Vietnamese-French entrepreneur interested in local tourism startups

By Truong Sanh   May 18, 2017 | 03:32 pm GMT+7
Vietnamese-French entrepreneur interested in local tourism startups
Vietnamese-French businessman Pascal Pham.

Tourism is the foundation of startups in Paris, he says.

Vietnamese-French businessman Pascal Pham said he plans to invest in tourism startups in Vietnam.

Club director of leading French communications group Skyboard, Pham said the first element that alerted him to Vietnam was the extraordinary Vietnamese diaspora in Silicon Valley and Europe.

“We live in a global world, in France for example, a Vietnamese was the co-founder of Sparrow which was bought by Google for $25 million. We need to be connected to be successful, from Europe to the U.S., from the U.S. to Southeast Asia.”

The second element was the excellent training computer scientists receive here in Vietnam, making it "a strong international culture and an interesting territory to audit."

The local culture in Vietnam is unchanged but opportunities are growing while risks remain unchanged. Young people are better trained, the economy is part of a growing region, and the appetite for success is confirmed by major groups such as tech giant FPT motivating interest in Vietnam, Pham told VnExpress.

“I want to invest in innovative tourism because it is the DNA of our start-up incubator in Paris,” said Pham.

He is also interested in the Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA), a mechanism that gave him the opportunity to discover the first steps of the innovation ecosystem and create an incubator in Europe a few years ago.

Asked for advice about raising funds for Vietnamese startups, the lecturer from the Sorbonne University said they need a balanced team of expert marketers, good engineers and an international vision from the beginning.

In order to go globally, Vietnamese startups should prepare a tested and effective economic model that does not follow existing models, and make good use of their resources and technology.

A co-founder of the Paris-based T3 Business Forum, which represents tourism, transport and technology startups, Pham said Vietnamese startups can benefit indirectly from a new inflow of capital under new French President Emmanuel Macron's plan to create a huge sovereign fund for startups with Germany.

Southeast Asia has to convert its appeal into success stories in new technologies, and FPT has been leading the way.

“With a strong common goal, Vietnam can become a powerful leader in this exciting quest. Networks are the most underestimated asset. I’m here to bring my network,” he said.