Regional investors and entrepreneurs gather for 500 Start-ups Demo Day

Friday, Sep 06, 2019 18:20

Start-up founders and entrepreneurs take part in the 500 Start-ups Demo Day event in HCM City. — VNS Photo

About 230 investors, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and other start-up ecosystem supporters and stakeholders attended the 500 Start-ups Demo Day event in HCM City on Thursday.

Hosted by 500 Start-ups, one of the world’s most active venture capital investors and the American Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam (AmCham Vietnam), the event provided discussions and presentations to highlight the dynamic technology landscape in Viet Nam and broader Southeast Asia.

Presenting in the event were 11 “rising star” start-ups in Southeast Asia in logistics, e-commerce, fintech, blockchain, agritech, and other industries. They include six start-ups which graduated in the first batch of the “Silicon Valley-inspired, Saigon-based” Saola Accelerator and five others from beyond the accelerator, including investments by 500 Start-ups Vietnam’s sister funds, 500 TukTuks – focused on Thailand – and 500 Durians – focused on Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Collectively they are doing business in more than 15 markets across Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe, and have raised more than US$30 million of venture financing.

Eddie Thai, a General Partner of 500 Start-ups Vietnam, said: “These start-ups show that innovation from Viet Nam and broader Southeast Asia can transform lives not only in the region but potentially around the world.”

Also at the event, AmCham Vietnam’s Executive Director Mary Tarnowka announced the launch of an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee, saying that it will focus on sharing and supporting emerging technologies, disruptive business models, and approaches to innovation.

Binh Tran, a serial entrepreneur turned General Partner of 500 Start-ups Vietnam, reiterated the sharing of many of the guest speakers.

“There’s more hype about Viet Nam’s tech scene now than ever before. To maintain the momentum, it’s important for entrepreneurs and investors alike to separate the signal from the noise, with the help of strong partners.”

Since 2017, 500 Start-ups Vietnam has invested in more than 40 companies in fintech, edtech, logistics, and more. The portfolio companies have collectively raised more than $170 million of additional capital. Batch 2 of the Saola Accelerator is open for applications. Each selected start-up will receive $100,000 cash investment, training and hands-on support from world-class experts. — VNS

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