On the evening of December 4th, 2019, in Ha Long city ( Quang Ninh province), Opening ceremony of The national Start-up Innovation Day ( Techfest) 2019 was taken place. Within the framework of Techfest 2019, Vietnam Climate Innovation Center in collaboration with International Investment Matching Village hosted the forum of “International Investment Matching”, resulted in over 250 matching sessions with the amount of expected investment is approximately 14 million USD.

Overview of the opening ceremony of Techfest 2019.

This is the largest annual event for the Vietnamese creative start-up community in the framework of the project "Supporting the national innovation start-up ecosystem to 2025", approved by Prime Minister following Decision No. 844 / QD-TTg. The event was jointly organized by Ministry of Science and Technology and Quang Ninh People's Committee. The highlight of this Techfest is the participation of a large number of foreign investors, foreign investment funds and international experts.

Representatives of the Government, Party, Ministries, Central Agencies and Localities, etc attended the event.

The event was honored to welcome Mr. Vu Duc Dam, Commissioner of Party Central Committee, Deputy Prime Minister; Mr. Chu Ngọc Anh, Commissioner of Party Central Committee, Minister of Science and Technology; Mr. Chau Van Minh, Commissioner of Party Central Committee, President of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology; Mr. Bui Nhat Quang, Alternate Commissioner of Party Central Committee, President of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences; Mr. Nguyen Xuan Ky, Secretary of Provincial Party Committee, Chairman of People's Council of Quang Ninh province; Mr. Nguyen Van Thang, Alternate Commissioner of Party Central Committee, Chairman of Quang Ninh People's Committee, etc together with representatives of leaders of ministries, branches, central and local agencies and especially creative start-ups , investors, domestic and international start-up support organizations attended the opening ceremony of the event.

Innovative start-up in Vietnam has made significant development

In 2019, Vietnam's creative innovation start-up has made rapid development. According to the ES Capital Report and Cento Ventures, in 2019 Vietnam ranked third of the six largest ASEAN countries in the startup ecosystem, just behind Indonesia and Singapore. In recent years, our Global Innovation Index (GII) has continuously increased, leading the group of low-middle income countries, from 59th in 2017 to 47th in 2018 and 45th in 2019 in 129 economies ranked in the world.

Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh - Minister of Science and Technology gave an opening speech.

Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh said: The strategic and crucial role of developing innovative start-up ecosystem in the socio-economic development process has been thoroughly grasped in many Party Resolutions such as Resolution No. 05-NQ / TW on guidelines and major policies to renew the growth model, improve labor productivity, and competitiveness of the economy, Resolution No. 23-NQ / TW of Ministry of Government on the orientation of formulating national industrial development policies by 2030, with a vision to 2045 and most recently, Resolution No. 52-NQ / TW of Ministry of Government on a number of proactive policies and guidelines participated in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In order to further concretize these guidelines, the Project "Supporting the national start-up ecosystem to 2025" (referred to as Project 844) is one of the Prime Minister's policy solutions and is being drastically implemented in both the political system and the creative startup community. The scheme identifies the promotion of the formation and development of various types of start-up support organizations such as incubator for creative start-up business, business promotion organization, co-working space with facilities and the number of qualified experts and advisors in many aspects related to creative startups is a prerequisite for the development of this type of business.

5 achievements of the national creative startup ecosystem

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh said: With the role of the state management agency in charge of innovation assigned by the Government, Ministry of Science and Technology cooperated closely with the ministries, branches and localities issue an overall plan to implement the Scheme at the national scale and specific implementation plans in accordance with the requirements of each industry, field and locality. After more than 3 years of implementation, the national creative startup ecosystem has witnessed:

Firstly, the establishment of the legal framework for innovative start-up activities, investment in innovative startups through the SME Support Law, Industrial Transfer Law in 2017 and guiding documents; Pilot policies are also being actively developed and implemented by ministries and branches such as: sandbox in fintech field, national innovation center, bringing startups to participate in training programs in foreign countries, etc.

Secondly, the system of intermediary organizations supporting creative start-up in the whole country has a rapid growth in number: 23 organizations promoting business with well-known names in the world have come to Vietnam such as 500 startups, 38 start-up nurseries, and especially over 170 co-working areas with brands that are expanding into international markets such as Up, Toong;

Thirdly, the spread of creative start-up across the country and access to international: 52/63 localities have issued plans and allocated resources to support startup activities, more than 300 events about creative startups are organized throughout the country in which nearly 30% are large-scale events with 500 or more attendees, more than 10 television programs on creative startups are broadcast throughout the country; in 2019: The first Techfest event was held in countries outside Vietnam, such as the United States, South Korea, and Singapore, giving startups access to innovative start-up ecosystems in other countries. They also develop and attract international experts and investors to participate in the activities being implemented in Vietnam.

Fourthly, universities have established many innovation centers, start-up support centers, and especially some universities, which have introduced the subject of creative start-up to the official program as the basis for the creation of creative startup businesses with good capacity in the future.

Fifthly, the innovative start-up investment funds currently in Vietnam in 2019 are 61 funds including 10 domestic funds. It is worth noting that there is a large increase in the participation of Korean and Singaporean investors in the Vietnamese ecosystem, with 11 funds from Singapore and 13 Korean funds compared to only 6 funds in 2018 for both two countries. This year, new Vietnamese funds were also established, bringing new resources into the ecosystem such as the VinTech Applied Research Fund (VinTech City) and Next100. The entry of large corporations is a good sign for the national creative startup ecosystem.

It is known that with the development of the creative startup ecosystem last year, in the first 10 months of 2019, the amount of capital attracted from 29 announced deals was USD 751 million. In particular, there are large-scale deals such as the investment in VNLIFE, the parent company of VNPAY's payment solution up to 300 million USD, ranked first among the deals in Financial technology companies in Southeast Asia, surpassing even Singapore. The growing scale of large investment shows the potential to create new unicorns - Innovative startups valued at over US $ 1 billion in Vietnam are very realistic.

The guests discussed at the event.

With the spirit of creative start-up and creative start-up support that has been spreading strongly, it is also to report the achievements recently, to share directions, efforts, resources of ministries, departments, sectors and organizations supporting the start-up of innovation, Ministry of Science and Technology has continued to coordinate with typical partners in the start-up ecosystem to organize Techfesh 2019 with the theme “Convergence resources”, continues to assert the role of building the foundation and promoting links for the national creative startup ecosystem.

“By attending and directly participating in Techfest 2019 activities of domestic and foreign experts, investors, organizations, agencies, and especially creative startups, I believe that resources are not only gathered here, but also spread and spread later. I hope that, through Techfesh 2019, and by working together to build an innovative startup ecosystem, the philosophy of building trust for mutual development will be resonated and accompanied in the next steps. On that basis, we agree on philosophy and thinking, vision to action, especially in exploiting, associating, attracting and effectively using resources of S&T and creative innovation and entrepreneurship, the power of knowledge and people "- Minister Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh affirmed.

Mr. Nguyen Van Thang, Alternate Commissioner of the Central Party, Chairman of Quang Ninh People's Committee had a speech at the event.

In his speech, Chairman of the People's Committee of Quang Ninh Province, Mr. Nguyen Van Thang said: Quang Ninh Province is very honored to coordinate with Ministry of Science and Technology to organize the National Innovation Day 2019. Through this event, Quang Province Ninh strongly hopes to continue promoting connectivity, introducing and promoting many products and services of innovative startups, and at the same time, aiming to engage and promote Quang Ninh's innovative start-up activities to develop and contribute to making Vietnam become one of the leading countries in the region of start-up innovation.

Quang Ninh Provincial People's Committee Chairman, Mr. Nguyen Van Thang also hoped that “Techfest Vietnam 2019” in Quang Ninh will be a great success on a national and international scale and will be an opportunity to attract large corporations and investors, investment funds, coaches, support organizations, international organizations, embassies of countries join hands to support the development of Vietnam innovation start-up ecosystem.

Mr. Vu Duc Dam, Commissioner of Party Central Committee, Deputy Prime Minister had a speech at the event.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Vu Duc Dam highly appreciated the efforts of Ministry of Science and Technology over the years with many practical activities, including 5 times to organize innovative start-up festivals to help the start up community connect resources. In 2019, Vietnam has made a very long step in development of innovative startups, especially the entry of businesses, agencies and organizations, etc. However, it should be acknowledged, though Startup has distinctions but cannot be separated from the common development of the country, with the common goals of the country.

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that in the context of Industry 4.0, the "Connection" in fields from technology, people, etc. Especially, in the context of a developing country like Vietnam, it is still very many things need to be done to not miss the "ship" Industry Revolution 4.0, we must have a new, different and creative way. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, if the community is willing to come up with and encourage new ideas, join hands to realize, then it will definitely succeed. However, Deputy Prime Minister emphasized: Developing faster, it must be more sustainable and put faith in converging resources, especially human resources.

“Techfest 2019 with the participation and support of VinTech City, a member of Vingroup, was formed with the goal of comprehensive support for the applied research ecosystem and technology start-up in Vietnam according to the Silicon Valley model. With that goal, VinTech City focuses on three core elements: Technology human resources, Technological products and Support ecosystem. In particular, technology human resources and technological products with competitive advantages are considered as the first strategic step. This is the highlight of this year's program.

Leaders in Central and Quang Ninh province and startup experts perform Techfest Vietnam opening ceremony.

At the event, there were also many other outstanding activities such as the Deep Racer - Artificial Intelligence Race Competition organized by Amazon Web Services Company; Open Creative Forum; Inspiring presentations TED @ Techfest; The final of the National Creative Startup Talent Competition that the champion of the competition will receive valuable prizes from the Organizing Committee.

Besides, there is the support and assistance of domestic and foreign units such as Vietcombank, FLC Group, Sun Travel.

Connecting and promoting the interaction between the components of the creative startup ecosystem

With the core orientation of “Resources convergence”, this year's Techfest aims to become a linkage platform, develop a sharing network between the components of Vietnam's creative startup ecosystem with the other creative startup ecosystem in the region and in the world; update the situation and potential of the innovative startup ecosystem, update the latest technology trends and innovative startups; connect investment from venture capital funds, angel investors, corporations and large domestic and international businesses for innovative startups.

This is where connecting and promoting the interaction of at least 250 potential startups; nearly 200 domestic and international investors; 150 large enterprises, economic groups and start-up support organizations, with nearly 100 domestic and international journalists attending and reporting on the event. It is expected that Techfest 2019 will attract more than 6,000 participants. Techfest 2019 organization space is organized around seminars, conferences, forums, intensive seminars, according to 12 technology villages, investment connection areas, competitions and technology demonstrations.
Within the framework of Techfest 2019, Vietnam Climate Innovation Center in collaboration with International Investment Matching Village hosted the forum of “International Investment Matching”, resulted in over 250 matching sessions with the amount of expected investment is approximately 14 million USD.

Overview of the International Investment Matching forum
POC3 enterprise pitched at the International Investment Matching forum