Banayo Wins Funding for Business Start-up

Banayo Wins Funding for Business Start-up

Ms. Banayo models IDtech Lab., Inc.’s MDTK prototype. Photo courtesy of KZG Lavadia

Joy B. Banayo, university researcher at the Animal Biotechnology Laboratory of the IAS, and her business team (IDtech Lab., Inc.) was ranked second among the 10 new business start-ups to secure investment funding at the 28th anniversary of the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) during the first Bagong SIBOL Pitch, an Innovation Shark Tank Business Pitch Event for Start-ups, at the UP Agribusiness Center for Entrepreneurship held last July 23.

SB Corp., the official financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), brings together entrepreneurs, academics, and investors to fund cutting-edge technologies and drive them into businesses.
Banayo, who is also an Invention Disclosure Incentive (IDI) awardee, is the lead inventor of the Meat Detection Test Kits (MDTK) aimed to detect the presence of animal ingredients and confirm the identity of meat samples. This includes meat products in its raw, cooked, or preserved form.

The PhP5 million investment funding from SB Corp. will aid the commercialization of the MDTK by IDtech Lab., Inc., a potential UPLB spin-off company with the mission to enhance Filipino competitiveness in the global food market. Other members of the business team are Kim Dianne P. Ortines, Kathlyn Louise V. Manese, and Rodel P. Anunciado, among others.

According to Banayo, her experience working with Dr. Glenn N. Baticados (director, UPLB-Technology Transfer and Business Development Office) ignited her entrepreneurial mind-set during the patent drafting stage of their project.

“As young researchers, we can also be entrepreneurial scientists and consider commercialization of our research outputs through licensing or establishment of spin-off companies so that our hard work can reach the Filipino people,” she said in an interview.

Following the IAS mission on food safety and security, Banayo was certain that the agricultural and food industry, including the Halal market, will soon recognize the demand for the MDTK. She also sees the possibility of tapping researchers from the UPLB College of Economics and Management for research collaborations on the industry potential of technologies being developed by UPLB scientists.

The MDTK is the first locally made DNA-based animal detection technology in the Philippines. Further refinement is needed to upgrade the kits into Quantitative Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) compatible kits for the food testing industry.

Landing first place on the pitching event was Harito Food Products, while the MDA Food Products grabbed third place. Other UPLB technologies include nano fertilizers and nano hormones (NBL, Inc.) by Dr. Lilia M. Fernando of the National Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, and healthy candies (Fruit Bites) by Romel M. Felismino of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, who are both researchers.

Also published in AGGIE Green and Gold Vol. 20 No. 5