09:47 | 16/03/2017 Society
(VEN) - “Startups” have become a buzzword throughout Vietnam, generating dreams of riches and independence. But it’s not enough to have a creative idea for a startup - a good business model and efficient use of funds are also vital components for such success.
Monkey Junior, a children’s English-teaching software has been installed more than 700,000 times in over 100 countries in the world. The brainchild of Dao Xuan Hoang is a typical example of a successful startup.
Monkey Junior won first prize for an education app at the Global Innovation through Science and Technology Tech-I 2016 (GIST Tech-I 2016), chaired by former US President Barack Obama in Silicon Valley, California, in June 2016. To achieve success, its creator Dao Xuan Hoang had to raise more than VND10 billion.
A first-of-its-kind interactive application for learning Vietnamese, Vocab, is also an interesting startup. Vocab CEO Bui Thanh Cong and his colleagues have their work cut out for them to make their startup viable.
Vntrip.vn, a Vietnamese startup project of online hotel bookings, received US$3 million in startup funds from a group of foreign investors. John Wu, CTO of Alibaba, evaluated Vntrip.vn as being worth nearly VND300 billion.
The SSI Asset Management (SSIAM), a one-member limited liability company under the Saigon Securities Incorporation (SSI), also poured capital into a food distribution company via the online sales channel, Hellomam JSC, which is currently valued at US$4 million.
Opportunities for startups
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized that the government has offered many opportunities for startups, recognizing not only their economic potential but also their contributions to society.
The “Start-up Youth” program for the 2016-2021 period was launched in order to create a favorable environment to promote, support, encourage and develop startups, and mobilize financial, personnel and infrastructure resources to support them. The US Embassy in Vietnam has provided financial support for creative movements and startups in Vietnam, while engaging the attention of foreign investors in creative projects in this country. The US has expressed willingness to work with the Vietnamese government in supporting young startup entrepreneurs.
Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Meirav Eilon Shahar said that Vietnam has attracted the attention of international investment funds in startups. “With greater efforts, the Vietnamese government will soon have new mechanisms to support the development of startup businesses and create its own startup ecosystem,” she said.