Gov’t must support VN startups: experts

Monday, Jul 10, 2017 08:11

HSU students discuss ideas at a coworking space in HCM City. — Photo

The Business Startup Support Centre (BSSC) in HCM City jointly held a conference on startup culture with Hoa Sen University (HSU) and the International Vietnamese Academics Network (iVANet), aiming to facilitate sustainable entrepreneurship within universities and advocate favourable policies for startup creativity.

Speakers from Viet Nam and abroad attended the July 7-8 conference to share their experience in building a national startup ecosystem and encourage Vietnamese startup businesses to develop. They also advocated for favourable Government policies to support the ideas of entrepreneurs and university students.

Troy D’Ambrosio, Assistant Dean at the School of Business, University of Utah, and Marko Seppa, Entrepreneur in Residence of the Vietnam-Finland Innovation Partnership Program, explained the importance of developing a university entrepreneurial ecosystem and enabling business creation at universities.

The two experts agreed that an ecosystem should be built within universities to ensure the best growing environment for businesses. They said schools should play an important role in orientation and idea formation for its students from the very beginning.

Truong Nguyen Thanh, HSU’s Deputy Director, said his institution had always supported students’ startup ideas through a network connecting students to business demands and requirements. He suggested this as an efficient way to guarantee a true-to-life curriculum and inspire students in their study.

Chris Freund, founder and partner at Mekong Capital Investments, said at the conference that Vietnamese startups should focus on sustainable growth through effective use of human resources, ideas, funding, business models and timing.

However, startup ideas are prone to failure since their beginner stage is heavily dependent on technology, and the risks are usually great. "This means government intervention is also much needed to encourage startup success," said Nguyen Viet Dung, Director of the Ho Chi Minh Science and Technology Department.

"The Government’s role in the ecosystem is one of the key elements to ensure sustainable growth for Vietnamese startups, as well as helping entrepreneurs carry out their startup ideas," Dung added. He also noted that since 2016, Viet Nam had branded itself as a startup nation and as such, the Government was expected to create more extensive and constructive policies for the development of an ecosystem and the growth of future startup businesses.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion on approaches to building a startup ecosystem and the HSU’s introduction of an upcoming creative space on campus for students and lecturers to work together in a professional environment. — VNS

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