The city has 30 incubation centres and 10 business facilitation organisations, and a rising number of angel investors, reflecting a healthy startup ecosystem, according to Vu Anh Tuan, General Secretary of the HCM City Computer Association (HCA).
However, around 80% of startups in Vietnam do not survive more than two years, and only around 3% succeed. Many entrepreneurs lack mentors, experience, soft skills and knowledge.
Phi Anh Tuan, deputy director of HCA, said that students should work hard and study well in their fields and improve their soft skills and foreign languages. Vietnamese students should aim to become global citizens who can work in international settings, he said.
Van Thi Bich Ty, head of the media department of HCA, said that young entrepreneurs should set specific achievable goals and have a deep understanding of their markets.
Students should also keep up to date with rapidly growing technological advancements, and firms should work more with students and help them gain more real-life experiences.
Nguyen Thu Sang, media director of Azibai - a social network for businesses, said the company would provide students with field trips, internships and other forms of assistance to equip them with practical skills.
The conference was held by HCA, which in September and October worked with 10 universities and colleges, as well as the Saigon Innovation Hub, to organise conferences about innovative startups in the digital age.
Conferences have been held to discuss startups, technology trends, soft skills, and stories of success and failures.
They have attracted nearly 6,000 students, 50 IT firms, more than 30 speakers from different business fields, and 10 young representatives from the startup community.