Enterprise Singapore announced the expansion of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), plugging Singapore technology startups 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.
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 organize curated programs to introduce Singapore startups to the innovation ecosystem in HCMC, and connect them to partners, investors and customers in Vietnam.
This will help Singapore startups set up, test-bed and commercialize 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 cohort of the program will involve up to ten Singapore startups, with another two runs of the program expected to take place over the next twelve months.
As part of the GIA, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) signed six MOUs with Vietnamese startups – namely Alley 51 Ventures, Coder School, ELSA Corp, Lazada Vietnam, SIHUB – and Quest Ventures.
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.
Another partnership sealed today is the MOU signed between Singapore company Finaxar, and Vietnam’s Indovina Bank to improve access to financing for SMEs in Vietnam using a first-in-region, fully online and automated credit financing solution specifically tailored for them. SMEs will be able to access working capital, choosing when and how much financing they need, all online through this partnership.
Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore said, “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. 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 program organized 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.
With HCMC, the GIA network now has connections to 11 cities globally including Bangkok (Thailand), Beijing (China), Berlin (Germany), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Jakarta (Indonesia), Munich (Germany), Paris (France), San Francisco (USA), Shanghai (China), Suzhou (China) and Tokyo (Japan).