Aiming for a GDP growth of 6.2 per cent in 2015, Vietnam is the third-fastest growing country in ASEAN. Factors like rising affluence and prosperity, greater ease of doing business, wider Internet and mobile connectivity, and a robust community of startups contribute to a fertile group for the startup ecosystem to flourish.
If you’re thinking about basing your startup in Vietnam, expanding into the market, or if you have a general curiosity of the programmes available, here is our list of tech accelerators and incubators in Vietnam, in no particular order. This list is not definitive and will be updated with more information as it comes to us.
Startup incubators and accelerators in Vietnam
Regions/Location: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
About: Developed by the Ministry of Science and Technology in conjunction with the Vietnamese Government, the accelerator accepts raw startups with just an idea, to companies with a significant user numbers and prior investment. It focusses on online gaming, mobile applications, e-commerce, e-learning, technology-applied businesses and digital media sectors.
Programme details: Four-month intensive programme. Funding amount ranges from US$10,000 – US$25,000, with 10 per cent equity taken. Legal and business consulting, along with office space is provided. Startups get a chance to pitch to angel investors, and local and global venture capitalists at the end of the programme.
Regions/Location: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
About: The Founder Institute is run by online education website Topica. The programme offers practical business-building assignments, structured training courses and expert feedback. The company’s mission is to ‘Globalise Silicon Valley’ and build sustainable startup ecosystems that will create one million new jobs worldwide. The accelerator has incubated over three batches of startups, launched 1310 companies with an 87.5 per cent survival rate.
Programme details: It is a 15-week, part-time programme.
3. Egg Agency
Regions/Location: Binh Thanh District – The Manor 2, 91 Nguyen Huu Canh, HCMC
About: Part digital agency, part accelerator, it is focussed on disrupting the accelerator model in Asia. The company offers startups mentorship, facilities, as well as access to a pool, spa, gym and a bar.
Programme details: It takes 15-35 per cent of a startup’s equity for an almost guaranteed liquidation event or future funding round.
4. X-Incubator (Pandora)
About: X-Incubator is a small incubator programme with a unique concept; each startup gets only US$15 in funding. The goal of X-Incubator is to provide resources for a startup to make a useful product. Currently, one out of the three startups under X-Incubator is in operation.
Programme details: Three-month programme. Funding amount given is US$15. If the startup launches, X-incubator takes one per cent of the company’s shares and uses it to reinvest in the company. Offers consultations on product strategy, UI / UX, technology, marketing, as well as using all appropriate communication channels to support the introduction to the first 10,000 users when product launches.
Regions/Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Singapore
About: IDG Ventures has a history of working with early-stage companies. It typically invests in companies with a focus on consumer technology, media and ICT sectors.
Programme details: With US$100 million under management, IDGVV helps entrepreneurs grow innovative companies on a global basis. They provide strategic guidance, business development, marketing and recruitment support.
Regions/Location: Ho Chi Minh City
About: DFJ VinaCapital is part of the VinaCapital family of funds, as well as a member of the Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) network. DFJ VinaCapital focusses on technology companies that cater to the Vietnamese consumer, and utilise the Vietnamese workforce as a supplier of goods and services.
Programme details: Uses networks to provide support and partnerships for investee companies. Generally invests in later stage companies.
Regions/Location: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city
About: The programme started in 2011, is backed by one of Vietnam’s largest e-commerce companies. It has accepted five startups so far.
Programme details: No exact programme period as it depends on nature of the startup. Funding amount can range up to US$1 million. Startups will get to leverage on Vat Gia’s e-commerce and platform resources.
Regions/Location: China, Japan, Vietnam
About: CyberAgent Ventures is a venture capital firm that provides financial support for startups specialising in the Internet businesses, especially e-commerce.
Programme details: It finances companies at various stages from seed to the early stages.
Regions/Location: Ho Chi Minh City- 04 Phan Thuc Duyen Street, Ward 4,Tan Binh District
About: This investment firm focusses on seed stage investments for nacscent startups in areas such as education, cloud computing, green food, high tech and social media.
Programme details: Invests US$2000 – US$7000 during ideation stage, US$20,000 – US$45,000 at seed stage, and up to US$250,000 for Series A.
Location: Ho Chi Minh City
About: The SHTP Incubation Center currently has four startups under its belt. It looks at starups specialising in verticals such as robotics and smart home technology.
Programme details: Presently, the incubator is not looking for more startups but concentrating on launching current startups.
11. Mekong Capital
Location: Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi
About: Mekong Capital is a Vietnam-focussed private equity firm, specialising in consumer-driven businesses. The firm’s investee companies are in Vietnam’s consumer-driven sectors such as retail, restaurants, consumer products and distribution.
Programme details: It has has a few funding schemes available, namely Mekong Enterprise Fund, Mekong Enterprise Fund II and the Vietnam Azalea Fund.
About: 5DESIRE is a Vietnamese incubator and consulting firm, focussing on information and communication technologies. 5DESIRE seeks startups concentrating in the IT field in Southeast Asia
Programme details: Offers consultations and coaching on product development, technology and business strategy, as well as participation in 5DESIRE events such as Investment Hour and Global Expert Sharing. Equity and/or consultant fee varies.
13. Hatch! Program
Location: Hanoi- 7th Floor, No 15, Lane 150, Ho Ba Mau Str. Dong Da
About: Hatch! Program is a NGO and consists of three pillars: community building, startup incubating and seed funding. In 2014, it piloted its very first incubation programme, to provide direct mentorship for startups in Vietnam.
Programme details: Three-month programme where each startup is matched with one to three mentors with different expertise. Offers to help refine business plans, provide insights, knowledge and experience in a specific field, as well as expand the startup’s network.
About: Hub.IT is a co-working space dedicated to startups, entrepreneurs and freelancers in the creative digital IT industry, recently launching an incubation programme as well.
Programme details: Six-month programme. Offers training in public speaking, market penetration, and business modeling. It also taps startups into a network of mentors, networking events, and workshops.
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