by Michelle Jeanne C. Caracut, OPI
“There was a time when we used to emphasize on instruction as our sole role in the landscape of educational institution in our country. But today we inaugurate the fact that we also emphasize not only in instruction but of the other mandates of a higher educational institution which is research and extension,” so said Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol in his welcome address during the Opening Program of the 2016 TECH-nnovation Fair at the College of Engineering Amphitheatre.
This was the second TECH-nnovation Fair of MSU-IIT held on August 30-31, 2016. The TECH-nnovation Fair, with its theme “Advancing Technopreneurship and Innovation in Mindanao”, is the highlight in celebrating August as Innovation Convergence Month in Iligan. The Tech-nnovation Fair include activities such as Exhibits, Tech-novation lectures and workshops, Cluster Closed Door Presentations, and a university-industry linkage meeting between MSU-IIT and Fluor, Philippines.
The opening of the program on August 30 kicked off with a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon at the Exhibit Area situated at the Institute Gymnasium. Some MSU-IIT faculty, staff, students, Tech Fair exhibitors and viewers looked on as Chancellor Tanggol, Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Jinky Bornales, and Chief Executive Officer and President of Hybridigm Consulting Ma. Antonia Odelia Arroyo cut the ribbon. With them were Chief Operating Officer at Hybridigm Consulting John Christopher Orlina and Intellectual Property Unit-Innovation and Technology Support Office (IPU-ITSO) General Manager Marietta Esperanza Cruz.
A series of lectures on Innovation, Technopreneurship and Commercialization followed.
In his opening remarks, Chancellor Tanggol said that the Institute is now into the mode of doing research, innovating products and finally commercializing them.
“The bottom line is to improve the goods and services to our people. One of those means is helping our businesses innovate their products so that they will offer good services to the public,” he said.
Arroyo gave her keynote lecture about “Gaining changing greatness: How combining science and business can change the world.”
“You have to dream the difference,” she began. She shared her pre-entrepreneur experiences and her achievements and encouraged the audience that “failure is part of the process, don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to fail.”
Arroyo said that the difference she wanted to make was high impact entrepreneurship. She saw that Filipinos travel abroad and become OFWs and the country loses its best professionals and families are torn apart. She believes that this is the root cause of crime, drug abuse, corruption, and lack of moral fiber that affects the entire country.
The biologist, entrepreneur, teacher, all rolled into one, pointed out that “for the last 30 years we have been pursuing a policy where we export our wealth, we export our peace of mind and we guarantee poverty.” Arroyo believes that the only realistic solution is high impact entrepreneurship.
According to her, in order to have high impact enterprise, it has to be built around innovation. For her, innovation, in relation to poverty, is that intersection between what is desirable, what is achievable and what is perceived as crazy. She further said that if innovation is not commercialized or that a commercialized research is not inventive, it will yield nothing.
“When you have high impact entrepreneurship, you combine technology development, with business development and with community development,” she explained. “That is the only way we can truly become part of the ASEAN region and make our country great again.”
She told the audience that the country needs inclusive innovation which requires radical collaboration. That’s why one of the goals of their innovation ecosystem is to create people in Iligan who will invest in people from Iligan. Arroyo asserted that people in Iligan should solve the problems of Iligan.
Towards the end of her lecture, she encouraged everyone to become the best Filipino they can be. She remarked that no one is going to love the Philippines other than Filipinos. Furthermore, she mentioned that Filipinos need more discipline which means “choosing what we want more instead of what we want now.”
Arroyo revealed that startup life is hard. One has to figure out if he or she is worthy, that if one wants to do the right thing and make money, it will take time with diligence and perseverance. She went on convincing the audience that when one tastes significance, when one becomes important to somebody else, the person will never be again satisfied with success. The person will be busy serving the people and that envy and belittling others will have no place because the person is happier.
“Ending poverty and disease in this country is a long hard struggle. Therefore, we have to work together because none of us is as good as all of us. Let’s forget the little differences and work together,” she concluded.
Three other speakers were also invited to give a talk, namely: Philip Adrian Atilano, founder and CEO of Time Free Innovations, Inc.; Carl Vincenzo Mamawal, co-founder of Nyfti, Inc.; and John Christopher S. Orlina.
Atilano lectured on Problems and Opportunities: It’s a Matter of Perspectives, persuading the participants to see problems as opportunities. He shared the five lessons he learned while running his startup business.
Mamawal explained what problem his company is trying to solve. Nyfti, Inc. is a mobility company which invented the foldable bicycle. The idea was born out of frustration over traffic. During his lecture, he showed the Nyfti bicycle he brought along. The bike is designed as foldable so that it is easy to take anywhere.
Orlina discussed his topic on Market Validation: Built to be Bought. He explained the general approaches to Tech Commercialization. He talked about the transfer of innovations to external partners for the benefit of the community and the general public and presented examples.
After the lectures, there was an open forum. IPU-ITSO General Manager Cruz gave the closing remarks.
Dr. Reynaldo M. Vequizo, IPU-ITSO’s technical expert, hosted the program.