DTI unveils top 5 startup finalists of ADVanCE for Creatives Program

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has officially announced the top five startup finalists for the Accelerating Development, Valuation, and Corporate Entrepreneurship (ADVanCE) for Creatives Program on March 21, 2024, at the Launchgarage Innovation Hub in Quezon City.

Selected from an initial pool of eight growth-stage startups, the top five finalists underwent assessments focused on organizational capacity, business maturity, and readiness levels. In these sessions, DTI and Launchgarage evaluated each startup based on its product status, team dynamics, future objectives, and challenges, concentrating on how the program could support its growth. This ensured that the chosen finalists were not only well-prepared to navigate forthcoming challenges but were also positioned to make a significant impact on the creative sector through their innovative and scalable solutions.

The top five finalists are AniMattify, a startup transforming print ads into animations; KikoMonster Creative Studio, providing creative solutions from Zamboanga; Bihasa, merging instructional design with production for learning videos; ROC PH Digital Marketing Services, assisting businesses and professionals through website management, digital marketing consultation, creative design, and strategy implementation; and Bentamo, a tech startup showcasing creative Filipino brands. The finalists will undergo intensive training based on the specific interventions identified during the needs assessment.

The ADVanCE for Creatives program, launched on December 5, 2023, aligns with the visions outlined in the Innovative Startup Act (ISA) and the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA). This initiative underscores DTI’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and economic growth in the Philippines.

DTI Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group Rafaelita M. Aldaba commended the selected startups, emphasizing DTI’s dedication to supporting their growth. “We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the top five startup finalists of the ADVanCE for Creatives program,” said Usec. Aldaba. “DTI is proud to support the development of these promising startups as they contribute to the advancement of the Philippine Creative Industries.”

The finalists will benefit from comprehensive training through a series of learning workshops, mentorship from industry experts, and customized business matching and acceleration programs. The program will culminate in a demo day in April, providing an opportunity for the startups to showcase their progress and attract potential partners and investors.

In addition to ADVanCE, DTI previously unveiled ten select creative startups and enterprises for the Incubation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Assistance (IDEA) program, further bolstering the Philippine Creative Industries.The selected startups for IDEA are Wika, 7×7 Development Corporation, MVRK Simulations, Pamitisan Shoe Shop, Transcend Studios Inc., Kwentoon, Carisle Media Corporation, Produkto PH, DND Denim N’ Denim, and Brave Story.