FIRST CROWDPITCH VIETNAM 2019: TRAVEL STARTUPS ARISE, WHILE ENVIRONMENTAL ONE DRAW MORE ATTENTION

I reposted the content of some events that my company ran in order to spread the message further.  In the 1st CrowdPitch Vietnam 2019, 5 Vietnamese startups had presented their ideas, learned from expert mentors in the ecosystem and gained exposure, as well as built and engaged with the community.

Mr. Thang Huynh – CEO & Co-Founder Innovation Lab

Most-voted: Saving environment solution

Vietnam is one of the worst polluters of ocean plastic waste in Asia and the globe, with 13 million tonnes of waste released to the ocean every year. Fortunately, Vietnamese starts to get aware of this massive pollution and therefore, green initiatives emerge. Obviously, eco-minded entrepreneurs in Vietnam are not out of the picture.

Ms. Linh Le – Founder & CEO AYACUP

Startup AYA – REUSABLE CUP with the plastic waste solution was the most-voted idea in 1st CrowdPitch Vietnam 2019. AYA REUSABLE CUPS creates convenience idea for users which enable them to use and return the cup rather than throwing single-use plastic cup.  More specifically, with AYA you can request an eco-friendly cup at any participating coffee shop or smoothie bar with your ID code. With the so-called “Life Time Membership Pass”, you also can drop the AYACUP at any participating locations. AYA has achieved 85 vendors, 135 locations and 5,495 plastic cups saved.

Linh Le, Founder of AYA Reusable cups shared that she was very surprised and happy when people were very interested in her project and concerned about the environment. It is a good sign that more people want to change their habits to protect the environment.

According to the report 2018 by UN Environment, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute around the world; up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once – and then thrown away.

Mr. Tuan Tran – Founder Airiot VietNam

With the same mission to save the environment; startup Airiot VietNam provides solutions to save energy for Airbnb hosts by a self-designed device. With IOT device working based on Bluetooth low energy 4.0, Airiot helps Airbnb hosts to turn off the air-conditioner automatically when people are not in the accommodation.

Travel tech – Top trendy startups in Vietnam

According to a report recently released by Topica Founder Institute (TFI), eight major travel tech deals worth $64 million were signed last year. The travel tech market is full of potential as increasing numbers of Vietnamese seek to travel and enjoy life.

The trend was well demonstrated in May section of CrowdPitch Vietnam as 3 out of 5 start-up ideas is technology-based travel startups including LandedVibe, Gody.vn and CheepCheep.

Mr. Le Duy Hoang – Founder LandedVibe

Becoming the winner chosen by judges, LandedVibe offers a platform for diversified offline skill-sharing and entertainment activities. They build a network where anyone can turn shareable values of their profession, skill or hobby into payable activities for locals, expats and travelers alike to book, via a sharing-economy platform.

Explained about the decision, Mr. Bobby Liu – CrowdPitch Vietnam judge and Co-director of Topica Founder Institute said: “LandedVibe will change the way of travel a lot. It is about the experience, about travelers getting and sharing their own experience. It could be popular with young travelers. Because of that, LandedVibe has development potential and will attract investors.”

Mr. Pham Viet Anh – CEO & Founder CheepCheep

Ms. Ngoc Anh – Founder Gody.vn

Other startups are CheepCheep, an online platform to book attraction tickets through a hundred places in Vietnam, and Gody.vn, a social travel platform to personalize trips based on AI’s recommendations.

2019 CrowdPitch Vietnam is an initiative for startups to raise their brand awareness, identify their market, attract potential investors and engage actively with future customers.

5 startups chosen to pitch each month will receive 1.000USD AWS credits, technical support, and free online training besides the voting cash by audiences’ entrance tickets.

Mr. Bobby Liu emphasized the prominence of CrowdPitch to startups in the ecosystem because of its benefit and recalled himself as a winner of this kind of crowdpitch five years ago.

From the participant’s perspective, Founder of AYA, Linh Le claimed that pitching in CrowdPitch was a valuable opportunity for early-stage startups to validate their idea and cheer them up. “It is also a good place for them to interact with other startups and investors,” Linh said and personally, CrowdPitch made her more confident, gave her great feedback from other entrepreneurs, and connected her with the community.

The 2nd CrowdPitch Vietnam 2019 is going to present on June, 26th 2019.

The CrowdPitch Vietnam is powered by Innovation Lab.

Keep an eye out for the Vietnam startup ecosystem and its potential for growth

Vietnamese attitudes towards technology and its potential are very positive

Expansion beyond big cities

Vietnam has been the fastest-growing middle class in Southeast Asia in recent years. However, the development is noticeable: the number of startups has increased — four times from 400 in 2012 to 1,800 in 2015, and nearly 3,000 in 2017. And it is also expanding geographically, with new provincial pockets of affluence beyond the important and traditional centers of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi Capital.

One bright example apart from Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi is Danang where there have been many startups and events in 2017. DNES is an Danang – based incubator that helps startups from the early to growth stage and has accelerated over 30 founders in 4 batches since 2016.

On June 2017, the Law on Technology Transfer was revised to promote technological advances and the commercialization of technologies such as AI, IoT, Edtech, O2O, E-commerce, FinTech, and AgriTech.

On March 6th, 2018, a VIP luncheon meeting themed Blockchain & E-Governance: A Gathering at Intersection of Investment, Innovation and Policy was held by the co-operation between Infinity Blockchain Labs and Vietnam Blockchain Club, aiming to provide an open discussion about blockchain among top educators, entrepreneurs and investors.

Mr. Dung Ta VIET (Tạ Việt Dũng), Chief of the State Agency of Technology Innovation, gave a short opening remark on the main theme of the event — Blockchain & E-Governance. He stated that for the past few years, the Vietnamese Government has been strongly supportive of the adoption and application of new technologies in the manufacturing industry as well as other socio-economic fields. Specifically, this could be proven by the fact that the Vietnamese Government has been preparing a legal framework. Moreover, on July 1, 2018, the revised Law on Technology Transfer comes into effect, and this will create easier access to new foreign technology for Vietnamese corporations, because there will be greater assistance from the government in importing these technologies including blockchain. The method used to approach blockchain technology varies from one nation to another and among different fields.

Global Attention

Moreover, Vietnamese startups have many big opportunities to meet with global partners from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, US, Israel, Finland, Singapore and other countries to exchange knowledge on AI, IoT, Edtech, O2O, E-commerce, FinTech, and AgriTech. These are all areas of considerable opportunities for many industries.

Shinhan Bank Vietnam (Shinhan Bank) — one of the leading banks of South Korea, has officially taken over the retail banking segment of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in Vietnam (ANZ Vietnam) to expand its payment services by utilising ANZ’s resources. Moreover, we also invested in Fintech application, Shinhan Future’s lab Vietnam to accelerate the startup in Vietnam and Korean.

Start Up Campus in Pangyo Techno Valley, Korea held the Asia Startup Network, a conference that provides a platform for connecting startup accelerators, startups, venture capitals, and young entrepreneurs to present and further discuss their findings on the startup ecosystems in Asia.

In its inaugural year 2017, the conference focused on sharing trends and successful cases in Korea, China, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Philippines, and Vietnam. They were planning to hold conference annually to build the Asia international network and synergies together. I was honored to be there and tie the partnership to set up Asia Startup Network.

The Israel Embassy is actively partnering with many partners to bring Vietnamese startups to Israel to learn and grow as well as enabling Israeli startups to connect with and explore Vietnam market.

Lead the Change is a competition for young startup entrepreneurs from 18 to 25 to have a chance to challenge their ideas, learn skills, find right partner and get funded initiated by UEH Connected community.

Highlights of 2017

  • Many startup funds are established such as ESP Capital, Innovatube, VIISA and 500 Startups Vietnam.
  • SpeedUP 2017 is the fund which founded by Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology has 11.75 billion VND (520,525 USD) invested in 14 startups in Vietnam at a minimum of 350 million VND (15,505 USD) to a maximum of 1,282 billion VND (56,792 USD).
  • Tiki was founded in 2010 received 54.5 million USD (series C) from China’s JD.com and Korea’s STIC Investment.
  • The SEA Group (formerly Garena) from Singapore paid 64 million USD to acquire 82% Foody’s stakes.
  • Vntrip, a Vietnamese online travel agency has raised 10 million USD (Series B) from Hendale Capital.
  • KyberNetwork was co-founded by a Vietnamese and launched its ICO on September, 2017 taking in 200,000 Ethereum, which was valued nearly 56 million USD at that time.
  • The launch of reality television show named Shark Tank Vietnam

Why do we need to pay attention to Vietnam market?

Vietnam has 96 million people, 67% of which are Internet users, 57% are active social media users and 73% are individual mobile phone users. The annual growth rate in Vietnam is breathtaking –the percentage of Internet users increases by 28% (or 14 million people) and 20% for active social users, according to a Kepios report. This indicates great opportunities for new product ranges focusing on this consumer segment.

The success of innovations, unfortunately, depends on the go-to market stage rather than the product itself. It is also important to pay attention to the longer-term consumer needs, and catering to these needs will present economic, social and cultural opportunities and challenges for Vietnam notably not only in basic commodities or real estate but also in healthcare, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and financial services.

Moreover, Vietnamese attitudes towards technology is very positive and with great potential, 61% of Vietnamese people believe that new technologies offer more opportunities than risks and 63% prefer to complete task digitally whenever possible.

I was invited to be the speaker and judge at APEC SME O2O 2018 in Brunei and nominated one Vietnam startup tictag — One-tap-for-all NFC ecosystem to go with me to compete with 14 other startups in the APEC region. Finally, the Vietnamese startup went on to win the competition. Even more interestingly, one of my mentees edu2review.com in Vietnam received funding from an investor called Nest Tech from Singapore. This is also amazing and proved that Vietnam market is extremely potential and worth keeping an eye on.