Hanoi, Vietnam – 27 July 2017 – Vietnam’s urban centers are growing at the fastest clip in ASEAN and challenging cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to provide affordable housing, control traffic congestion, manage waste, supply clean water, integrate green spaces and plan sustainably. A new Smart Cities Innovation Challenge is inviting innovative solutions to these challenges from around the world. Through the competition, as many as 20 companies with proven solutions to urban challenges will receive assistance expanding into Vietnam.  

The Smart Cities Innovation Challenge will fly selected company representatives to Da Nang, Vietnam to be matched with program mentors, and to receive guidance from industry champions and real demand-drivers in the cities of Vietnam. Participants will subsequently participate in an eight-week virtual workshop to contextualize and enhance their solutions for applications in Vietnam. The program will culminate with participants returning to Ho Chi Minh City to pitch their solutions to government officials, venture capitalists and other stakeholders. TNB Ventures, a venture capital partner in the Smart Cities Innovation Challenge, will consider Series-A funding for as many as three participants. 

The Challenge’s goal is to see innovative solutions applied to real world challenges in Vietnam’s 800 urban centers. 

Vietnam’s urbanization rate has grown from 20 percent in 1998 to 36.6 percent in 2016. Urban land acreage has increased from 630 square kilometers to 41,700 square kilometers over the same timeframe. Urban land area now comprises 12.6% of the country’s territory. By 2025, Vietnam’s urban centers are expected to number more than 1,000 with more than 52 million inhabitants.   

The Smart Cities Innovation Challenge was created by the Asian Development Bank and Government of Australia-funded Mekong Business Initiative (MBI). It follows a format that MBI pioneered with the highly successful MIST (Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism) and MATCh (Mekong AgriTech Challenge) innovation competitions.  

“By connecting private sector innovators to Vietnamese stakeholders and adapting their solutions to local needs, the Smart Cities Innovation Challenge achieves a public good while grooming excellent, innovative companies.” Said Michael Yap, Founder of TNB 

“Knowing what we know now, it is imperative that the public and private sector come together to create innovative solutions facing infrastructure: road, water, housing or otherwise to meet the demands of Vietnamese who move to cities to improve their quality of life,” said Dominic Mellor, senior ADB economist and head of the MBI. 

Applications will be accepted through 12 September 2017 at the website https://www.smartcityvn.com/



About Mekong Business Initiative  

The MBI is an advisory facility that promotes private sector development in Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, and Vietnam. MBI fosters development of the innovation ecosystem by supporting innovation in key verticals, access to finance, and constructive dialogue between entrepreneurs and governments. It is supported by the Government of Australia and the Asian Development Bank. On the web: www.mekongbiz.org. 


About TNB Ventures 

TNB Ventures is the next generation multi-stage venture capital platform. The firm is founded by experienced veterans in their respective fields, who have all started and successfully exited their own startups.  TNB partners have been actively contributing to the development of the startup ecosystem. With a proven entrepreneurial and fund management track record, TNB aim to be the preferred partner for corporates and institutions looking to build innovation capacities. 

 For more information, visit www.tnb.vc