VCN- Ho Chi Minh City is the most active start-up city in the country; Many start-up projects have received support from a number of programs being implemented by many organizations.
|A seminar for young start-ups at the SIHUB.|
The start-up atmosphere started spreading strongly in the community in Ho Chi Minh City. Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology after one year of operation has become a reliable address in the city community.
Mr. Nguyen Viet Dung, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology said that, among 1800 start-ups in the country, there are about 834 start-ups operating in HCMC (accounting for 42%) who have actively participated in the activities of the the City’s eco-start-up. These start-ups also said that HCMC has a favorable environment to start doing business.
Implementing the Support program for Innovation and Start-up for the period 2016-2020 for the city, the SIHUB has made efforts to build facilities to meet the working demands of hundreds of youths, start-ups, small and medium enterprises, and has held many activities to connect with them everyday.
The governments of some countries such as Finland, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea… have come and collaborated with the SIHUB in many programs to support the start-up community. Since the establishment, the SIHUB has welcomed around 20,000 visitors per month to learn, attend workshops, training classes and for advice on starting up.
Specifically, the SIHUB support start-up groups of two to four members, projects in the product development period, and groups/projects that achieve high results in start-up process or graduation contests as well as projects, have already put products on the market. Teams projects at the SIHUB are supported by infrastructure, finance, capacity building and networking with advisors, investors and experts in the start-up ecosystem. About 600 start-up groups are being supported by the SIHUB to connect with consultants; more than 80 groups, including seats, laboratories, etc., are at the center and some are being considered to be supported by the investment funds.
Especially, one of the supporting tools of this program is Speedup 2017. The funding for each start-up project can be up to 2 billion VND, provided that the projects are in 4 key industries: (mechanics, electronics - information technology, chemicals - plastic - rubber, processing food), supporting industries and services such as finance – banking - insurance, trade, tourism, transportation, ports and warehouses...
Subjects receiving support are individuals, groups of individuals, businesses that have registered a business in Ho Chi Minh City in the past 5 years, whose innovative projects have not yet received support from the State budget. The program started receiving applications from January 1st, 2017. So far, the number of projects selected by Speedup 2017 has reached the rate of 14/112 (12.5%), equivalent to the total capital support for projects/topics at the level of over VND 11 billion.
At the same time, since 2011, the Business Start-up Support Centre (BSSC), under the Vietnam Youth Union - Ho Chi Minh City has become the reliable address for start-ups who need support. In addition to the support of loan capital, the BSSC is also interested in improving its management skills and efficient use of loans. Over the past 6 years, the BSSC has consulted, and accommodated more than 2,000 start-up projects; Organized training for more than 12,000 young people in Ho Chi Minh City. In addition, a variety of programs providing knowledge to start-ups are also organized as direct dialogues between successful businessmen, and start-ups.
Especially, the activity of Trading Platform start-up. The Platform is not only the place to talk about financial problems, but it also can conduct market surveys, service promotion, personnel search, and distribution channels. Throughout the initial stage, more than 150 start-up models have received on-the-spot investment, dozens of start-up models have signed many contracts to invest and sell products and have received great attention from media channels.
On the other hand, as the wave of start-ups is spreading on every corner, the role of business incubators is more important. Ho Chi Minh City has about 20 business incubators. These business incubators have a lot of direct support such as: training skills for start-up businesses, connecting start-ups with developed businesses, funding units, and providing start-up services. In particular, Quang Trung Software Incubator is considered as a highly efficient incubator with a successful start-up rate of 80-90%, which is a good model for learning.
Accordingly, the start-up projects in the Quang Trung Software Industry Incubator will be engaged in practical activities such as: Consulting for perfecting ideas, supporting business establishment procedures, supporting office expenses with discounts of 50%, free internet, administrative support, clerical documents, tax reports, business support for laborers, consultants to handle disputes... Especially, this incubator has helped enterprises in raising capital by supporting to seek investors, investment funds, and IPOs to sell shares to external investors. These things helped nourish the formation and development for start-up enterprises, greatly contributing to the success of their enterprises.
In addition to state agencies, many private organizations have also set up venture capital funds to invest in start-up projects. Typically, such as FPT Ventures fund with US $3 million per year. FPT Ventures will focus on supporting start-ups valued at less than US $1 million in various areas including Internet, mobile, small and medium business solutions, health care, education, transportation, and SMAC. In addition to the minimum capital of US $50,000, each project is supported by FPT experts, and experienced consultants. FPT is also collaborating strategically with many international foundations to create a start-up environment for 5,000 technology companies by 2020. Similarly, 500 Start-ups - Silicon Valley's major venture capital fund, assisting more than 1,000 companies around the world, have launched an investment fund in Vietnam with a total capital of US $10 million. It is expected that about 150 start-up groups will receive US $100,000 to US $250,000 from the fund. In addition, the fund also supports start-ups for connecting to preferential loans of about US $1.5 million from Amazon, Facebook...
By Thu Dịu/ Kiều Oanh