DOST, QBO recognize top startup incubators of TBI 4.0 program

Local startup incubators are recognized for their efforts in boosting the startup ecosystem in the Philippines. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and innovation hub QBO named the top-performing Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) that have demonstrated outstanding capabilities and produced impactful programs.

In the recently held PH Startup Incubator Awards, the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and QBO (pronounced ku-bo), acknowledged the TBIs that actively participated in the TBI 4.0 program that led to empowering more Filipino startups.

The TBI 4.0 program was conceptualized in 2019 to elevate the services and programs of the DOST TBI Network as a whole. It provides funding support to the DOST-funded TBIs to lead the assessment, co-development of incubation programs, capacity building, and co-incubation arrangements. It aims to develop world-class TBIs and incubator managers and increase the number of quality tech startups in the Philippines.

The TBI 4.0 program is composed of four main strategies: Co-incubation, Internationalization, Co-development of Programs, and Leveling Up. All these strategies are meant to further equip incubators with capabilities to develop Filipino tech startups.


The awards also served as the culmination of the TBI 4.0 Program and the journey of the 12 TBIs. The winners were determined by their impact on their respective categories.

  • Best Incubator Infrastructure – Center for Technopreneurship and Innovation (CTI) – Batangas State University
  • Best Incubator Community Program – SIBOL Labs – University of the Philippines-Los Baños
  • Best Incubator Startup Program – AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator – Asian Institute of Management
  • Best Incubator Governance & Operations – UPSCALE Innovation Hub – University of the Philippines-Diliman
  • Best Incubator Growth & Sustainability – Animo Labs – De La Salle University
  • Extra Mile Incubator – Animo Labs – De La Salle University
  • Rising Star Incubator – iDEYA- MSU Iligan Institute of Technology
  • People’s Choice for Best Incubator Team – iDEYA – MSU Iligan Institute of Technology
  • Grand Champion – UPSCALE Innovation Hub – University of the Philippines-Diliman

Winners from the Operational Excellence category awards each received a cash prize of P50,000 (around $1,00) while Extra Mile Incubator, Rising Star Incubator, and the People’s Choice Incubator each received a cash prize of P80,000 (around $1,600), as well as P100,000 (around $2,000) for the grand champion, which is the UPSCALE Innovation Hub.

Startup ecosystem

“This continues to be part of our core mission and to date, we have helped launch nine spinoff companies with an additional six spinoff companies in the pipeline, on top of the other ventures that we have helped launch,” said Rene “Butch” Meily, president, QBO Innovation Hub and IdeaSpace Philippines. “During a time when it can sometimes be hard to find hope and inspiration, the first-ever Philippine Startup Incubator Awards gives us that and more. The TBI 4.0 program has upgraded the entire Philippine startup ecosystem through your incubators. Our hope is that the program will help spread entrepreneurship all over the country.”

“As the local business landscape continues to become more digital, startups along with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) must prioritize digitization to make processes easier for their own operations and their customers,” said Russel Pili, chief, Research Information and Technology Transfer Division, DOST. “With the PH Startup Incubator Awards, we hope to inspire more businesses to make that shift as we recognize and honor the TBIs that are at the forefront of innovation.”