Thanks to digital technologies, only one single product we produce can have an unlimited amount of customers. In the context of the current digital economy, that Vietnam’s traditional advantages are not fully made use of offers huge amount of potential opportunities for Innovative Startups. This will be substantial for a country with more than 90 million of people characterized by the dynamism and openness of the domestic market as Vietnam is integrating with the region and the globe.
Recently, in response to the radical efforts of the new government through a series of firm actions and strong commitments to promoting the private business sector and the National Strategy on Startup, the Working Group on Start-up of the Private Sector Forum conducted an assessment of the current status of the Startup and Innovation Ecosystem (SIS) – a series of innovative activities which are relatively new to Vietnam’s society, economy and political.
The existing questions with the Vietnam’s Startup and Innovation Ecosystem include 1) the possibility to effectively bring into play the outstanding intelligence of Vietnam’s young people in connection with domestic and international support; 2) which model Vietnam’s SIS would adopt: the Silicon Valley or Israel’s Startup Nation, or appearance of e-commerce billionaire like Jack Ma? 3) when Vietnam’s innovation and globalization directions for a new economy are demonstrated by a healthy private sector and Startup? 4) when Vietnam’s young people will regularly pray for their business failures and be ready to speak up about their lessons learned from the business-doing process? 5) when Vietnam’s Startup culture can really gather all stakeholders in the SIS to jointly work and turn Vietnam into a Startup Nation which is characterized by its traditions but able to generate high-quality Made-in-Vietnam products and services? 6) when Angel Investors and Venture Capitals are welcomed with a clear and specific legal mechanism which can enable cash flow into Vietnam to incentivize the speeding up of Startups?
In order to lay a foundation for the development of a Startup and Innovation Ecosystem (SIS), what should be done in the near future includes 1) to implement the realize the private sector’s responsibilities to the Startup Nation Strategy; 2) to advocate for the development of supporting policies and start-up enabling environment; 3) to bring into play business mind of national and international entrepreneurs; 4) to set up a forum for businesses to share and exchange of business knowledge among entrepreneurs and startups; 5) to form an alliance to leverage resources from stakeholders in the economic, investment, political, society, and international organizations to support and provide the best boost to promote to effective startups.
Throughout this process, SIS plays a significant role for Renovation and Innovation, including 1) light up and motivate innovation spirit in all aspect and during every step of doing business; 2) pave the way and provide the most to Innovation in the context of constant changes in the economy and new and advanced technologies; 3) create linkages with relevant stakeholders to commercialize Innovation Outcomes and further reform to keep pace with the globalization trend; 4) the Startup and Innovation Community is determined to make the best of each individual’s capacity and each organization’s strengths in the SIS in order to make more products, deliver more services as well as add more material and emotional values to the society, community, contributing to the national economic development to keep pace with other countries regionally and internationally.
In order to achieve these objectives, it is suggested that:
- The government set up a legal framework to govern innovative startups which recognizes angel investors, engages community capital and venture capital; develop incentives in terms of tax and intellectual property for Startup during the first three (3) years of operation;
- The Government establish a focal agency based on the existing Vietnam Center of Startup Culture. That agency will have a contact point in each ministry/sector; set up a National website for Innovative Startups to collect adequate data, resources from Startup and Innovation Ecosystem.
- International organizations in cooperation with Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Embassies in Vietnam and the Private Sector Forum provide support to the development of physical and spiritual infrastructure, funding, technical assistance to implement diversified activities to support Innovative Startups
- International organizations in coordination with relevant stakeholders support the formulation and development of a Startup and Innovation Ecosystem in Vietnam
- Renovation and Innovation Funds simplify procedures to consider and decide on fund appropriations or loans to Startup activities and Innovation agencies;
- Business associations perform their missions to train Startup seeds to become a team of future entrepreneurs
- Establish a network of startup advisors and mentors who can share success and failure lessons to enhance confidence, and relieve young people and startups from their failure-phobia, and promote start-ups in any all forms
- Develop a clear coordination to balance, prevent group interest and conflict of interest among different parties in the Startup and Innovation Ecosystem
On the basis of these practical actions, Vietnam’s Startup Nation Strategy will be able to mobilize diversified resources and contribution both nationally and internationally for the development of a Startup and Innovation Ecosystem, promote the genius and talents of Vietnamese people, and provide create added values for the economy, society, community and the nation as well as to firmly step out to the national and global markets.