Le Toan Thang, deputy director of the National Start-up Support Centre, talks on assisting Vietnamese start-ups in the post-COVID-19 recovery phase.
|Le Toan Thang.|
Could you elaborate on investment in Vietnamese start-ups in the first five months of 2020? Has it experienced any changes due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Investment in Vietnamese start-ups in the first five months of 2020 was still rather positive.
Since early this year, there were 36 start-up investment cases. Among those cases, 15 cases had investment of more than US$54 million.
In the context of COVID-19 over the past few months, what bright spots are there in the general picture of Vietnamese start-ups in the first months of the year?
In Hanoi, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the first three months of this year, more than 6,300 new businesses were established with total capital of VND103 trillion ($4.5 billion). It was an increase of one per cent in terms of the number of new businesses compared to the same period last year but a surge of 98 per cent of registered capital.
Hanoi has become a bright spot, having more newly-established businesses than businesses which stopped operations. Meanwhile, on the national scale, the number of bankrupt companies was higher than new ones.
This result came from effective start-up promotion campaigns thanks to an open business climate and non-stop reform of local authorities, which created trust among investors.
The city has approved an innovative start-up assistance project in the 2019-25 period which offers funds for establishing new businesses and training start-up human resources.
How has the Ministry of Science and Technology supported start-ups to overcome difficulties posed by the pandemic and adapt to the ‘new normal’?
During the pandemic, start-up offline activities were limited, however, it also created opportunities for localities to connect through online platforms. The National Start-up Support Centre and Sai Gon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) are working with Binh Duong Province’s community start-up idea centre to build an inno-tech platform which connects mentors, start-ups and investors. We want a series of start-up events will be organised on this platform to develop new ideas, offer training, connect with international markets and call for investment.
This kind of activity will be organised more this year and next year, looking towards the national and global innovative start-up festival (Techfest).
Training and networking for investment are key contents that we will work on in collaboration with national and international start-up assistance centres. VNS
South Korea, not the US or Singapore, is the market where many Vietnamese startups will call for capital, according to Pham Ngoc Huy from Vietnam Silicon Valley.
This year continues to witness a wave of investments in Vietnamese startups, with millions of dollars of money announced.
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