations that have addressed their weaknesses, improved their score cards, and finalized their roadmaps get the nod and endorsement of CICT and become officialy part of the Philippine Cyber Corridor.

The importance of regional ICT councils was emphasized by CICT during the consultation. These councils will serve as the backbone of the assessment and planning excercises at the regional level with the goal of becoming part of the Cyber Corridor. The results of the various consultations of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Workforce Development Initiatives were presented as additional input for the participants when they get back to their respective regions and undergo their assessment and planning exercises. CICT also expressed their plan to organize a national ICT council composed of the leaders from the organized regional ICT councils.

Source: Presentation slides of CICT during the Philippine Cyber Corridor Briefing at MEDCO last September 5, 2007.

MCITE 2007

The Philippine Society of IT Educators-Region XI Chapter (PSITE-XI), in partnership with the Council of Deans for IT Education in Region XI (CDITE-XI), is once again holding the Mindanao Conference on IT Education (MCITE) and is slated on September 20-21, 2007, 8am to 5pm, at Rm. F213, 2nd floor of Finster Building, Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), Roxas Avenue, Davao City. The venue was originally set at the University of Mindanao-Matina Campus but some problems cropped up which prompted the organizers to transfer the venue to ADDU.

MCITE is an annual event anchored by PSITE-XI and is on its fifth year. This year's conference promises to be as engaging and worthy of praise as those of the past years. MCITE is a Mindanao-wide meeting of IT professionals in the field of Computer Science, Information Technology, and Information Systems. It will feature well-known academic and business leaders as plenary speakers. Submitted IT-based researches who have gained the nod of the screening committee will also be presented. The conference aims to provide a venue for teachers, researchers, graduate students, and IT professionals to share and upgrade their knowledge in IT.

MCITE is part of PSITE-XI's commitment to promote the development of quality Information Technology Education in the Philippines, particularly in Region XI, and is a major partner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in this endeavor.

The main components of the conference are the presentation of twelve researches by IT professionals from the academe and industry, three invited papers from well-known professionals in the IT academic community, and technical presentations from the sponsors. Exhibit booths manned by the sponsors will also be in the vicinity of the conference.

Course your registration to the following email address: Only those who confirm their attendance will be assured of complete conference kits. You can also register and pay at the secretariat table during the conference dates. The registration fee is Php1,300.00 per participant for PSITE members and Php1,800.00 per participant for non-PSITE members. Accommodations are not included in the said fees. For more details, visit the website

Friday, September 7, 2007


How time flies. The Council of Deans for IT Education in Region XI (CDITE-XI) started in year 2001 and spread its wings under the presidency of Vic Calag (UP-Mindanao) for three years until year 2004. I took over as president until July 2007. In six years, CDITE-XI has grown stronger and has made significant inroads in the field of IT Education as well as contributed to the growth of the local IT industry of Davao. CDITE-XI is now on its seventh year with Chrys Ibarra (Holy Child School of Davao) as the new president.

The first three years of CDITE-XI under the leadership of Vic Calag was basically the laying down of the foundations of the organization. The first three years were characterized by periodic meetings in different schools, sharing of best practices in curriculum development and student researches, faculty enhancement seminars and trainings, dialogue with the local IT industry, representation in the ICT Council of Davao, collaboration with PSITE, and the IT Olympiad (student programming competition and quiz bowl).

The next three years of CDITE-XI under my leadership was basically sustaining the gains and making inroads. The main accomplishments are: (1) having a legal identity as a SEC-registered organization; (2) clarity of roles vis-a-vis PSITE-XI; (3) administrator-focused seminars; (4) curriculum prototypes for BSCS, BSIT and BSIM with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among IT Education Heads and CHED-XI; (5) continued collaboration with PSITE-XI, especially the IT Education Weeks and the hosting of the 4th National Conference on IT Education (NCITE) last October 2006; (6) Summer Seminar-Workshop Series; (7) Technopreneurship Training and development of the SEED Technopreneuship Course; (8) linkages with PSITE-National and the other regional chapters, ICT Davao Inc. (the umbrella organization of all IT organizations in Davao), Davao Business Community, Technology Providers, and the various government agencies as well as the local government unit; (9) and saving the best for last, the four Centers of Development in IT Education (ADDU, UIC, UM, UP-Min).

It would be worthy to note that the vision of CDITE-XI is to make Davao as the center of quality and world-class IT education and training in Mindanao. The mission is to produce highly competent and efficient IT professionals with sound social and ethical standards. The five main programs are: (1) Administrators and Faculty Development; (2) Academe-IT Industry Linkage; (3) Inter-School Cooperation; (4) Advocacy; and (5) Networking. The core values are commitment, professionalism, excellence, continuing education, integrity, social relevance and unity.

CDITE-XI is composed of twenty-seven member IT schools. The bulk of the membership comes from Davao City with nineteen IT schools (refer to the table above -- the 19th school is Assumption School of Davao with their BSCS program). There are two member IT schools in Davao del Sur, four in Davao del Norte, one in Compostela Valley, and one in Davao Oriental (refer to the table below). Almost all member schools offer the BSCS and BSIT programs. Only five schools offer the BSIM program. Among the twenty-seven member IT schools, only three of the universities offer masters degree courses (ADDU, UIC, USEP). The shared vision of CDITE-XI and PSITE-XI is making Davao as the IT Education capital of Mindanao which complements the vision of ICT Davao Inc. -- that is to make Davao as the IT capital of Mindanao.

There are still some unfinished business to focus on, namely: (1) student competencies and immersion framework; (2) faculty immersion, consultancy, research & development partnerships; (3) IT Educators Academy; (4) technopreneurship program; (5) continuous dialogue with IT industry; and (6) school-initiated technology development programs. These are tall orders to attain, but definitely not unreachable. On its seventh year, CDITE-XI, under the leadership of Chrys Ibarra, will focus on these concerns.

We in CDITE-XI have indeed come a long way in six years. We have developed into a cohesive and forward-looking community because of long-standing relationships and respect for each other's pace and growth. We just have to capitalize on our gains and soar further to greater heights. As the Jedis would say, "the force is with us..." -- and I greatly believe in this. :-)

Note: This is the narrative form of the President's Report I delivered to the Joint CDITE-XI and PSITE-XI Regional Assembly for IT Educators last July 20, 2007 at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Technopreneurship and IT Education - Part II

The Micro Strategy
For technopreneurship to flourish in schools, a micro technopreneurship ecosystem has to be in place through these components, namely: curriculum, events, infrastructure.

Creativity and innovation in students will have to be developed early in the first three years of the curriculum. The students will have to be exposed to what is hot in Silicon Valley (and other similar technology-based ecosystems) through the Internet, learn from successful IT ventures both locally and abroad, look into the technicalities of high-technology products, and be abreast with cutting-edge technologies that can be potential enterprise enablers. This can be achieved by requiring short 15-minute reports for each student for the whole class to hear in IT classes spread out in the three years. If this becomes a habit within their first three years, the students will hopefully be fertile with technology ideas when they start their thesis or senior project proposals. A formal technopreneurship course in the senior year will facilitate the creation of viable technology-based business plans.

A region-wide business plan competition can be organized as an annual event in partership with the Philippine Emerging Startups Open (PESO) which also holds a national business plan competition every year. Winners in the regional level will be automatic entries in the final round at the national level. Highlights of the projects can also be presented as researches in annual student conferences such as the IT Students Congress (Davao) and Youth for IT Congress (Y4IT). Projects with IT faculty involved can also be presented as researches in annual conferences such as the Mindanao Conference on IT Education (MCITE), National Conference on IT Education (NCITE), Computing Society of the Philippines Congress (CSPC), and the like. Winning and commendable business plans will be recommended for incubation with the appropriate support.

The need for a Technology Research and Development Facility that can focus on evaluating and assisting technology-based business plans then becomes imperative. Seminars and trainings to beef up business plans may  be provided. Pre-incubation services may also be provided such as computers and connectivity, mentoring and consultation, business development support, and other support services. Partnerships with industry can also be forged for certain projects. An intellectual property rights and technology licensing program can also be anchored in this facility. Faculty from the Engineering and Business Divisions as well as the Law School can be involved in this facility.

This three-pronged approach will hopefully encourage graduating students to pursue their technology-based business plans as startups, initially assisted by technology-business incubators, and eventually graduate as full-blown small and medium IT enterprises (SMITEs) competing in the domestic and global market. This means that the local IT industry has to be ready with more technology-business incubator centers to absorb interested graduates annually who opt to be startups and more IT parks to absorb mature and stable IT enterprises.

The Wider Scheme of Things
The diagram above encapsulates the envisioned technopreneurship ecosystem -- in the wider scheme of things. The IT schools, with their three-pronged micro-strategy, churn out technology-based business plans every year in partnership with industry, government and PESO. The best business plans are absorbed by technology-business incubators as startups and facilitate access to venture capitalists, funding institutions, and the domestic and international IT market. In a year or two, the startups mature into stable SMITEs and eventually locate in IT Parks or Zones. The SMITEs then enjoy the business incentives and supportive legal framework of the local government. They also interface with other locators as well as the IT and business communities and help spur the economic development of the city. 

Schools with IT Education programs play a fundamental and crucial role in the technonopreneurship ecosystem being put in place by stakeholders in the IT, business, and government sectors of Davao. If most the schools in the region adopt the three-pronged approach discused above, and the technology-business incubation centers and IT parks are also all in place, Davao will finally be the preferred "greener pasture" and home of our graduates. I would like to see that happen in my lifetime...  :-)

Note: Portions of the content of this topic can also be found in a feature article I wrote for Agham Mindanaw (Volume 3, 2006) entitled "Perspectives from the Information Technology Education Front." Agham Mindanaw is the Science and Technology Journal of the Ateneo de Davao University.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Technopreneurship and IT Education - Part I

My past posts in this blog have been dominantly on technopreneurship and IT education. A lot of ideas and experiential learnings on these two areas have been "pushed" down my "knowledge stack" and they seem to be crying out for expression -- to be "popped" out, so to speak. Pardon my analogy to the stack data structure, but I hope you don't mind the "popping" streak I'm having regarding these two very much related themes. This post explores on the tight relationship between technopreneurship and IT education. I already shared these thoughts in many occasions through presentation slides and I wish to put them down in narrative form in two parts. This post is the first part...

A Default Mindset

"Go to school, get good grades, land in a high-paying job." This is the usual mindset that most people have about formal education. Parents send their children to school with this mindset. Students imbibe this mindset and carry it with them until college. Most schools subscribe to and support this mindset. It is like a default mindset. We can formally call it the employment mindset.

The results of the employment mindset can be beneficial or destructive, depending on one's perspective. From the perspective of schools subscribing to this mindset, they take pride in the fact that their best graduates are sought after by companies, offering them attractive compensation packages. In the case of Davao schools, the best graduates are lured to companies in Manila, Cebu, and other prosperous urban cities. The average graduates try to remain in Davao but find it hard to land in good-paying jobs and find themselves following the route of their better classmates. Schools beam with pride when they get feedback that their graduates excel in the companies they are working for. However, I cannot help but be disturbed by this following reality check. Our best graduates help in the development of other places, not Davao -- and they have reservations in coming back. This "brain drain" cycle happens yearly and Davao's industries remain thin and their development snail-paced. With this yearly exodus of our best minds to other places, will we allow Davao to remain as a sought-after human resource provider forever? This reminds me of a local saying, "tayo ang nagsaing, iba ang kumain." I guess there has to be an end to this yearly phenomenon.

An Alternative Mindset

"Go to school, get good grades, create and own a company."
"Use your knowledge, skills, core values, creativity and passion to create and innovate through technology."
"Contribute and be involved in the technological development of Davao."

These statements offer an alternative mindset. We can formally call it the technopreneurship mindset. Technopreneurship is entrepreneurship in the field of high technology. It is the healthy interplay of technology ideas, technology skills, management skills and the entrepreneurial mindset. It starts with an idea, which when pursued, has the capacity to be transformed into a viable technology-based enterprise. The cultivation and nurturing of this alternative mindset can start in schools. A technopreneurship track in the IT curriculum can prepare students to be budding technopreneurs.

A technopreneurship track in the IT curriculum of Davao schools can lead to the following scenario... Our graduates decide to pursue their technoology-based business plans as start-ups in technology-business incubators. Venture capitalists invest in their viable high technology product(s). Their start-ups mature into stable IT enterprises and eventually locate in IT parks or buildings. The IT enterprises compete in the domestic and global market and spur economic growth in the locality. The local IT industry blossoms and attracts more locators and investors. Our graduates decide to build their careers and families in Davao. Graduates who left Davao return and decide to take root here. Davao becomes the IT hub and capital of Mindanao -- and possibly the Philippines, BIMP-EAGA, or even the Asia Pacific Region. Davao becomes the home of highly competent and efficient IT professionals with sound social and ethical standards. The Davao schools become renowned worldwide for producing such graduates.

The Macro Strategy

To attain and sustain the healthy scenario described above, a technopreneurship ecosystem in the region has to be in place. This requires the synergy of the academe, IT industry, government, and business community. This so-called synergy is sustained with the following components: (1) technopreneurship programs in the academe; (2) technology-business incubators; (3) venture capitalists and funding insitutions; (4) IT business incentives and a supportive legal framework; (5) IT parks and buildings; (6) access to domestic and international IT market; (7) domestic and international locators; (8) IT-enabled business enterprises and government agencies; (9) IT-enabled hotels and tourist destinations; (10) IT-friendly real estate environment.

This synergy scenario is still far from reality but a lot of inroads have already been achieved towards this direction. We have an active IT academic community with the presence of PSITE-XI, CDITE-XI and PSITS-XI. Twelve schools as of the moment have committed to implement a technoproneurship course in their IT education programs. The IT industry is now in good hands with ICT Davao, Inc., the umbrella organization of all IT organizations in Davao. To date, there are 10 IT organizations coming from distinct subsectors under its wing. We have quite a number of supportive City Councilors from the Davao City Council. A number of resolutions and ordinances in support of the IT industry have been passed by these supportive councilors. An IT Committee was created during the previous City Council to respond to the needs of the IT industry. We also have a supportive business community in the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII). Quite a number of initiatives and programs in support of the IT industry have emanated from the Chamber. To date, we have one IT incubation center in the campus of the Brokenshire College. We also have one IT Park at the Damosa property while NCCC Mall is preparing their fourth floor to be an IT Zone. We also have a lot of establishments providing free wi-fi access to customers. A number of locators have already set up camp in the city and there are others following soon. Things seem to be falling in the right place but the big challenge is how to sustain the emerging synergy and eventually maintain the ecosystem.

In my next post, I will focus on the micro strategy for IT schools in helping sustain the technopreneurship ecosystem...

Sunday, June 24, 2007


The 6th TechnoKapihan of Davao was held last June 20, 2007, 2:00-4:00pm, at the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), 7th Floor, Board Room (F700), Finster Building, Roxas Avenue, Davao City. It was hosted by ADDU, Council of Deans for IT Education in Region XI (CDITE-XI) and OBTECH (a local IT firm).

The monthly roundtable discussion on IT trends, issues and events in the Davao context is a gathering of personalities and guests from the IT community of Davao. This event is an offshoot of the Technopreneurship Training held last November 2006 to January 2007. The first TechnoKapihan was held at the Royal Mandaya Hotel last mid-January 2007 after the initial promotion of the Technopreneurship course developed by a core of IT educators, administrators, and practitioners to the movers and shakers of Davao City. Since then, this gathering has been sustained on a monthly basis with many organizations volunteering to host it every third Wednesday of the month.

One of the highlights of the TechnoKapihan@ADDU was the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) involving the Mindanao Business Council (MinBC), Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) and ICT Davao, Inc. as partners in holding the 6th Mindanao ICT (MICT6) Congress and 1st BIMP-EAGA ICT Conference on October 23-24, 2007 at the Convention Center of the NCCC Mall, McArthur Highway, Matina, Davao City. Mr. Santos (President of MinBC), Atty. Duerme (President of DCCCII) and Manolito Tee (President of ICT Davao, Inc.) did the honors of formally signing the MOA to seal the partnership.

Wit Holganza, External VP of ICT Davao, Inc. and designated Conference Director of MICT6, followed suit by giving updates on the progress of the preparations since the last TechnoKapihan@NCCC . The Steering Committee, Technical Working Group, and 6 Committees were already formally formed to buckle down to work. Another update was the plan of sending a Davao contingent to the Cebu ICT 2007 event on June 26-28, 2007 to promote MICT6.

Edwin V. Marañon, Chair of the Computer Studies Division of ADDU and President of CDITE-XI, gave a presentation about the Academe Perspective on Technopreneurship. He presented the implications of the default employment mindset parents, students, and schools adhere to which contribute to the yearly exodus of our best graduates to other prosperous places like Manila, Cebu and other urban areas. He also presented the implications of an alternative technopreneurship mindset that can unleash the creativity and passion of students and decide on creating their own businesses through their brilliant technology ideas. By developing further their ideas in technology-business incubators, they can hopefully build mature IT enterprises that can eventually compete in the domestic and international IT market and spur economic growth in the locality. He further stressed the need for a technopreneurship ecosystem in the macro (region) and micro (IT schools) levels to sustain the initiatives and gains.

Dickie Gonzales of the Philippine Emerging Startups Open (PESO) was also around to express his support for the technopreneurship initiatives of Davao and reiterated the role of the regional business plan competition (PESO-Davao Challenge) in the building of a sustainable techopreneurship ecosystem. A lively discussion ensued, focusing on the implications and challenges of sustaining a technopreneurship culture in schools and enterprises. The session ended with a positive note.

The venue of the next TechnoKapihan will be at the Conference Room of the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCO), 4th floor, SSS Building, J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City on July 18, 2007, Wednesday, 2:00-4:00pm.