Fifty Vietnamese startups have been selected for the inaugural Google for Startups: Startup Academy-Vietnam, a training and mentorship program for early-stage startup founders. 

Of the fifty, 25 startups are based in Hanoi and will begin the program in November.

Earlier, from October 3 - 7, 25 selected startups in Ho Chi Minh City underwent mentorship and plenary sessions held at the American Center, which are focused on helping founders develop leadership skills, best business practices, product management skills, technology know-how, and marketing skills. 

This one-week bootcamp is part of the new public-private partnership between the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Google. 

US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Susan Burns said: “This public-private partnership between the US government and Google highlights our shared vision of Ho Chi Minh City’s tremendous potential to become an innovation powerhouse and a regional tech hub.”

“Through this partnership, the US recognizes Vietnam’s important role in achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the diverse and vibrant Indo-Pacific region. And we reaffirm our commitment to support Vietnam in this journey.” 

In December, a total of 10 startups from both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi will be selected to participate in Demo Day, where they can showcase their innovation and pitch their companies to the investor community. 

The selected startups are working relentlessly to solve some of Vietnam’s biggest problems across various sectors from healthcare, energy, finance, education to agriculture. 

Among these promising startups is Benkon, who uses a series of connected technologies to allow users to monitor and manage air-conditioning usage. This helps to optimize power consumption and combat climate change. 

Benkon’s Co-founder & CEO Taddy Truong said: “It's a high quality program, not only in terms of the number of famous mentors in the network but also in terms of quality. The program has arranged 1:1 mentoring activities, matching startups with mentors, and after each mentoring session, the startup can give feedback to the organizer whether the mentor is suitable for them. Unlike other mentoring programs, it really focuses and revolves around startups.” 

Another startup, DIA-B, is working to help diabetes and prediabetes patients adopt a healthy lifestyle, as part of a larger goal to curb Vietnam’s increasing number of diabetes patients.  

Or, Trung Mua startup runs an agritech platform that helps farmers operate more efficiently, expand their customer base via online digital marketing, and access more transparency throughout the production cycle of agriculture goods. All of these work in tandem to improve the farmer community in Vietnam. 

Especially, more than 20 veteran mentors from Vietnam and overseas joined the program to provide guidance to the participating startups, comprising executives from Google, and external mentors who are serial entrepreneurs, investors, or high-level executives of renowned companies. 

Vice President of Wavemakers Partners Tran Hoai Phuong said startups’ quality overall are very good this year. Founders tend to be experienced entrepreneurs who have had proven execution and management capabilities from their past traditional small-medium enterprises or startups ventures.

She added: “Google Startups have been helpful in helping these startups access capital and strategic support via mentoring programs like these, which bring in mentors from venture capital institutions who can bring funding, and from companies who can share valuable operational advice.”

Source: Hanoitimes