Start-up businesses have become more important to the Vietnamese economy in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, their size and quality have remained modest compared to their potential. They need support from incubators and investors, who are able to provide advice and opinions so they can maximise their capability. Vu Anh Tuan, director of the Quang Trung Software Business Incubator, talks to Viet Nam News about the issue
What have start-ups been doing with the support of the Quang Trung Software Business Incubator (QTSC Incubator)? How many start-up projects has the incubator assisted so far?
QTSC Incubator has been developing a high-quality incubator to support and foster software and IT businesses to overcome challenges, difficulties and risks in their early stages.
QTSC Incubator has also helped develop the software industry and turned it into a spearhead sector for the Vietnamese economy. The sector is expected to generate sustainable economic growth, create new jobs, establish a national information–technology brand and encourage young Vietnamese businesses and individuals to make the best use of their intelligence. QTSC Incubator encourages the formation of IT and software businesses in HCM City.
The incubator has helped foster nearly 50 software companies and a lot of them are successful businesses such as BTM, DMG, Symbio, Ambition, Solid Line, Hana and Taxi. Software products developed at QTSC Incubator are diverse and include solutions for the retail and data warehouse segments developed by BTM – one of a small number of professional software solutions that serve retailers in HCM City.
On September 12, 2018, Go-Ixe was licensed by HCM City’s Department of Transport to test an application that focuses on managing and connecting passenger transportation in the city. Since then, Go-Ixe has explored eight provinces including Bac Giang, Thanh Hoa, Lang Son, Can Tho and An Giang. The company has won the trust and support of local people in those provinces.
How do you assess the start-up community in HCM City? What are its strengths and weaknesses? What do you think we should do to help strengthen this community?
New businesses are getting better in both size and quality. Many creative ideas have met the demands of the city and its community. A lot of them have been realised and used by various sectors such as hi-tech, environment, health care, education, transport, trade and e-commerce and customer care.
HCM City’s start-up community has their own advantages such as enthusiasm, intellectuality and passion, and they are up to date with the world’s technological advancements. However, as they often receive little support, some of their ideas are not practical and do not come to fruition. Those ideas have lowered the quality of the start-up community in the eyes of investors and have cost those start-ups time, money and opportunities.
To help start-ups develop, the Government needs to issue policies that better meet their needs. Besides, the outcomes of start-up businesses should be known broadly whether they are failures or successes. The start-up community should know the policies and regulations that the city and Government issue, and they should join support units like incubators, start-up acceleration centres and mentor establishments.
How do start-up businesses help turn HCM City into a smart city and assist local companies in their digital transformations?
Start-up ideas and initiatives have contributed many things to the city’s development, especially helping to turn the city into a smart region by developing applications that are used in administration, transport, education, healthcare, environmental protection and agriculture.
Start-up initiatives have developed solutions to help each enterprise in the context of fast digital transformation, which is affecting the competitiveness of the Vietnamese business community. With those ideas, local companies are able to develop new models and methods that could help them survive in the era of Industry 4.0 and compete with foreign companies in both domestic and overseas markets.
What will QTSC Incubator do in the future to promote start-up ideas and initiatives?
Since 2017, QTSC Incubator has participated in a programme named SpeedUp 2019 launched by the city People’s Committee and Department of Science and Technology. It has also worked to support the development of the AIoT ecosystem – an instrument to help the city meet its development plan.
In the near future, the incubator will co-operate with other agencies to hold the AIoT and Smart Cities Contest, which underlines the efforts of the Department of Science and Technology, incubators and the start-up ecosystem management board. The incubator will contribute to the organisation of the annual Start-up Initiative Week launched by the city People’s Committee and the Department of Science and Technology.
We will also hold 10 talks between start-up businesses, incubators and students to publicise our policies for fostering start-up businesses. In addition, the incubator also helps start-up projects draw capital from investors and assists in the development of the city’s ICT start-up community. — VNS