Techfest connects Vietnamese start-ups with international resources

December 04, 2019 - 07:32

Before the main event from December 4-6 in Hạ Long City, Quảng Ninh Province, Techfest 2019 has brought Vietnamese start-ups overseas to attend international start-up events in the US, Singapore and South Korea.


Abivin was crowned the winner of Start-up World Cup 2019. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Science and Technology

Khánh Dương

HÀ NỘI — This time last year, Abivin, a Vietnamese logistics application service provider, won first prize of Techfest’s innovative technopreneur contest.

The Ministry of Science and Technology granted Abivin a visit to Silicon Valley in the US to compete at the Start-up World Cup 2019 in May 2019, an annual global start-up contest with investment of up to US$1 million on offer for the winner.

The start-up beat rivals from 40 countries and persuaded Silicon investors to make a $1 million investment in their business.

Abivin's vRoute software projects a travel route at the lowest cost for trucks in a few seconds, maximises the truck’s working capacity and helps truck firms save 40 per cent of labour and fuel costs.

Before going to the US to compete at the global contest, members of Abivin received training from incubators and worked for start-up innovation projects supported by the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology.

“This assistance gave Abivin confidence when they presented their idea in front of the international judges,” deputy minister of science and technology Trần Văn Tùng said.

“The Start-up World Cup 2019 is an objective recognition for Abivin. It proves Vietnamese start-ups have been growing at the same pace as start-ups from other countries,” he said.

“Our idea may be new and interesting in the domestic market but might not be in the international market. The victory at a global contest gives us more confidence and validates that a Vietnamese idea is new and interesting when it comes overseas,” said Phạm Nam Long, CEO and co-founder of Abivin.

Winning a prize was not Abivin's sole target at the contest, and Long said he also wanted to connect with other start-ups worldwide.

“We have to make connections when we launch start-ups. Abivin wants to connect with shipping corporations and airlines to expand networks and a global start-up competition offered Abivin that chance,” he said.

With the investment the start-up received, Abivin plans to expand their business model in Indonesia and in e-commerce and postal service.

Abivin's success at Techfest 2018 and on the global stage showed the maturity of Vietnamese start-ups, proving they can provide high-quality Vietnamese products for the international market.

Before the main event from December 4-6 in Hạ Long City, Quảng Ninh Province, Techfest 2019 has brought Vietnamese start-ups overseas to attend international start-up events in the US, Singapore and South Korea.

The move aims to “connect Vietnamese start-ups with international resources and to create conditions for Vietnamese start-up innovative eco-system to be integrated into the global eco-system” said deputy minister Trần Văn Tùng.

The Vietnamese start-ups’ overseas journey began in September at Silicon Valley in the US, a global centre of hi-tech and innovation, with a Vietnamese start-up exhibition, workshops on strengthening start-up eco-system ties between the two countries and one-to-one matching with US venture capitalists and angel investors.

Also in the US, Medlink, the runner-up of Techfest 2018’s start-up contest, won the first prize worth $25,000 from VietChallenge 2019, an annual start-up competition for Vietnamese entrepreneurs from across the world.

Medlink allows pharmacies to place orders from verified pharmaceutical companies on its website and app. About 20 pharmaceutical brands and 4,000 pharmacies nationwide use Medlink’s website and app, helping cut distribution costs and increase revenues.

Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Huyền, CEO of Medlink, said Techfest helped her start-up connect with potential customers and investors.

“Techfest not only brings values to start-ups but is such an important event of Việt Nam to support technology 4.0 businesses,” she said.

The organisers of Techfest 2019 hope the event will continue to serve as a platform for start-ups to develop their ideas, connect with investors so that Techfest will be the starting point of their journey to conquer the domestic market and reach out to the international stage in a similar manner to Abivin and Medlink. — VNS