Social impacts key success factor for Vietnamese startups: experts

By Khanh Anh   December 2, 2020 | 08:14 pm GMT+7
Social impacts key success factor for Vietnamese startups: experts
Entrepreneurs attend the Gala Startup Viet 2020 in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2020. Photo by VnExpress.
Vietnamese startups using technology to create positive and sustainable impacts on the larger community have higher chances to succeed, experts say.

Le Diep Kieu Trang, a popular entrepreneur in Vietnam’s tech industry and founder of private equity firm Alabaster, said while many entrepreneurs focus on short-term benefits, those who can deliver products and services that are both profitable and have a positive influence on society are usually more well-received by the public.

Trang, one of the judges of the Startup Viet Gala 2020, a competition hosted by VnExpress Wednesday for young entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and raise funds, said many youngsters think creating an app is by itself guarantees success, but in reality, attracting users to the app is the key and this is not easy.

"Apps only have impacts if they can attract users," she reiterated.

Truong Gia Binh, chairman of tech giant FPT, said although technology is very important and the modern entrepreneur needs to have knowledge of artificial intelligence and Big Data, the most important knowledge is about humans.

"Startups need to know what value are you bringing and to whom."

To succeed, entrepreneurs also need to find the right teammates and persevere. "No matter how many times you fail, stand up again," he said.

Other experienced entrepreneurs also said that being persistent was very important. Phan Xuan Canh, CEO of recruitment platform Viec.Co, said in order to achieve a vision, startups will have to try different paths and fail, and perseverance is needed to go through the process.

As a judge at Startup Viet Gala 2020, Trang said she prefers startups that can bring a new and breakthrough product to the table with high technological application, and the company needs to be able to expand its market throughout Vietnam and the world.

"If your business model does not survive in Vietnam, I don’t think you can survive overseas."

Step out of comfort zone

The problem with many startups in Vietnam is that they try to improve on the traditional business model with modern technology without bringing in any breakthrough idea, and those that only do this will not attract investments, she added.

Trang said she wants Vietnamese startups to think bigger. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has caused major difficulties in most sectors, it has also opened new doors for startups, not just in the Vietnamese market, but the world as a whole, she said.

Entrepreneurs who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and take this opportunity to move forward with more emphasis on the online market will have bigger advantages, she added.

Startup Viet 2020 Gala seeks to identify the best 15 startups in Vietnam and award them with a prize pool of VND3 billion ($130,000).

The winner of the competition on Wednesday was Tep Bac, which provides management and analysis services for seafood farms using technology. Other notable startups in the top five were Drone Pro, a provider of delivery services using drones, and BioStarch, which produces environment-friendly plastic bags using a mixture of cassava powder and primary microplastics for fast decomposition.

 
 
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