A Peek Inside FEU TECH’s Dynamic Startup Hub for Student Technopreneurs

Published

FEU Intstitute of Technology Apr 11, 2024

It is not every day we see a classroom turn into a tech startup hub. 

But for FEU Institute of Technology, their FEU TECH Innovation Center (FTIC) is the next generation of university learning that goes beyond conventional classrooms, offering a transformative learning environment.

In 2019, FEU TECH took a more aggressive approach to support entrepreneurship and innovation through its output-based programs. The center provides a space where people can interact with fellow innovators and collaborate on game-changing solutions. FEU TECH aspiring entrepreneurs, whether they are students, faculty, or faculty researchers currently working on their startup ideas, can meet to connect and leverage on the center’s resources to help develop their ideas. 

“FEU TECH Innovation Center’s design is a purposeful blend of aesthetics and functionality,” Gianina Napo, FEU TECH Innovation Center Director for Innovation Programs says. “Our goal is to inspire and support the next generation of changemakers who can shape the future of the Philippines and the world. To support this vision, FEU TECH is creating programs, resources, and support mechanisms to cultivate innovative ideas and facilitate the growth of entrepreneurial prospects from the FEU TECH community.” 

A first within the university belt, the 1,170 square meter hub is situated on the 5th floor of the FEU Engineering Building along Nicanor Reyes Street. It houses specialized function rooms, a shared lounge that doubles as an event space, and a Fabrication Laboratory. The whole center is designed to encourage interaction and idea exchange where students, faculty, and external ecosystem players such as entrepreneurs, researchers, and experts are invited  for learning sessions and events organized and hosted by FEU TECH Innovation Center. 

An Innovative Startup Academy

In 2020, FEU TECH Innovation Center introduced an innovative internship track for students who  aspire to be startup founders. The FEU TECH Innovation Center Startup Academy was designed to equip them with the basics of innovation and building a startup through a structured program while receiving coaching and mentorship. Over 700 aspiring student startup founders were under the program which served as a sandbox for  innovation ideas that still follow a structured, industry-standard manner.

“From the past six cohorts, we have seen a range of diverse startup ideas from our FEU Alabang, FEU Diliman, and FEU TECH students who went through the program. This begins with an application period where students with innovative business ideas apply. Once selected, the incubated student startups are exposed to specialized training sessions and workshops. These learning sessions are facilitated by mentors who provide guidance, share insights, and offer practical advice to help students refine their business ideas,” Napo explains.

An upcoming enhanced incubation and acceleration program will be launched to support tech-enabled pre- and early- stage startups from market validation to commercial success. The program will also grant students access to co-working spaces, prototyping facilities, and collaboration tools for business development. Networking activities and industry meetups will expose them to more entrepreneurs and professionals, culminating in a demo day for potential funding and support.

FEU TECH actively partners with key innovation enablers from both the government and private sectors to expand their network. This provides FEU TECH access to resource persons, experts, and even funding for research projects and startups. These external collaborations enhance their ecosystem and offer students and associates valuable connections in the broader entrepreneurial landscape. Their notable collaborations include startup enablers like the Asian Institute of Management- Dado Banatao Incubator (AIM-DBI), QBO Innovation Hub, and PHILDEV Foundation. 

uccess beyond Classrooms with Student Startups 

DWARM Technologies

DWARM Technologies was tapped to develop their artificial intelligence (AI) powered drone to support the COVID response of the government during the initial days of the pandemic. Supported by a grant from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology and support funding from FEU TECH via the FEU TECH Innovation Center, the AI drone which was primarily developed to improve the government’s search and rescue efforts during calamities was redesigned and used to manage the COVID situation.

Espasyo

Espasyo is a team formed after FEU TECH Innovation Center called for student startups to apply for funding opportunities from the Accenture Innovation Grant. It is an all-in-one system for warehouse spaces for e-commerce businesses that helps users find vacant spaces, reserve, pay and rent them as their storage spaces. It will be using Internet of Things technology (IoT) in managing these warehouse spaces. 

Vehic

Vehic is another student startup team that went through the FEU TECH Innovation Center Startup Academy. Vehic is a 360 solution for the auto care industry that envisions making a one-stop solution for any services related to vehicles. With Vehic’s mobile application, you can order or schedule a car wash anytime, anywhere. Its founder, Mr. Amir Anan, was chosen to be part of the Manila Ventures Program, an accelerator program backed by Kaya Ventures. 

WePyro Tech

WePyro Tech developed a small-scale incinerator that generates energy from the electricity and heat processed during the incineration resulting in waste to energy or energy from waste. It has been hailed as one of the top 10 teams of Ways4Waste Innovation Challenge organized by Villgro Philippines and The Incubation Network.

Shaping Future Technopreneurs

Embracing the challenges of Industry 4.0 and beyond is FEU TECH’s driving force.

The FEU TECH Innovation Center is simply the start of the institution’s efforts in creating future-ready and entrepreneurial lifelong learners.

As the FEU TECH Innovation Center continues to innovate its immersive spaces and startup incubation programs, it creates a legacy that extends beyond classrooms—a legacy of future leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs poised to navigate and thrive in the dynamic landscape of the digital era.

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