The Vietnam startup ecosystem is a fascinating thing. Ranked 90th in World Bank’s ease of doing business, the country’s startups are growing in strength especially as the government introduced new initiatives to build and support sustainable and advanced environments for them.
The home of the viral Flappy Bird, Vietnam’s young population (with 54 per cent under the age of 30) has a high entrepreneurial spirit and an enthusiasm for technology. Add to that the availability of funding from various VCs, the entry of accelerators/incubators, and the rise of coworking spaces and communities, the country is on its way to becoming a hotspot for tech entrepreneurship in the region.
As with anything, the startup and business ecosystem is only as good as the people running it. So, here is a quick list of 9 CEOs you should know in Vietnam.
Truong Gia Binh
Vietnam has a high-skilled, low-cost workforce, but as borders move, it will be easy for Vietnamese engineers to travel abroad. We have to be careful to retain talent to work with us.
Vietnamese businessman Truong Gia Binh is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of FPT Corporation, the country’s leading IT firm. He also headed the establishment of Vietnam’s first private university, the FPT University. In 2012, he was appointed member of the National Council for Sustainable Development and Competitiveness Building, a council tasked to develop strategies and key policies to set the framework for the country’s sustainable development. Truong Gia Binh was awarded as one of Vietnam’s Top 10 ICT Persons of the Decade. He was also awarded the Nikkei Asia Prize in 2013.
Vu Viet Hung
We want to contribute to making financial information in Vietnam more transparent.
The founder and CEO of fintech startup BangkGo, Vu Viet Hung has over 10 years of experience in financial services and has founded and headed several organisations including UB Academy and the largest bankers forum, U&Bank Community. The former manager of several Vietnamese banks launched the financial comparison startup with co-founder Cong Tran in March 2016. BankGo is currently working with 37 banks on open beta.
Dang Hoang Minh
The hardest thing was to build a community. The technology part was very simple.
Foody.vn CEO Dang Hoang Minh got a double degree in Information System and Software Engineering from the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia before moving back to Vietnam. He went on business analysis stints in various companies before launching Foody.vn. Foody.vn is a restaurant discovery and review app launched in 2012. In 2015, the startup has announced both Series B and Series C funding within a space of one month.
If I can make this idea reality, I will revolutionize the whole transportation and tourism industry in Vietnam.
VeXeRe founder and CEO Van Tran is a MBA candidate of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in the United States when he went back to Vietnam to launch the bus ticketing company. An active student, Van Tran was a member of the Toast Master Club, serving as Vice-President while a student, and was a teaching assistant for Global Strategy, Global Economics, and Global Leadership. Putting his MBA on hold, Van Tran currently heads the development and expansion of VeXeRe, who claims to be Vietnam’s largest online bus ticketing system with a network of over 1000 bus operators.
Nguyen Minh Thao
If there is failure, it does not matter. Look to go forward to the road ahead.
Before launching Umbala Labs in 2015, Nguyen Minh Thao has founded mobile and web outsourcing company CNC Software. He was also the co-founder and CEO of CNC Mobile, which raised seed funding from CyberAgent Ventures Vietnam and created mobile social app services. Currently based on California, Nguyen Minh Thao heads Umbala Labs, an interactive mobile music discovery and video creation platform. Umbala has won several awards including Best New App by Apple editors choices, Forbes Startup Contest 2015, and Israel Startups 2014.
Luong Duy Hoai
Even if you do not invest in technology, you will still survive but certainly not in a game where big changes in the market happen quickly.
Giao Hang Nhanh co-founder and CEO Luong Duy Hoai has a degree in Computer Science from the HCMC University of Technology and had a one-year stint as a developer in Australia before diving into the world of supply chain and logistics. After a quick stint as the director for supply chain in e-commerce website thegioididong.com, he went on to launch Giao Hang Nhanh (which means Fast Delivery) in 2012. With Luong Duy Hoai at the helm, the delivery service provider for e-commerce has achieved deliver coverage of 98 per cent of the geographical area of Vietnam and is in the top 3 last-mile delivery services provider.
Progress each day or leave the game.
Beeketing founder and CEO Quan Truong is a serial entrepreneur. He has founded 3 other companies (Sieu Web, Selling Tribe, and Brodev) in Vietnam, all of which deal with B2B solutions for sales and marketing, before going on a 9-month stint as CEO of Social Commerce Ninja in the United States. In 2014, Quon Truong launched Beeketing, a marketing platform that aids e-commerce companies in creating marketing campaigns through automation. Currently, Beeketing has 35,000 business users globally. Quan Truong was in Forbes Vietnam’s 30 under 30 list in 2016.
Dao Xuan Hoang
I wanted to do something challenging, have more breakthroughs, and bring high value to society.
A graduate of Sydney University of Technology in Australia, Dao Xuan Hoang holds a degree in Software Engineering and has co-founded community and platform BH Media Ltd, which focused on e-commerce, software, and news. Dao Xuan Hoang became passionate about early education after the birth of his first daughter and left BH Media to develop Monkey Junior, a comprehensive programme that teaches children how to read and learn languages at an early age. With Dao Xuan Hoang at the helm, Monkey Junior has went on to win as the champion of the Global Innovation through Science and Technology Tech in 2016, is the highest ranked literacy app on multiple online app stores, and has reached over 200,000 users in 100 countries.
Talents prefer long-term values to short-term ones. They always want to dedicate and challenge themselves with new things and make a big impact, rather than just caring about income and regular benefits.
Hung Tran was working as a private tutor when he got the idea for Tutor Universe, a platform that connects tutors and students as well as provides tools for online tutoring and payments. After evaluating the market, however, Hung Tran and his team shifted focus to the mobile app market and resulted to the development of GotIT!, an on-demand learning app that specialises in online learning, collaboration, and social learning. A scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Hung Tran received his Doctorate degree in Computer Science from the University of Iowa where he also had a stint as a Visiting Assistant Professor in 2013. Currently GotIT! has a network of 40,000 study experts across the globe mostly in the fields of math, chemistry, and physics.
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