14:49 | 02/08/2018 Science - Technology
(VEN) - Startup exchange programs are expected to help Vietnamese startups learn from partners’ experience, tailor their business models in accordance with foreign market practices, and find customers.
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Ky Phung, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Department of Science and Technology, said the city currently has more than 760 startups, run by individuals and organizations, operating in different fields, accounting for more than 42 percent of the country’s total. More than 46 percent or 350 of the startups have been participating in support programs of start-up promotion organizations. Of these, 222 have been assisted in 10 state incubators since 2011, and about 49 percent have found donors or investors.
HCMC is fertile ground for such activity. It has high-tech parks, high-tech agricultural parks, the Saigon High-tech Park (SHTP), its biotechnology center, the Institute of Computational Science and Technology, 45 universities, 30 colleges, more than 125 laboratories and 270 science and technology organizations. The city accounts for 50 and 42 percent of the country’s science-technology and startup businesses, respectively.
Since late 2017, the Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) of the Department of Science and Technology has selected start-up projects for transfer to countries with developed startup ecosystems, such as the Republic of Korea (RoK), Germany, the US, and Ireland, for training, investor approach and market experience. Sending Vietnamese startups abroad and inviting foreign startups to Vietnam is part of SIHUB’s “Runway to the World” program designed to enable Vietnamese startups to access markets and start-up communities in countries with developed ecosystems.
Through the program, Vietnamese startups have access to leading mentors’ assistance, an opportunity to meet investors and partners, work with other startups, introduce their projects and, most importantly, learn about market demand and consumer taste. They can then modify and improve what they began in Vietnam.
Tuan Pham, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Bank, said he had found many opportunities in the past two years to help Vietnamese Americans seeking to improve Vietnam’s startup ecosystem. This is expected to enhance connectivity among startups.
The SIHUB 2020 program is expected to help gradually improve the quality of Vietnamese startups, enable them to
widen their vision, learn new things, improve their internal strengths, and have more opportunities to commercialize
their products in domestic and foreign markets.