The latest statistics from Echelon (the largest online magazine on startups in the Southeast Asian region, sited in Singapore) show that there are more than 3,000 startups in Vietnam, 40 percent of which are located in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and actively taking part in activities of different startup ecosystems.
Reports of the National Innovative Startup Forum also display that 70 percent of innovative startup projects in Vietnam has the participation of foreign partners while 39/40 venture capital funds in the nation belong to foreigners.
Since there is no clear differentiation between local or overseas startup projects, these people need to seek opportunity right in the middle of tough challenges posed to the Vietnamese economy during its transformation and development.
According to Mr. Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, senior expert of the World Intellectual Property Organization cum member of the researchers in GII, thanks to its significant success, Vietnam is rightfully considered a model of innovation and creativity for countries with low average income.
As stated by Dr. Pham Hong Quat from the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC) under the Ministry of Science and Technology, the government has just issued the most advanced policy named the Law to Support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), creating more convenient conditions for foreign investment funds to enter the Vietnamese market.
Simultaneously, the Ministry of Science and Technology proposed to the state government methods to attract more innovative startup investment, both locally and internationally, along with proper regulations to support innovative startup activities or skill training sessions so that domestic startup people are confident to enter international markets.
HCMC especially identifies creative startup activities as one of its focuses. There have been several programs organized, such as the latest HCMC Innovation, Startup and Entrepreneurship Week 2018 (WHISE 2018).
Standing Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem stated that the city has chosen to develop a sustainable economy model focusing on knowledge and green growth, based on science-technology, creativity, and innovative startups.
Therefore, recent related activities in the city has greatly contributed to the forming of the corresponding ecosystem, increasingly well-known in the business community and later on the general public.
Mr. Nguyen Viet Dung, Director of the HCMC Department of Science and Technology, shared that his organization has continuously supported the construction of suitable space for creative activities and innovative startups under the model of Public – Private Partnership (PPP); the building of database on laboratories, research ability of various science-technology organizations and experts; the preparation of regulations on improving the usage performance of facilities for budget-based science-technology units in the city; the cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Technology to build appropriate mechanisms and policies for innovative activities; the focused research on smart urban area, Big data, chip technology application, Computerized Numerical Control technology (CNC), 3D technology, stem cell application in healthcare.
HCMC has spent around $90 million so far to the above activities. As a result, in 2 years, it has been able to attract over 20 foreign partners, form 24 incubation centers for startup businesses, create 12 startup spaces, and welcome more than 760 new startups, mostly in the fields of information technology, telecommunications, agriculture, education and training.“Enterprises, including startup businesses, are an important subject of any economy, a driving force for economy growth and sustainable development. The government, therefore, not only takes good care of startup ecosystems so that the number of innovative startups gradually increases but also introduces proper guidance and encouraging policies or international connections in order to offer more opportunities for the continuous and effective capital, knowledge, technology flow”, commented Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh.