The National Program "Initiative for startup ecosystem in Viet Nam" (National Program 844) (abbreviated to ISEV) approved by the Prime Minister under Decision No. 844/QD-TTg dated May 18, 2016, is a specific move of the Government to develop an innovative startup ecosystem.
National Program 844 (ISEV) aims to create a favorable environment to promote and support the process of formation and development of a type of enterprise that has the ability to grow rapidly based on the exploitation of intellectual property, technologies and new business models, urgently complete the legal system to support innovative startups and establishing a national e-portal for innovative startups. By 2025, National Program 844 (ISEV) is expected to support 2,000 innovative startup projects, 600 innovative startups and 100 enterprises participating in the National Program to lure investment capital from venture investors, and get involved in mergers and acquisitions, with a total estimated value of about VND 2,000 billion.
The main contents of the national program include:
(i) Developing a national e-portal for innovative startups
(ii) Building a hub for innovative startup support services at Ministries, branches and localities having potential for developing start-up activities
(iii) Organizing National Technology Startup Festival on an international scale
(iv) Continuing to implement the Project on Commercialization of technology to 2020 with the scale of a national project on science and technology
(v) Developing training, capacity enhancing and services for innovative startups
(vi) Developing technical infrastructure for innovative startup activities
(vii) Supporting the development of communication programs about startup activities
(viii) Connecting Viet Nam's startup, startup assistance and venture investment networks to the region and the world
(ix) Introducing partners, investors, supporting procedures for domestic investors and startups to access foreign markets
(x) Funding for research, technology testing, market testing, and investment in innovative startups.
To implement Project 844 (ISEV), Ministries, branches, and localities may designate focal points to advise the Ministers/Chairmen of the People's Committee of the provinces or municipalities or set up Steering Committees, Offices of Steering Committee and Working Groups implementing the Project locally.
In addition, the Executive Board of Project 844 (an organization is responsible for assisting the Minister of Science and Technology to orient the implementation, participation in inspection, supervision, and evaluation of the implementation of Project 844) shall select a qualified startup assistance intermediary to receive a partial financial support for the implementation of annual and periodical tasks under Project 844 on the following contents:
- Training and building the capacity for subjects of the ecosystem.
- Supporting and promoting activities to provide services for innovative startups.
- Supporting and promoting activities to connect the components of the innovative startup ecosystem in the regions, the country, and the world.
- Supporting and promoting communications activities for innovative startups.
- Researching, proposing and building legal bases related to innovative start-up activities in Viet Nam.
The focus on building an ecosystem for startups in Viet Nam in recent years has helped many incubators and investment funds to support startups to develop, mainly in big cities such as Ha Noi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Some typical examples include:
1. Ha Noi Innovative Business Incubator of Information Technology
Ha Noi Innovative Business Incubator of Information Technology (HBI-IT) was launched and officially went into operation in January 2017 at the 8th floor, Department of Information and Communications Building, 185 Giang Vo - Dong Da - Ha Noi. This is the first incubator in the IT field established by the Ha Noi People's Committee, under the management of the Ha Noi Department of Information and Communications. Up to now, HBI-IT has gradually affirmed its direction and attracted a great number of startup projects to join the Incubator through many activities such as investment promotion conferences, seminars, talks for sharing experience and connecting businesses. Many startup projects have been funded by domestic and foreign investors to support their project completion as well as business development.
2. Danang Startup Incubator (DNES)
DNES is a public-private partnership model (PPP) that mobilizes both government and business participation. Founded in late 2015, DNES is one of the important components contributing to the process of creating and building an innovative startup ecosystem in Da Nang and the Central region. Key activities include advising; mentoring startup projects, connecting investment, connecting local and international support resources to the community, training and coaching on business, startup, culture and innovation. After nearly 5 years of operation, DNES has directly provided intensive training and support for more than 50 startup projects in various fields. DNC Coworking Space DNES is an exchange and connection destination for not only the startup community in general and the community of artists and digital nomads in particular, but it is also voted one of the best coworking spaces in Asia by coworker.com and is listed in the top 6 Creative Hubs selected to participate in the British Council's Creative Cultural Space project.
DNES has a network of more than 40 domestic and international partners that have been participating in many projects and activities directly supporting startup projects. In addition to the goal of a local platform positively contributing to the national startup ecosystem, DNES has always prioritized its focus on developing the quality and the number of startup projects, as well as investing in the development of local mentor network and increasing the proportion of foreign experts, individual networks and investment funds participating in incubation and start-up support activities. The activities of DNES have brought about certain social influences and have been implemented in ways that are more accessible to the community through training courses, office spaces, advising, mentoring startup as well as creating networking opportunities. Over the years, DNES has supported dozens of developing startup projects. DNES is currently shaping the depth of startup, focusing on the goal of completing a new high-quality incubation program, attracting startup ideas not only in Da Nang but also in the central region, developing startup training programs in universities and focusing on establishing a creative and coworking space system for startups.
3. Ho Chi Minh City Startup and Innovation Supporting Center- Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB)
SIHUB was established on August 5, 2016, by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology. SIHUB is the recipient of Ho Chi Minh City's resources to launch and assist startup activities, connect and share resources with the aim of Ho Chi Minh City becoming the startup city of the country. After nearly 3 years since establishment, SIHUB has provided support to more than 960 startup projects, 15 incubators, more than 100 startup advisors in capacity enhancement and network development and trained 115 university lecturers on startups and innovation. SIHUB supported districts to develop innovative startups, connect markets, promote financial investment for startup and innovation activities. SIHUB cooperates with other innovative startup ecosystems in the US, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Laos, and Malaysia. Unlike other incubators, SIHUB does not incubate startups but rather, plays a role in directing, coordinating, and allocating resources for specialized agencies to support capacity enhancing for startups. In addition, SIHUB also supports the establishment of innovative clubs at schools as well as productivity and quality management training such as technology transfer, business connection, and innovative startups. SIHUB has formed a network of more than 60 mentors trained in orientation and methodology and connected the mentor network of TOPICA, SHINHAN, VIISA, Startup Viet Nam Foundation with the Swiss government's innovative entrepreneurship program (SECO EP) to focus on developing Viet Nam's mentor network.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
Ministries, ministerial-level agencies
People's Committees of provinces and municipalities
Civil society organizations
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Relevant state management agencies
Organizations, individuals, groups of individuals, startups with criteria consistent with the project
According to experts' evaluation, the project needs to aim to incubate a team of founders with innovative startup minds and move towards transforming the business model towards more breakthrough development. It must continue to maintain the training of a professional mentor team as seeds to support in many provinces and fields across the country and contribute to the overall development. To solve the difficulties in connecting to the network of qualified experts, one of the key activities of National Program 844 in the near future is building a shared database of information on experts and mentors on innovative startup for agencies and units to access.
It is necessary to promote the connection and coordination as well as take advantage of resources among agencies and organizations for more effective startups, identify and study the unique characteristics and advantages of each locality to have appropriate models for developing innovative startups.
In each locality, the success and sustainable development of innovative startups demand the support of leaders and the participation of authorities and local media in raising awareness of the importance of innovative startups.
Strengthen the support of professional private organizations, contributing to the formation of scientific strategies and solutions to build ecosystems suitable for each stage of development.