This is the judgment by Pham Ngoc Huy, director of Accelerator program, Vietnam Silicon Valley (VSV) at a recent workshop on the resources to develop local innovative startup ecosystems.
Ly Dinh Quan, director of Songhan Incubator (middle)
Local startups are believed to start with the business in the fields of agriculture, handicrafts and traditional cultural products, which allow them to take full advantage of products in localities.
However, more than 90 percent of the startups operate in accordance with traditional business models. They follow sequential development, while there is low ‘innovation content’ in their products and technology application in the production.
|Local startups are believed to start with the business in the fields of agriculture, handicrafts and traditional cultural products, which allow them to take full advantage of products in localities.|
This is attributed to the lack of participation and consultation from experts in the fields and the lack of programs to support and orient their business in the first phases of development.
As a result, startups don’t have enough resources to follow the business model striving for innovation, capable to grow rapidly and contribute to the socio-economic development in their localities.
According to Tran Tri Dung from SwissEP, a startup support program, Vietnam has attached much importance to building an ecosystem for Vietnam’s startups in recent years. However, the incubators and investment funds to support startups mostly gather in large cities of Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City. Meanwhile, startups in other localities are still struggling to access mentors to find innovation solutions.
Huy from Accelerator program of VSV said in order to receive support from professional business promotion institutions, local startups need to find suitable mentors with deep understanding about local products who are willing to listen and give advice to settle problems, from ideas to business models.
Since 2016, VSV, has helped connect mentors and startups, provided basic and in-depth knowledge about innovative startups, and connected startups with investment funds and large corporations.
To date, the program has incubated over 80 projects, of which 30 percent of startups successfully called for capital in the funding rounds.
With experience from giving consultancy to startups in many cities/provinces, Ly Dinh Quan, director of Songhan Incubator, commented that each locality has its specific conditions and advantages, so they need to follow their own way to develop startups, while there is no common way for all. However, supporting institutions in cities/provinces need to connect and take full advantage of each other’s resources to operate effectively.
Tran Bich Hanh from the Phu Tho provincial Science and Technology Department noted that startups need the support of local authorities and media. Affirming the important role of local authorities in developing startups, she said without the support, startup activities will be ‘fragmented’ and won’t be able to develop in a sustainable way.
South Korea, not the US or Singapore, is the market where many Vietnamese startups will call for capital, according to Pham Ngoc Huy from Vietnam Silicon Valley.
Investors say they have huge amounts of capital in hands and are seeking good technology startups to disburse the money.