Vietnam startup charts course to win Startup World Cup 2019

11:03 | 18/06/2019 Science - Technology

(VEN) - The Vietnamese Abivin company, which provides an all-in-one dynamic route optimization and transportation management system, beat rivals from more than 40 countries to win the Startup World Cup 2019 on May 17 in San Francisco and US$1 million worth of future investment in the firm.

vietnam startup charts course to win startup world cup 2019
The Vietnamese Abivin company won the Startup World Cup 2019 on May 17 in San Francisco and US$1 million worth of future investment in the firm

Abivin won the first prize at the Vietnam Innovative Technopreneur Contest held in late 2018 and was nominated by the Ministry of Science and Technology to attend the Startup World Cup 2019. The company surpassed candidates from countries such as Japan, the US, Canada, Brazil, India, China, Singapore and the Republic of Korea.

After four years of operating Abivin vRoute, which can project a travel route at the lowest cost for trucks in a few seconds, maximize the truck’s working capacity and help truck firms save 40 percent of labor and fuel costs, Abivin has proved Vietnamese startups are capable of producing high-quality output for the international market.

Successful factors

Abivin was fostered by the Vietnam-Finland Innovation Partnership Program - Phase 2 (IPP2), which is run by the Ministry of Science and Technology. The company also took part in domestic competitions, such as Shark Tank Vietnam and Techfest Vietnam 2018, and was invited to compete in international contests, such as the Rice Bowl Startup Awards and Startup World Cup 2019. Abivin has made Vietnamese startups more popular to the world and assured the quality of the Vietnamese startup community to global investors.

Pham Nam Long, founder of Abivin, attributes the company’s success to three core factors. First is finding a way to use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to resolve problems in the rapidly developing logistics sector. Second is the devotion of managers and officers from the beginning when the company faced difficulties in gaining a reputation, market share and customer trust. Last is the government support, especially by the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Project 844, which helped Abivin connect to both domestic and international startup communities to improve its operation.

Vietnamese startups in the international arena

Being offered opportunities to work and compete with leading global startups, investors and specialists, Long affirmed that Vietnamese talents are not inferior to foreign ones. Thanks to undergraduate computer science studies at Cambridge University and work at Google, he and his colleagues were confident about taking on new challenges abroad. “Long-term vision should appear in the first place, therefore, Vietnamese startups will be able to make innovative products and become strong enough for international competition,” Long said.

Startup World Cup is an annual global startup contest launched by the US-based firm Fenox Ventures, attracting the participation of Silicon Valley investors and worldwide startups. The program collaborates with prestigious competitions of more than 40 countries across the world, with the finals held in the US.

What’s next for Abivin?

Abivin will spend its US$1 million prize to invest in research and development (R&D) of AI products for the logistics sector, Long said. In addition, Abivin plans to expand its market in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, while seeking opportunities in Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

However, the company would also like additional state support for the next phase of its development to ensure better conditions for information technology (IT) infrastructure and incentives for the software industry. In particular, the company hopes Vietnam’s education sector would prioritize science and technology subjects to train more talented people in this field. State support is also needed to promote connections between Abivin and multinational companies in order to reduce logistics costs, which will benefit not only the Vietnamese economy but also the whole region.

Long also hopes Vietnamese young people would have a professional working attitude and bravely take on challenges to start a business.

The Vietnam Innovative Technopreneur Contest 2019 welcomes the participation of global Vietnamese startups. The

key program will take place at the end of the year, with the finalists being winners of national startup contests

throughout the year. It promises to introduce more Vietnamese startups to international communities. The IPP2 is an

Official Development Assistance (ODA) program financed jointly by the governments of Vietnam and Finland and run

by the Ministry of Science and Technology. The program targets long-term benefits for the Vietnamese economy and


Ngoc Anh