Vietnamese accelerator helps launch 11 startups

By VnExpress   October 30, 2017 | 04:00 am PT
Vietnamese accelerator helps launch 11 startups
Members of 11 startups graduating from VIISA mentorship program on October 25.
VIISA has invested $30,000 into each company and provided technical resources, office space and access to world class mentors and investors.

The second batch of startups from the Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA) graduated on October 25 after three months of mentorship under prominent venture capitalists and entrepreneurs from the region.

The graduation ceremony for 11 startups was held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Ho Chi Minh City, and attended by more than 100 investors, corporate partners and mentors.

Over the last three months, the startups have worked hard to create products that fit market demands and prove that they have scalable, repeatable business models. The teams got to work closely with investors such as Spiral Ventures (Japan), and join office hours mentorship with the Startup Ecosystem team from Amazon Web Services and the CFO of Microsoft Vietnam, among others.

Dr Le Hoang Anh, chairman of VIISA and managing partner of Dragon Capital, said that VIISA had become surprisingly well-known in the region in a short space of time.

He said the launch of the different startups was a “testament” to the hard work and support from VIISA, government officials and corporate partners. “I am excited for the journey ahead.”

The 11 startups range from sales and advertisement platforms, food and delivery services to training a platform for jobseekers and an AI tool that reads emotions to convert texts into stickers. The teams are from Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea and Ukraine.

Mr Sangyeop KANG, investment officer at Hanwha Investment, said the diversity of the new startups means the foreign teams have been able to expand their businesses in Vietnam while offering global insight to the Vietnamese companies.

VIISA has invested $30,000 into each company and provided technical resources, office accommodation and access to more than 100 world class mentors and investors. Promising teams also get up to $200,000 in follow-up funding.

Two startups from batch 1 secured funding on the same day. Wisepass raised $400,000 in seed funding led by Expara Ventures, followed by $100,000 from VIISA, while Wefit raised a round of $150,000 from ESP Capital and VIISA.

Mr Tran Huu Duc, CEO of VIISA, and Head of FPT Ventures, said that the second batch of startups has continued the momentum started by founding partners FPT, Dragon Capital and Hanwha, and batch three is highly anticipated.

Batch three will start their mentorship in January 2018 and interested entrepreneurs can start applying now.

VIISA will invest up to $6 million into building global startups from Vietnam. It is a partnership of Dragon Capital, Hanoi-based telecommunications firm FPT and Hanwha Investment, together with commercial partners Asia Counsel, BIDV, Tam An Tax and CirCo Co-working Space.

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