AWS expands Public Sector Startup Ramp in SE Asia

September 20, 2021 | 10:00
Startups in Vietnam and Southeast Asia are expected to venture further into public sector industries with innovative solutions thanks to the brand-new launch of the Public Sector Startup Ramp from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
AWS expands Public Sector Startup Ramp in SE Asia
Med247

Med247, a Vietnamese startup that operates a medical app and care facilities across Vietnam, is offering free telehealth services to people in locked down areas in Vietnam, especially in the south, to help them access healthcare during COVID-19.

The company has developed a hybrid platform that combines traditional health models with telemedicine technology via an app for patients and doctors to bring affordable healthcare to all, and to scale up and optimise on the resources.

AWS expands Public Sector Startup Ramp in SE Asia
Tuan Truong, Co-Founder and CEO, Med247

Tuan Truong, co-founder and CEO of Med247, told VIR, “AWS has helped us reach out to citizens through innovative ways to stay healthy by using an affordable and convenient platform. With it, we can pivot from primary care to maintaining the wellbeing of modern families, and with machine learning we are able to better predict diseases and implement preventive care quickly and accurately.

Med247 is one of the beneficiaries of the AWS Public Sector Startup Ramp, which was unveiled in Southeast Asia on September 14. This new programme for early-stage startups building solutions in health, digital government, smart cities, agriculture, and space technology is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs as they build, launch, and grow.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of digital transformation in the public sector, and how startups can have an important role in helping governments to deliver on their missions with speed and scale.

Citizens and residents across Southeast Asia are expecting the way that they engage with healthcare and education and government to be at that same level as people can do elsewhere. This prompted public sector organisations to transform the way that they deliver their services to citizens. And startups can help solve public sector challenges with innovative solutions.

AWS expands Public Sector Startup Ramp in SE Asia
Sam Harris, Lead of Regional Public Sector Startup for Asia-Pacific and Japan, AWS

“This is what we hope will allow public sector organisations across Southeast Asia to tap into the innovation that’s created and supported through this programme. We’re going to offer this programme with founders and startups to solve their challenges,” said Sam Harris, lead of Regional Public Sector Startup for Asia-Pacific and Japan at AWS.

AWS Startup Ramp removes barriers for entrepreneurs who want to make an impact in the public sector by providing technical design and architecture reviews, mentorship, credits, and support with go-to-market plans to help navigate the complex regulatory and security requirements in the public sector.

Startups in their earliest stages finding their market can apply to become Startup Ramp innovators, and those focused on growth and scale can apply to become Startup Ramp members to access the programme’s benefits.

With these benefits, this programme is expected to support many startups in the region, particularly in Vietnam, where the growing ecosystem is still facing some challenges in finance, experience, and skills. In Vietnam, innovation has been considered a critical factor in speeding up the nation’s economic growth, and startups are no doubt the driving force in that long term strategy.

According to Harris, two of the main benefits of the programme are financial and technical support. “We want to provide promotional credits and other financial support for startups. From a skills and experience perspective, we do want to connect founders from across the region to help accelerate knowledge transfer and provide sponsor training from an AWS to help them to scale and take advantage of all benefits that Med247 and others in the region have gained.”

Harris added from his perspective, Vietnam is on the map of every single investor, not just regionally but globally. “So, as a founder, your key responsibility is to prepare your company and make sure that you are hitting the right metrics, solving the right problems, and attracting the right talents for financial investments to come in,” he explained.

“Many people think that it’s a chicken and egg problem for these things to fall in place. But the reality is there are a lot more things that the founder is in control of and that would eventually attract investments into the company. And that’s what the founders need to focus on.”

With the launch of the AWS Public Sector Startup Ramp, startups in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam are now beginning their new journey to build and grow ahead.

Like Med247, Singapore-based SpaceAge Labs, an early-stage technology startup, is providing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to manage remote assets and operations in the urban water and landscape services industries, using AWS IoT and machine learning technologies.

Deepak Pitta, CEO of SpaceAge Labs said, “AWS has enabled us to drive our mission of making public works more efficient. The technical expertise and funding support provided by the AWS Startup Ramp will go some way in supporting early-stage startups like us to grow and scale quickly, and remain focused on supporting customers.”

By Bich Thuy

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