Who can apply?

The call is open to all Filipino startups nationwide with technologies that could help address the country’s agriculture and aquaculture challenges.  See “Application per Category” page 

How do I apply?

Fill out the online form through this page (link to application buttons). Questions revolve around the stage of your innovation and your vision for commercialization.  Deadline for applications is at 12 midnight of 14 March 2022. Only 20 applicants for the Startups Category, and 20 applicants for the Student Category will be selected to join the Innovation Challenge Program.  The final list of these participants will be announced on 1 April 2022. 

How are participants selected?

A group of 20 Startups and 20 students from the Philippines will be selected based on the excellence of their research, the commercialization potential of their idea, and their capacity to take the idea forward. 

Applicants must have developed (or co-developed) a new technological innovation and the ambition to take a leading role in creating a new business to commercialize this innovation.  

Specific eligibility criteria are as follows:  

  • Applicant must be Filipino citizen. 
  • Applicants must be in the process of developing a business proposition of their innovation. Projects at the basic research stage shall not be considered. 
  • The applicant’s innovation can be any new product, technology or service, based on research in agriculture or aquaculture technology. 
  • The innovation should have the potential to benefit the applicant’s country, or other developing countries, in terms of improving social welfare and driving economic growth, and they should contribute to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

Qualified applicants will undergo a competitive screening process that involves the submission and presentation of their idea or business plan to a panel of experts from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology, the Management Association of the Philippines, and the Asian Institute of Management.  

A rigorous scoring system will be used with such criteria for the proposed innovation as the following:  

  • Expected benefits and social impact of the innovation to the Philippine economy 
  • Relevance of innovation to agri-aqua culture 
  • Track record of the applicant (e.g. technical and non-technical capabilities) 
  • Entrepreneurial potential and commercial awareness of the applicant 
  • Degree of the technology’s innovation 
  • Feasibility and global market potential of the innovation 
  • Estimated distance to market (i.e. technology readiness, investment readiness)  

From a shortlist of candidates, the top 20 applicants for Startup Category, and to 20 applicants for the Student Category will be selected as participants of the Innovation Challenge Program. 

At what stage should my product be?

Applicants should have a lab-scale prototype of their innovation, as well as a general idea of which market would benefit and who would purchase their product. Applicants with proof of concept may be selected under exceptional circumstances.

What commitment does the program require?

The Innovation Challenge Program is delivered over 12 months from January to December 2022. You and your home institution must commit your time and focus to the program to reap its full benefit especially from April until November 2022 when all the classes and mentoring sessions are scheduled. As such, it would be best if some of your other responsibilities at your home institution (e.g., administration, teaching) could be significantly lessened once you are accepted into the program. 

 AIM has a track record of delivering leading edge, practitioner-oriented learning programs. The Innovation Challenge Program is accordingly structured as a “learning” phase, complemented by product development/ iteration at your home institutions (the “action” phase). 

 During the learning phase, many of the sessions will involve pre-work in the form of readings, business cases, and articles. Wherever possible and helpful, we will be running simulations or role-playing exercises that will clarify and drive home the concepts taught in the lectures. We will also have guest speakers in the field of agri-aquaculture.  

Your performance during case discussions, simulations, roundtables featuring our guests, coaching and project mentoring sessions will all contribute to your experience at AIM. Skipping any of these sessions will not only affect your learning but also severely affect the experience of the other participants. 

Do I need endorsement from my school to be selected?

An endorsement letter from your university or R&D Institute is necessary in order to be able to pitch and qualify as a participant. The signed letter needs to be submitted to AIM once you are selected into the program. 

The endorsement letter ensures that your home institution understands the commitment in terms of time (i.e., official leave) to fully attend the Innovation Challenge Program. 

What is the next step if I am selected?

To prepare you for this program, you will undergo a series of classes and mentoring sessions with the AIM faculty and experts in the field of agri and aquaculture from DOST and other partner institutions. These sessions are designed to orient your commercialization efforts and enhance your entrepreneurial skill set. The class sessions will cover the following topics, among others: Elements of Business, Market Segmentation and Positioning, Operational Feasibility, and Financial Viability. Participants will receive details of the program once they are officially accepted. 

What are the important dates to remember?

(See Dates to Remember) 

Will I receive a certificate after completing the program?

You will receive a certificate from the Asian Institute of Management upon completing the program and you will be part of the AIM alumni network.