Building a robust startup ecosystem in Davao Region, the University of the Philippines Mindanao Growing and Developing Enterprise (UPGRADE), in partnership with LGU-Nabunturan, will host LIHOK Startup Challenge in July 2020. LIHOK, which stands for Localizing Innovation by Harnessing Optimal Knowledge of the Citizens, is a competition for innovators, inventors, students, professionals, and startups of Nabunturan to develop startup ideas that resolve the pressing issues in Davao de Oro.
The UP Mindanao Growing and Developing Enterprise (UPGRADE), the main organizer of LIHOK, is a Technology Business Incubator funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to support early-stage businesses to scale-up through mentorship, workshop, and training to potential startup enthusiasts in Davao Region.
LIHOK stands for Localizing Innovation by Harnessing Optimal Knowledge of the Citizens. It is a competition for innovators, inventors, students, professionals, and startups of Nabunturan to develop startup ideas that resolve the pressing issues in Davao de Oro.
Through LIHOK, UP Mindanao attempts to spur awareness among Nabunturanons on how citizens can develop solutions and alternatives with the aid of technology and innovation. It will also educate the public that technology startups advance the economy and generate more jobs for locals. For technopreneurs, UPGRADE desires to extend assistance by providing its incubation services to qualified startups, especially for those who can create solutions in sustainable food systems, food products, bio-economy, smart industries, green economy, support community solutions.
LIHOK startup challenge features three events that include a Bootcamp, ideation, and pitching day. Bootcamp is a two-day event workshop on design thinking, prototyping, financial management, marketing, and pitching.
Ideation and Pitching Session are two significant parts of the challenge. The ideation phase is where challengers create the prototype and design of a startup with the aid of a mentor. On the other hand, Pitching Session is the final stage of the challenge that will require the challengers to demonstrate their startup idea to a panel of evaluators convincingly.
The winners of the competition will receive a cash prize from LGU-Nabunturan and six-month incubation grants from the University of Mindanao. The incubation program is a series of mentoring, training, and workshop that help startups to transform a business idea into a business company.
Though the organizers announce to host LIHOK in July 2020, this schedule still depends on the lifting of Enhance Community Quarantine from the National Government and the state of health in its locality due to COVID19.
LIHOK is the first, but not the last startup-related activity that UPGRADE will conduct outside Davao City. UPGRADE believes that with more startups thriving in the economy, we can resolve long-time problems like poverty and hunger to the impoverished members of society.