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SMU forges partnerships to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Vietnam

SMU forges partnerships to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Vietnam

According to recent announcement, the Institute of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (IIE) of Singapore Management University (SMU) has signed two
Memoranda of Understanding to share its experience in promoting innovation and
entrepreneurship with Vietnam.

The partnerships aim
to strengthen innovation & entrepreneurship networks between Singapore and
Vietnam, and unlock the full potential of Vietnamese businesses and start-ups

The two MOUs were signed by SMU President Professor Arnoud
De Meyer, President of University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH) Professor
Nguyen Dong Phong, and Mr Don Lam, CEO and Co-Founder of Vina Capital, and Mr
Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of the Private Sector Development Committee (PSDC) in
the presence of Prime Minister of Vietnam His Excellency Nguyen Xuan Phuc, during
his visit to SMU.

Professor Arnoud De Meyer, President of SMU, commented that “UEH
and SMU’s business school are alike in both specialising in management
education, with a strong interest in innovation and entrepreneurship”.

“Both run large-scale competitions in entrepreneurship and
innovation, such as the annual Dynamics competition at UEH and the Lee Kuan Yew
Global Business Plan Competition at SMU by IIE. The Lee Kuan Yew Competition,
which is the biggest of its kind in East Asia, allows us to convene some of the
best talents and ideas from around the world. With SMU and UEH partnering
together, we will be even greater than the sum of our parts and have the
potential to make a large joint impact in Vietnam and across Southeast Asia,”
he added.

Joint institute of innovation and
entrepreneurship

The first MOU, signed between SMU, UEH and Vina Capital, seeks
to support entrepreneurial students and startups based in both countries to
connect to new networks, partners, and overseas markets.

The three parties agreed to collaborate to set up and
support the operation of a joint institute of innovation and entrepreneurship
at UEH in Vietnam. 

UEH will establish and operate the Joint Institute, applying
the operating model of IIE. It will contribute its human resources, expertise
and physical facilities for the establishment and operation of the Joint
Institute, while SMU will share the operating model of IIE with UEH in the
establishment and operation of the Joint Institute.

In this partnership, SMU will act as the knowledge partner,
contributing its relevant human resources, domain expertise and networks to
establish the Joint Institute and its programme offerings.

Vina Capital is launching a new S$100 million tech fund,
which will support start-ups under the Joint Institute as well as promising
tech start-ups across Vietnam.

The three partners will co-organise events and activities to
support and nurture the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore
and Vietnam. They also plan to jointly facilitate internship placements for
entrepreneurial students from SMU and/or Vietnam to start-ups in Vietnam.

Report on ways to
enhance innovation and entrepreneurship environment in Vietnam

The second MOU was signed between SMU, UEH and PSDC to look
into preparing a report for the Vietnam government, proposing solutions that
would enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship environment in Vietnam based
on Singapore’s experiences.

“Responding to the Prime Minister's call for building the
spirit of a start-up nation and the Government's guidelines in supporting the
business community, the University of Economics HCMC has been fostering its
support and research activities to understand models of business development
and innovation around the world. The initiatives covered by the MOUs will allow
us to further support Vietnamese start-ups to succeed and foster their
innovation activities,” said Professor Nguyen Dong Phong, President of UEH.

During his visit, Prime Minister Phuc also visited the
Business Innovations Generator (BIG) managed by IIE, interacted with start-ups
founded by Vietnamese which are incubated by BIG, met with Vietnamese students
currently studying at SMU as well as selected start-ups incubated by BIG with
business operations in Vietnam.

In the past decade, IIE has incubated over 180 start-ups. It
is one of the Singapore Government’s accredited mentor partners, selected for
its financial and industry knowledge, and ability to value-add to start-ups in
the form of mentorship, connections to business networks, and advice on
go-to-market strategies.

This year marks the 45th year of the
establishment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Vietnam. At the
invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong., Prime Minister Phuc’s official
visit
to Singapore took place from 25 to 27 April 2018.

As reported
earlier
, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)  recently established partnerships
for Fintech innovation and banking supervision. The MOU on financial
innovation will facilitate joint innovation projects, help Fintech
companies better understand the regulatory regimes, and encourage
information sharing on emerging Fintech trends and developments. MAS and SBV
also revised their existing MOU on banking supervision to enhance cooperation
in crisis management.