Ho Chi Minh City develops startup ecosystem with $1.3 mln fund

By    May 20, 2016 | 12:04 am PT
Ho Chi Minh City has earmarked VND30 billion ($1.3 million) for a startup investment fund which is expected to provide local entrepreneurs with the funds they need to develop their products, services and technologies.

The fund, which has been raised from individual and institutional investors, is projected to grow to VND100 billion by 2020.

Vietnam is aware that in order to maintain economic momentum, it cannot afford to fall behind in the technology race.

Under increasing pressure to modernize the economy, the Vietnamese government has adopted a series of reforms. In recent years it has encouraged the private sector, in collaboration with state-sponsored sources, to set up venture capital funds so that domestic businesses have more funding options to turn to when they need capital.

IT companies, for example, those developing mobile and web-based applications or those applying advanced technology in agriculture, are welcome to apply for loans from the city’s investment fund, said Truong Ly Hoang Phi, head of the city's startup support center.

Phi added that the fund will be prioritized for those working in the city’s key industries.

This is the city’s first startup investment fund aimed at promoting technological innovation among the city’s business community, said Pham Hong Son, president of Ho Chi Minh City’s Youth Union.

The fund was co-founded by the state-owned Ho Chi Minh City Finance and Investment Company and the Saigon – Hanoi Commercial Bank with the aim of offering incentives to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas.

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