10:47 | 18/04/2018 Science - Technology
(VEN) - In a bid to become a startup hub for Southeast Asia, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) last month presented a series of programs to prioritize connections with international partners and the world’s start-up support ecosystems from now until 2020.
Opened in August 2016, the HCMC Department of Science and Technology’s Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) program found financial aid for 250 projects, markets for 350 projects, and mentor connections for 520 projects. It also assisted 671 projects in product and business model improvement, aided 43 projects in startup promotion, provided financial assistance for 14 programs through the Speedup 2017 program, and offered working space for 50 projects.
SIHUB helped develop ideas for 671 startup projects, and provided assistance for holding more than 800 events to connect startup communities.
SIHUB aims to upgrade quality in four key industries of information technology and communications (ICT); food processing; engineering and automation; plastic, rubber and pharmaceutical chemistry. HCMC and its startup community have been working to develop products with a long-term vision and create startup space for enterprises, focusing on providing free management software and internet utilities. In addition, the city is continuing business promotion policies and connecting enterprises with commercial banks while strengthening international cooperation, trade promotion, independent market approach, and promoting connectivity between domestic and foreign-invested enterprises and multinational corporations.
Expanding international cooperation
Many startup projects have good products but their business methods and model need to be improved. SIHUB’s goal is to help them find new, appropriate domestic and foreign market access strategies.
The city’s startup community held meetings to introduce startup ideas and projects in Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Laos, Thailand, Canada, the US, Thailand, Germany, Australia, and Sweden.
During his visit to SIHUB early this year, Paik Ung Yu, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the RoK, pledged his government’s support for Vietnamese startup activities and favorable conditions for Vietnamese entrepreneurs seeking to access Korean markets.
Lately, under a cooperation program between SIHUB and the RoK in the “Runway to the World” project, SIHUB chose five Korean startup projects trying to reach Vietnamese markets. Meanwhile, Vietnamese startup groups are going to visit the RoK soon. “Runway to the World” is a program to concretize the promotion of trade relationships between Vietnam and the RoK. In particular, this program connects startup communities of the two countries, facilitating development cooperation and maximizing their own advantages.
Vietnam has climbed 12 places to rank 47th among 127 countries and economies on the Global Innovation Index 2017 compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University and the INSEAD graduate business school. This is the highest ranking ever achieved by Vietnam. The country ranked third among ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries in this regard.