City hopes to strengthen start-up eco-system with new programme

Update: December, 30/2016 - 09:30
The HCM City Department of Science and Technology on Wednesday launched a programme to support the start-up ecosystem and innovation. — VNS Photo Tiến Lực
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY— The HCM City Department of Science and Technology on Wednesday launched a programme to support the start-up eco-system and innovation in 2016-20.

SpeedUp aims to connect entrepreneurs, schools, investors, incubators, consulting organisations and service providers to develop the city’s start-up eco-system.

The department will accept registrations for the programme from January 1.

Individuals, groups and entrepreneurs who registered to do business in the city in the last five years and started up projects that did not receive Government financial support are eligible to join the programme.

Start-ups in fields such as engineering, automation, chemicals, pharmaceutical ingredients, plastic, rubber, electronics, IT and food processing will get priority.

The maximum financial assistance available to a start-up under the programme is VNĐ2 billion (US$87,000) and the money has to be paid back within 24 months.

At the launch, the department signed a memorandum of understanding with 11 incubators at universities, high-tech parks and companies for co-operation in growing the start-up eco-system.

The incubators will assess and choose the start-ups eligible for funding.

Speaking at the ceremony, Lê Thanh Liêm, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said start-ups and innovation help realise the potential of young entrepreneurs.  

The city is striving hard to achieve its target of having 500,000 businesses by 2020, he said.

It means it needs around 50,000 businesses registering every year, he said.

The new businesses then have to operate efficiently to boost the city’s socio-economy, he said.

The SpeedUp programme would have a vital role in achieving the target, he added.

Huỳnh Kim Tước, director of Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB), said the city’s start-up eco-system is gradually growing.

Last month the Centre for Analytical Services and Experimentation in HCM City (CASE) set up an open laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment called Rad Lad to support students, lecturers, start-up communities and small and medium-sized enterprises to work and do research, Tước said.   

The Digital Startup Ecosystem has set up a platform for the national eco-system to showcase local start-up eco-systems, he said.

Nguyễn Việt Dũng, director of the department, said the programme would facilitate the growth of the start-up community and innovation in the city by connecting various resources in society with support from the city.  

It would also help the city’s start-up eco-system and innovation keep pace with global innovation and start-up networks, he added. — VNS