Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese startups kicked off the new year by mingling at the 2018 Demo Day Investment Festival (Demo Day) on Thursday, aiming to present themselves to a crowd of potential domestic and foreign investors.
At the event, representatives from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) acknowledged the Vietnamese Government’s understanding of startups as the future backbone of the economic development and the hope of establishing a robust venture capital market.
Thạch Lê Anh, founder of Vietnam Silicon Valley Accelerator (VSV Accelerator), stated that while the number of startups in Việt Nam is increasing, she does not consider it a major problem for them to receive less capital than they hope for.
"The ultimate goal of start-ups is not attracting capital first, but bringing new innovative products to life to replace older solutions. And when they provide products that help solve customer needs, customers will be willing to pay for them,” said Lê Anh.
The majority of around 3,000 active Vietnamese startups are facing issues such as limited staff, short-term business capacity and inadequate product design. And their biggest obstacle is the lack of access to serious capital and funding.
She said she is certain that investors and venture capitalists will make great contributions to the development of the whole Vietnamese innovative ecosystem, to create a venture capital market and strong support for start-ups in the country, hopefully with about 60 investment deals each year.
However, most of these investors come from abroad, indicating that native investors are not ready to invest in risky start-ups. If this issue is not resolved then this will prevent Vietnamese startups from developing in the near future, she added.
Since the MoST implemented the 2017 Government-developed project 844 on Supporting the National Innovative Startup Ecosystem towards 2025, there has been growing awareness amongst investors and the public about startups and angel investment (i.e. capital funded for a new start-up in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity), said MoST representatives.
Official support from Project 844 confirms the Government’s trust in the Vietnamese startups and venture capital community during the incubation and investment stage.
The annual event is organised by VSV and Lotte Accelerator, and overseen by the MoST.
The Việt Nam-based startups participating in Demo Day 2018 are Canets, Fresh Deli, Hue Packaging, True Juice, 689Cloud, Turline by Cores, Roborzoid, Handfree, Winme and Peko Peko. These startups surpassed more than 100 other applicants and have graduated from VSV Accelerator’s four-month training programme.
In its fourth installment, Demo Day is considered a great opportunity for starting entrepreneurs in Việt Nam to attract attention and feedback from investors, experts and society. According to the VSV, this is crucial to startups in their early stages.
Participants at the investment event included representatives from the MoST, the VSV, other policymakers, 10 distinguished startups and a dozen venture capital funds and professional investors from Việt Nam and abroad.
VSV Accelerator deploys many activities to support the domestic startups community, namely the SpeedUp Programme in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology in HCM City, as well as other specialised training programmes for investors, such as the annual VSV Investor Bootcamp. — VNS