Combining startup spirit and innovation
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 18:23:58
(VOVworld) – 2016 was observed as a National Year for Start-ups, part of a “National Program to Support an Innovative Startup Ecosystem in Vietnam by 2025”. The number of start-up businesses rose in terms of quantity and quality and more start-up funds and support centers were established.
|Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam (5th from right) at the national startup ecosystem event TECHFEST 2016 on November 12, 2016. (Photo: dantri.com.vn)
2016 saw a start-up movement spread across Vietnam, particularly among young people. Many businesses have introduced new trademarks into the market. Like Lozi, a social network devoted to food, fashion, and electronics; Beeketing, a provider of online marketing solutions; and VNtrip.vn, an online accommodations booking company.
Lozi now has about 400,000 users and earns over 45,000 USD per month. A South Korean company recently agreed to invest 1 million USD in Lozi. Marketing platform Beeketing, which is valued at 2.5 million USD, received 150,000 USD from the US Investment Fund 500 Start-ups.
Nguyen Hong Thai, Director of Vntrip.vn, says: “Investors are interested in our orientation, leadership, and staff. They also want to know about the number of returning customers rather than new customers.”
Vietnam now has about 1,800 start-ups, as well as seed-funding and trade support organizations. Ranking 3rd in the list of the best world’s places to invest, Vietnam is attracting an increasing number of venture capital funds.
Last year Triipme raised 450,000 USD; Mo Mo – an affiliate of M-service – 27 million USD from investors; and GotIt a mobile education app received 9 million USD and ranked 2nd on the US’s Apple Store.
In 2016 the Prime Minister approved a “National Program to Support an Innovative Startup Ecosystem in Vietnam by 2025”, which consists of a web portal, service centers for ministries, sectors, and localities; a network connecting Vietnam’s startups with the world; and revised laws encouraging start-ups.
“We have to ensure a transparent and public legal environment and easy access to a database of start-up regulations. Laws should be revised to catch up with new developments so investors will be reassured about investing in Vietnam", said Tran Van Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and technology.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has drafted a Law on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Support which includes a chapter on start-ups. Economists say each type of start-up needs specific policies on trade incentives and fewer administrative regulations to reduce operating costs and provide protection against failure.