Inno Vietnam-Japan Fast Track Pitch 2023 comes to Hanoi

October 25, 2023 | 15:26
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The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), in cooperation with government agencies of Japan and Vietnam, will hold the Inno Vietnam-Japan Fast Track Pitch 2023 in Hanoi on November 3.

According to JETRO, this will be a pathway for startups to collaborate with industry-leading companies and visionaries in ASEAN and Japan.

Project proposals by finalist startups will be given additional points in the selection process of the Asia Digital Transformation (ADX) Promotion Programme. The initiative provides grants of up to ¥50 million (around $334,000).

The Fast Track Pitch is a new platform for startups and companies from ASEAN, Japan, and around the world to co-create and innovate.

At the Fast Track Pitch in Vietnam, leading companies from Vietnam and Japan will provide challenges to solve through collaborations between startups and enterprises. The selected startups will pitch their proposals to the challenge owners and supporters at the finalist pitch event in Hanoi.

It will provide unique business development opportunities for both startups and companies, generating open innovation partnerships in ASEAN.

JETRO has held Fast Track Pitch events in Singapore (April 20) and in Bangkok (August 7), in which more than 700 people from startups, large corporates, investment firms, and supporting organisations participated.

JETRO continues to support open innovation between startups from Japan and ASEAN through various offerings such as J-Bridge.

J-Bridge is a business platform for the creation of cross-border, open innovation, providing services mainly in Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia, the UK and Germany in Europe, and Nigeria in Africa.

Its objective is to cooperate between Japanese companies and overseas startups on the development of new firms, including business and capital alliances.

J-Bridge focuses on mobility, health tech, life sciences, agri tech, retail tech, smart cities, fintech, robotics, information security, digitalisation, renewable energy, and more. So far, more than 1,990 people from more than 1,350 companies are registered on the platform.

At an event themed Startup’s Connecting Hub Pitch and Meet held in Ho Chi Minh City by JETRO on September 8, leading companies from Japan and Vietnam called for proposals to mitigate the challenges and accelerate open innovation with startups.

The event was a meeting place for startups and Japanese businesses, helping them gain a clearer picture of Vietnam's startup ecosystem, as well as better understand the strengths of these startup companies.

It brought together eight potential tech startups from Ho Chi Minh City in the fields of education, energy, health, finance, agriculture, and green technology that were selected by JETRO to present their projects.

Inno Vietnam-Japan Fast Track Pitch 2023 comes to Hanoi

These included Akather (edtech), GoTrust (medtech), Rootopia and Easygop (fintech), Alterno and Strike (greentech), Foodmap (agritech), and TepBac (aquatech).

In addition, the event also drew the participation of large businesses and Japanese investment funds.

In an interview with VIR at the event, Nobuyuki Matsumoto, chief representative of JETRO in Ho Chi Minh City, said that the Vietnamese innovation startup ecosystem has already been built and formed.

"This is a very favourable period and many Japanese investors are interested in cooperating with Vietnamese startups," Matsumoto said.

“The most obvious achievement is that we have contributed to successfully connecting Japanese and Vietnamese businesses. Although the current number of successes is relatively low, the development potential of the Vietnamese market is huge. Vietnamese companies currently have many advantages compared to those in Singapore or Indonesia when looking for investment from Japanese firms,” he said.

According to a recent survey by JETRO, 60 per cent of Japanese companies in Vietnam will expand their businesses in the next 1-2 years. In terms of willingness to expand, Vietnam ranks first in the ASEAN region.

Matsumoto stated that Vietnam's main advantage from a Japanese perspective is the expectation of consumer market expansion due to population growth; however, infrastructure development remains an issue. Many issues continue to pile up, mainly in terms of finance, transportation, logistics, and medical care.

“We choose startups that focus on solving social problems relating to healthcare, education, the environment, and green agriculture, which are areas where there are many problems that need to be solved in Vietnam. Currently, JETRO's network has about 250 startups and this number will be increased to 400 or even 500 in the near future,” he added.

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By Bich Ngoc

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