UP start-up hubs win DOST-QBO awards

| Written by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc

Technology business incubators (TBIs) in UP Diliman and UP Los Baños were grand champion and award-winners in the PH Startup Incubator Awards of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and QBO Innovation Hub, a public-private initiative for the development of start-ups.

The UP Sustaining Collaboration in an Advanced Learning Environment (UPSCALE) Innovation Hub in UP Diliman was declared the grand champion in the first PH Startup Incubator Awards held online and livestreamed on April 23, 2021. It also won “Best Incubator for Governance and Operations”.

UP Los Baños’s Startup Innovation and Business Opportunity Linkage (SIBOL) Labs bagged the “Best Incubator Community Program”.


Image from the QBO Philippines Facebook page 


The awards were the culminating activity of a program of DOST-PCIEERD and the QBO Innovation Hub, called TBI 4.0, that began in 2019 to support the development of TBIs in the country. Twelve TBIs supported by the DOST, many affiliated with universities, participated in the program

The other awards and winners were: Best Incubator Infrastructure, Center for Technopreneurship and Innovation of Batangas State University; Best Incubator Startup Program, AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator of the Asian Institute of Management; Best Incubator for Growth & Sustainability and Extra Mile Incubator, Animo Labs of De La Salle University; and, Rising Star Incubator and People’s Choice for Best Incubator Team, iDEYA of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).

UPSCALE began in 2018 with a core mission that included supporting spin-off companies from innovations generated from the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) Program, a consortium of eight universities with graduate engineering programs.


Ph Startup Incubator Awards_UPSCALE: Members of the UPSCALE Innovation Hub team, led by Project Leader Luis Sison (top row, middle), receive their awards in the virtual, livestreamed ceremony. Screenshot by QBO Philippines


UPSCALE’s championship was based on its excellent scores in growth, innovation and impact.

The “Best Incubator for Governance & Operations” Award recognized UPSCALE’s “outstanding progress in developing and implementing its organizational structure, operational system and organization-wide processes to function efficiently and amplify their impact on the startup ecosystem”.

UPLB’s SIBOL Labs, which began in 2019, is the TBI arm of the UPLB Technology Transfer and Business Development Office, aimed at nurturing the UPLB start-up ecosystem. It focuses on agri-technology, food engineering, biotechnology and information and communications technology.


Ph Startup Incubator Awards_Sibol Labs: Members of the UPLB SIBOL Labs, led by Project Leader Glenn Baticados (top row, middle), receive their awards in a virtual, livestreamed ceremony. Screenshot by QBO Philippines


The “Best Incubator Community Program” recognized SIBOL’s “valuable impact through fostering innovation, advancing startup awareness, and cultivating collaboration among key stakeholders to develop the local and national innovation ecosystem”.

Both UP TBIs are supported by the DOST-PCIEERD.


UPSCALE, with USAID Philippines STRIDE, gathers about 40 technology transfer officers, TBI staff and faculty researchers from 12 institutions in Metro Manila and UP Los Baños on November 8, 2019 at the UPSCALE Innovation Hub for the first Train the Trainers for Ideation Workshop in NCR to capacitate the trainers to plan and implement an Ideation Workshop in their own institutions. The ideation workshop aims to facilitate collaboration between academe and industry toward concrete partnerships. Photo and caption from the UPSCALE Innovation Hub Facebook page