HCMC Tech Startup Conference 2012Tran Manh Cong, co-director of TOPICA Founder Institute in Vietnam, shares about the recent tech startup awards in Vietnam and how the technology scene is evolving in the country.

Vietnam’s startup scene is heating up that bringing in more valuable knowledge with the  HCMC Tech Startup Conference 2012, held on January 26th, 2013. Appota was honored as the most potential startup. Appota is a mobile content market platform that distributes applications, films, e-books and games from developers and content providers to mobile users. The second, third and fourth prizes were given to Yton, Imap, Hoayeuthuong. Two other businesses, hellochao and canbannhanh, received the most votes from IT business startup community.

Presentation of Mr. Do Tuan Anh, CEO Appota

Presentation by Mr. Do Tuan Anh, CEO Appota

This competition is only for tech startups which has products or services younger than three years old. It is the first year the startup community in Vietnam held a big event like this to honor the young tech businesses. 23 startups were nominated, 11 made it to the semi-final round, and four startups pitched at the final round before a panel of judges. Based on the specific criteria, the judges chose the best startup.

This is the first time, young business startups are honored

This is the first time young business startups are honored

The event saw the gathering of top tech minds, venture capitalists, and other amazing entrepreneurs in Vietnam. More than 200 people attended the conference which was an opportunity to review Vietnam’s startup scene in 2012 and specially honor technology startups.

More than 200 people attended the event

More than 200 people attended the event

Some of the people to grace the event included: Mr. Pham Hop Pho – Senior Associate, IDG Ventures Vietnam, Mr. Phan Sao Nam – Chairman, VTC Online, Nguyen Manh Dung- Chief Representative, Cyber Agent Ventures; Mr. Pham Minh Tuan – Chairman, TOPICA Education Group, Mr. Le Tran Bao Duy – General Partner, Vietnam Prosperous Investment Corporation. They were also the judges who selected the Top 5 technology startups to honor. In particular, Mr. Phan Minh Tan, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Science & Technology Department, and Ms Luong Bich Ngoc, Editor in Chief of Khampha.vn, attended as guests of honor.

A video that summarises major events in the tech startup community in 2012 was shown at the conference. View the video here.

Panel discussion with the judges

Panel discussion with the judges

The conference discussed technology startup trends in 2013 with five of the above-mentioned people. For 2013, tech startups in Vietnam should get ready for various aspects. These are namely developing products and designing business models for steady and stable growth. The topics presented and discussed at the conference ranged from global overviews of entrepreneurship to drill downs of new venture lessons. Attendees got to hear from successful, high-impact entrepreneurs on their founding stories and how they lead their respective companies to what it is today. Mr Nguyen Manh Dung of CyberAgent Ventures advised entrepreneurs, “Be practical! Don’t over-dream! Startups need to find out the key issues, what products and services are provided for most of Vietnamese market”.

For more information, you can visit the TOPICA Founder Institute website.

About the author

Mr Tran Manh Cong is Co-Director of TOPICA Founder Institute/ Founder Institute Vietnam. Previously, he served as Director at Startups Incubator .,JSC, and President at BINGO Vietnam (Business Incubation of Global Organisations, Vietnam chapter).