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Press Release



(L-R) DTI Division Chief Maria Teresa Loring, PEZA Group Manager Atty. Ross Vincent Sy, Trade Commissioner Benedict Uy, PEZA Director General Tereso Panga, DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, Connectory Managing Director Fermin Fernandez, Consul Ryan Gener, and PEZA Supervising Investment Specialist B Philip Teomar Radin.

20 April 2023 (Chicago) – A delegation from the Philippines visited Chicago Connectory, an Internet of Things (IoT) incubator for startups, at Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago on 20 April 2023.

The site visit was arranged by World Business Chicago FDI Director Karla Orozco. The Philippine delegation led by Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Dr. Rafaelita M. Aldaba, Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Tereso O. Panga, and Trade Commissioner Benedict Uy were accompanied by Philippine Consulate General in Chicago officials Consul Ryan Francis Gener, Protocol Officer Noly Dulay, and Economic Assistant Joey Erandio.

The tour of the facility was conducted by Mr. Fermin Fernandez, Managing Director of Chicago Connectory and Director of Innovation at Bosch. He introduced the public officials and private sector representatives to the co-working innovation hub, which focused on Industry 4.0, mobility, smart cities, and connected construction. He noted that Connectory was established in 2017 by German engineering and technology firm Robert Bosch and 1871, a larger nonprofit startup incubator also located at Merchandise Mart that pursues a broader scope of technology innovation.

Connectory is a combination of the words “connection” and “factory,” as it seeks to connect stakeholders in digital transformation and manufacturing innovation. Connectory leverages the unique Chicago ecosystem of research and development, financing, technology, manufacturing and logistics, and offers member startups a venue for co-creation that fosters collaboration and networking.

The delegation was keen on bringing a similar IoT incubator to the Philippines, considering its deep roster of IT locators such as Bosch, semiconductor manufacturers, academic institutions, as well as availability of government support. It looked forward to collaborating with Connectory to explore ways of building the capacity of Philippine startups. END END

Connectory Managing Director Fernandez (middle, facing camera) demonstrates one of the innovations in designing integrated circuit boards. (Photo: Chicago PCG/ Noly Dulay)

(L-R) Connectory Managing Director Fernandez, Director General Panga, Undersecretary Aldaba, Trade Commissioner Uy, and Consul Gener (Photo: Chicago PCG/Noly Dulay)

Managing Director Fermin (left) explains Bosch’s innovations for electric bicycles to promote urban mobility. (Photo: Chicago PCG/Noly Dulay)