Trick is to make VN startups competitive: experts

Monday, Feb 13, 2017 08:46

Staffers of Lozi, a start-up online food review community, at their office. — Photo tuoitre

Many young people, including those who’ve studied abroad and returned home to establish their own businesses, shared useful ideas on startups at a conference held last week in HCM City.

Nguyen Trong Nhan, director of Fablab Sai Gon, said that starting a business means working for oneself and looking for new values, and these lessons need to be learnt from successful start-ups.

Young people are attracted by recent Government policies encouraging startups. However, while establishing a startup is fairly easy, making it internationally competitive needs support and advice from experienced experts, Nhan said.

Tran Bao Tran, managing director of Sea Media Ltd Co, a former student in Switzerland, said there were three challenges that overseas students faced when coming back home to start a business - finding investors, enthusiastic employees and a conducive investment environment.

David Ngo, an American Information Technology expert, explained his reasons for starting a business in Viet Nam: "The Government wants Viet Nam to become a start-up nation and has adopted suitable policies on building smart cities. Therefore, the country’s policies are a driving force. Besides, the country is also developing in science and technology. If they receive investments, young people here will not be inferior to others in the world."

Nge said the entrepreneurial spirit was high in Viet Nam.

"However, the boom is developing only in width, not in depth. I found out that many young entrepreneurs are just following the trend. The need orientation and direction from their predecessors. Lacking financial skills, they can easily go bankrupt. I wish to see more training sessions to guide young entrepreneurs in avoiding risks."

Duong Minh Tri of the HCM City Institute of Physics, Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology, said the state’s role in developing a startup ecosystem is not intervention, but creating a transparent business environment.

For young investors, capital is important, but more important is knowledge about the market, experience from failures, innovation and competitiveness. Therefore, it is necessary to foster ​​startup ideas among university and college students, and establishing funds to provide capital assistance, Tri said.

‘Thirst for startups’

Last Friday, HCM City Party Secretary Dinh La Thang asked the Communist Youth Union to “inspire a thirst for start-ups” among city youth.

Young people should be creative and dare to take risks and not be afraid of failure, learning from the experience to fuel future success, Thang said.

He said the union has to help the city’s Party organisation set up incubating policies for start-ups.

Responding to Thang, the union’s standing deputy secretary, Lam Dinh Thang, suggested that the city formulates specific guidelines for startups.

As of now, the city is only encouraging the youth to venture into startups based on their hobbies, he said

Another deputy secretary of the union, Pham Hong Son, suggested that the city leaders should talk to young startups and create more favourable conditions for them.

Thang also said that the City was paying attention to developing human resources instead of promoting cheap labour.

The union has to pay attention to forecasting impacts of the fourth industrial revolution marked by emerging technology, which is affecting the lives of young people every day, he said. — VNS

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