In recent years, startups have strongly developed in Vietnam and received a lot of special attention from the government.
Ho Chi Minh City has developed the Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) as an official connection portal between Vietnam and the world’s innovative start-up support ecosystem, hoping to make Vietnam a start-up hub of Southeast Asia.
Many Vietnamese startup businesses have had early success bringing their products to market, participating in the production chain of large enterprises, and attracting domestic and foreign investment capital.
Tran Anh Tuan, CEO and Member of the Board of Directors of the Sao Bac Dau Technologies Corporation, which invested in 5 startup projects last year, said a startup business lacks lots of things – capital, technology, management experience, opportunities to take part in production chains, and markets.
Of many basic startup elements, Vietnamese startup businesses have only an idea and a staff full of energy.
Tuan said many startup businesses want support from a larger enterprise but worry about being taken over.
“Once a startup business gains the support of a large company, it will have an advisor, an investor, and a financial backer. Linking with a large enterprise gives a startup business more markets. But lots of startup business owners are worried their young company will be taken over. Large enterprises would never do that because we need you to work with us and add your solutions to our chains of solutions,” Tuan noted.
Nguyen Viet Duc, CEO of the Vietnam Innovation Capital Management Company, said when a startup businessman calls for investment capital, he often focuses too much on his product and forgets to prove the product’s market worth, which will determine the product’s competitiveness and success. Startup investors don’t have an opportunity to divest if a startup fails. As a result, large enterprises and other investors are wary of startup projects.
In recent years, Industrial Revolution 4.0 has offered new tools to help businesses change their working methods and new opportunities for businessmen to start a new business line. Integrating startups into the world market requires standards and an appropriate working method.
Hoang Minh Tri, Director of AiPac in San Jose, California, is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur with a successful track record of building companies from the ground up. Tri is investing in startup businesses in Vietnam.
According to Tri, “the strength of Vietnamese startup businesses is in software. Domestic startup businesses in the software sector are pretty familiar with the market. This is an important factor in attracting foreign firms for a partnership to jointly develop state-of-the-art technologies.”
Nguyen Hoang, Deputy Director of the Loc Troi Group, a leading agricultural manufacturer and service supplier in Vietnam, said the value chain in any sector needs the involvement of strong businesses. Startup businesses that enter a chain will receive the support they need to prove themselves and grow.