Enterprise Singapore announced the expansion of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) yesterday, helping Singapore technology startups move into the emerging innovation scene in Vietnam, boosting startup collaborations between Singapore and Vietnam, and creating more internship opportunities for Singapore students in startups and innovative companies in Vietnam.
Memorandum of Understanding to boost collaboration between Singapore startups and Vietnamese counterparts
Enterprise Singapore, Quest Ventures and Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost collaborations between Singapore startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and their counterparts in Vietnam. Under the MOU, the three partners will organise curated programmes to introduce Singapore startups to the innovation ecosystem in HCMC, and connect them to partners, investors and customers in Vietnam.
GIA was launched in 2017 as part of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) recommendations to strengthen Singapore’s connections to major innovation hubs around the world. This will create more opportunities for Singaporeans, students, entrepreneurs and businesses to gain overseas experience, connect, and collaborate with their overseas counterparts.
Quest Ventures is a Singapore-based leading venture fund for companies that have scalability and replicability in large internet communities. Officially opened in 2016, SIHUB is a government-backed agency under the Department of Science and Technology of Ho Chi Minh City focusing on establishing the city into a startup and innovation hub of Southeast Asia.
This will help Singapore startups set up, test-bed and commercialise their solutions, as well as form business partnerships in HCMC and Vietnam. It will also support Vietnamese startups to set up in Singapore.
Targeted to commence in September 2019, the first part of the programme will involve up to ten Singapore startups, with another two runs of the programme expected to take place over the next twelve months.
Singapore Students to participate in Internship programmes in Vietnam
As part of the GIA, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) signed six MOUs with Vietnamese startups. Under the MOU, NP aims to send 100 students over the next two years through its Global Entrepreneurial Internship Programme to undertake internships with their MOU partners, and expose them to the vibrant innovation ecosystem and business scene in HCMC. To support this initiative, NP will also be setting up its first GIA office in HCMC this August.
Vietnam is a growing market for technology startups and SMEs, given the young and increasingly tech-savvy population and strong government support. With the expansion of our GIA network to Ho Chi Minh City, Enterprise Singapore will help Singapore enterprises and startups plug into one of the largest innovation ecosystems in Asia. Said Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore.
“Similarly, we encourage Vietnamese startups to leverage Singapore’s established innovation ecosystem, to connect with multinational corporations (MNCs) and leading Asian enterprises based here to scale their business further.”
Startup exchanges are already happening between Singapore and Vietnam. Last week, a group of 22 Vietnamese students were in Singapore for a startup immersion programme organised by Lead The Change Community, a global community for youths and startups empowering young people by exposing them to entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and networks. The students interacted with the startup community here, and also had the opportunity to pitch ideas to a panel of mentors.
The GIA network now has connections to 11 cities globally – Bangkok in Thailand; Beijing, Suzhou and Shanghai in China; Berlin and Munich in Germany; Jakarta in Indonesia; Paris in France; Tokyo in Japan; San Francisco in the US; and now HCMC in Vietnam.