KVision launches hackathon to co-innovate with Vietnamese startups

May 24, 2019 | 14:26
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The event targets startups with products or ideas to tackle finance and business challenges facing the Vietnamese and ASEAN economies. Bringing together KBank’s expertise in regional banking, $245 million of funding from KVision, local know-how of VIISA, and innovative ideas from local startups, the aim is to drive synergies that will spur cutting-edge solutions that create value and drive growth in Vietnam and the wider region.
kvision launches hackathon to co innovate with vietnamese startups
KVision teamed up with VIISA and UP for the hackathon for Vietnamese startups

Kasikorn Vision (KVision), an investment holding company under Kasikornbank Pcl. in Thailand (KBank), has joined hands with Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA), a leading accelerator in Vietnam, and UP Co-Working Space, to hold a three-day hackathon on June 28-30, 2019.

Chat Luangarpa, first senior vice president of KBank, said that Vietnam has emerged as one of the ASEAN’s most vibrant startup markets. Vietnam is now one of the most active VC markets in the region, and with a fast-growing economy, a pool of youthful tech talent, and strong government support, it has all the key ingredients for rapid innovation growth. Not only that, the country’s young, change-oriented consumer market makes Vietnam a perfect place for startups to thrive.

KVision, aiming to drive innovative growth in the region, sees the potential for Vietnamese startups to not only grow in the local market but also capture opportunities across the ASEAN. Supported by KBank’s presence in the region, the hackathon is aimed at equipping Vietnamese startups with the right tools to bring them to the next level of growth in the regional stage.

The programme will bring seasoned mentors from the local and global startup community, including Akamai, Sendo, and other leading accelerators, as well as business veterans such as UniBrands. Through a series of mentoring and sharing sessions, startups will receive real-world advice, hands-on supervision, and invaluable networking to help them step up their game in all aspects.

From design thinking to pitching, the end goal is to inspire and drive startups to come up with real solutions to materialise their business, and form real connections to make their business happen. On top of that, startups with potential will have the opportunity to gain financial backing from investors from Vietnam and overseas, as well as fast-track entry to a range of other startup programmes.

kvision launches hackathon to co innovate with vietnamese startups
Participating startups will receive all kinds of support to reach the next level of their development

At the heart of this programme lies the idea of co-innovation. Duc Tran, CEO of VIISA, said that the time for partnerships is now. Gone is the time when brick-and-mortar corporations and startups could simply view each other as competitors; partnerships between the two can bring a synergy effect and combination of different strengths to accelerate growth, allowing startups to scale in a time of increasing competition while also allowing corporations to transform in the digital age.

Chat Luangarpa added that this is now also one of KBank’s key strategies. The establishment of KVision in Vietnam as well as other countries with outstanding technology sectors, including China, Israel, and Indonesia, is in order to scout innovative startups to co-launch new services in the region’s underserved and quickly evolving markets.

KVision looks to play an active role in linking startup ecosystems in the ASEAN. Earlier this month, KVision signed a co-operation agreement with the Vietnamese government’s Business Startup Support Centre (BSSC) to support Thai startups’ entry into the Vietnamese market.

KBank first entered Vietnam through the launch of its Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City representative offices in 2015. To continue its focus on Vietnam, KBank plans to upgrade its Ho Chi Minh City representative office to its first branch in Vietnam, once the license is granted. Alongside setting up physical branches, KBank also looks to bring in digital solutions, including partnerships with startups to address financial service gaps and to drive disruption in the region.

KVision will hold the three-day “KVision x VIISA Hackathon: Building Co-Innovation” hackathon at UP Co-Working Space, Ho Chi Minh City, June 28-30, 2019. The programme is opened to both startups with business ideas and those with existing products. Prizes include $2,000 for the ideation track winner, $5,000 for the acceleration track winner, as well as fast track guarantees to various startup programmes and perks from hackathon partners.

For more information on qualifications and application methods, visit kvisionhack2019.devpost.com. Applications will be open until June 15, 2019.

By Ngan Ha

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