The 2nd Proof of Concept: Incubating Vietnam’s “green” start-ups
The story of Dichung.vn
A reduction of over 1 million kilograms of CO2 emissions to the environment and a saving of 11.6 billion dong for customers are the numbers that Dichung.vn Co-founder Nguyen Thanh Nam proudly shared with Vietnam Investment Review Reporters.
As a start-up project established by 4 young founders since 2013, Dichung.vn has been known as one of the leading "made-in-Vietnam" travel-connecting applications. If Uber or Grab are the "big guys" in this area and compete directly with traditional taxis, Dichung.vn chooses niche markets that are suitable for the habit of Vietnamese people. In addition to iOS and Android applications for immediate travel needs, Dichung.vn also developed a web-based platform for future planned trips, especially for shared traveling trips.
Dichung.vn service contributes to reduction of CO2 emissions to the environment
However, founder Nguyen Thanh Nam also said, Dichung.vn started at a time when the travel habits of the Vietnamese were still quite strange to this form. Not to mention, the difficulties Dichung.vn had to face similar to that of other startups, such as human resources, finance, communication, market development etc.
"Our luck was in when we learned about the Proof of Concept contest held by VCIC", recalled Nguyen Thanh Nam. After many rounds of selection, Dichung.vn was chosen for the group of projects to be supported by VCIC.
After 1 year of receiving support, Dichung.vn has been operating with the model of a joint stock company with its market covering all 3 areas of the North - Central – South, developed a new business area being shared traveling trips (Dichoichung.com), with the revenue growth of 300%.
Not only Dichung.vn but also 17 other projects selected by the VCIC through the 2016 POC1 contest have now taken their place in the market. The sustainable agriculture project with the EMIC preparations from Micro Technology and Environment., JSC has called for investment capital of over $ 200,000. The Ho Hoan Cau Co., Ltd.'s project of automatic adobe brick molding machine has asserted its brand on the Vietnam northern market and has reached to Laos market. The NOVAS (Da Nang) LED system for fishing boats has helped the fishing fleet of some provinces in central Vietnam save dozens of billions VND electrical cost, increase fishing efficiency by 15 - 20%.
Increase the chances of success for “Green” ideas
The success of these projects is not a coincidence, as VCIC is a project to realize the National Green Growth Strategy under the Prime Minister's Decision No. 1393 / QĐ-TTg. VCIC is supported by the World Bank and managed by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
With the missions of incubating, commercializing, accessing to international markets and turning the challenges of climate change into a green and sustainable growth opportunities, VCIC supports climate change adaptation startups and SMEs with advisory services: product improvement, trade promotion, capital accession, risk management and financial supports.
As a member of the global CIC network, VCIC has a team of domestic and international professionals, closely affiliates with various investors and angel ventures, provides co-working space and financial support for start-ups, creates a favorable environment for the development of the Vietnam’s start-up innovation community
Pre-incubation program of the second Prove of Concept competition
Continuing the success of the 1st competition last year, in 2017, VCIC hosts the Proof of Concept 2 (POC2) aiming of finding outstanding new ideas/ products in the field to turns climate-related challenges into business opportunities by comprehensively supporting innovation startups to realize their ideas/ products.
The organizing board shares that after the success of supported projects, in this competition, they received nearly 400 participating ideas. After the selection process, the organizing board has chosen 20 ideas for Vietnam Innovation Climate Award Ceremony – Honoring winner enterprises and Offering Graduation certificates for the projects which have been remarkable growth after the training courses and business development programs during the incubation period with VCIC.
The Award also receives great attention and support from national management and international organizations, with the attendance of leaders on September 20 at the Melia Hotel.
With the success of 18 startups awarded in the first competition, the POC2 promises to find out the most excellent projects in climate change sector. These projects will be prioritized to access to all VCIC’s consultant services and business development support including training, advising, connecting with the networks of startups, experts, and partners, as well as using facilities, investment and getting access to funding up to USD75,000.
With these support and services, the green ideas and projects are expected to not only help Vietnam to adapt well with climate change but allow Vietnamese enterprises to figure out new ways of developing and earning profit from this field.
The Award Ceremony Honoring winner enterprises of Proof of Concept Competition 2 (POC2) will be held at Melia Hanoi Hotel on September 20.
The event was attended by Mr. Chu Ngọc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology; Mr. Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam; Mr. Craig Chittick, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam; Mr. Giles Lever, British Ambassador to Vietnam and other representatives of investment funds and international organizations in Hanoi.
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