Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Researchers and entrepreneurs were matched in the ‘Việt Nam Challenge for Our Environment’ launched Friday by the US Embassy in Hà Nội to devise innovative solutions for addressing environmental issues.
A collaboration between Hatch! Venture and the Swiss Entrepreneurship Program, the competition aims to seek and nurture practical ideas to address existing waste and pollution problems in Việt Nam.
The competition is a part of the US Embassy’s campaign to end plastic pollution started last April. By connecting researchers and entrepreneurs, it aims to accelerate collaboration among universities, the startup community and the private sector to generate pragmatic and sustainable solutions.
“In terms of environmental protection, we need to change people’s behaviours and utilise latest technologies to solve problems and provide solutions,” said Fenghua Wang, the US Department of State’s Regional Public Engagement Officer in Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia.
“I want the teams to start not only helping the environment but creating jobs as well,” she added.
On Friday, participants pitched their ideas and explored the open networking space to form high-performance teams under the coordination of John Sechrest, founder of the Seattle Angel Conference and the Lean Startup Seattle Group.
Over the next three months, they will have chances to join a boot camp and a mentoring programme to sharpen their projects. November 8 will be the demonstration day on which six teams will receive seed funds, publicity, and exposure and pitch their projects to investors.
Phạm Duy Hiếu, CEO of the Startup Vietnam Foundation, applauded the competition for its feasibility of finding practical solutions.
“The three-month period is long enough to transform an initial idea to a pragmatic project. As a non-profit foundation for Vietnamese start-ups, what we prioritise is how projects can benefit the community,” he said.
“Through this challenge, the US Embassy is committed to helping nurture more viable, sustainable and scalable solutions to address Việt Nam’s biggest environmental problems,” Wang expressed her expectations on the impact of the competition. — VNS