Techfest Haiphong 2021: Connecting startup ecosystem

October 08, 2021 | 14:08
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Techfest Haiphong 2021 has continued to inspire and motivate the local startup ecosystem for another year while at the same time promoting investment and business connections in this field.
Representatives of leaders of the Ministry of Science and Technology and city leaders press the opening button of TTechfest Haiphong 2021
Representatives of leaders of the Ministry of Science and Technology and city leaders press the opening button of Techfest Haiphong 2021

In the fifth festival (September 28-October 5), Techfest Haiphong 2021 has affirmed the central role of businesses in the innovation ecosystem and clearly determined Haiphong as a destination of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. Techfest Haiphong 2021 has focused on technology, foreign-invested, as well as sci-tech enterprises, along with universities and research institutes.

Tran Quang Tuan, director of Haiphong Department of Science and Technology, said that Techfest Haiphong 2021 reaffirms the city's reputation for the local startup community and partner countries. The event promoted connections between the city's and the country's innovative startup ecosystem as well as domestic and international support organisations.

The event draw participation from many international organisations such as the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development (NATEC); the National Innovation Centre (NIC), the National Startup Support Centre (NSSC), the Startup Vietnam Foundation (SVF), the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE), SongHan Incubator (SHi), VTC10 NetViet, PUM Netherlands Senior Experts Organisation (PUM), the Japan Small and Medium Enterprises Agency (SMRJ), and Seoul Startup Hub, among others.

It can be seen that innovation activities play an increasingly important role in enhancing the potential of science and technology, contributing to socioeconomic development, creating breakthroughs and forming a new wave of national development. This is currently one of the important tasks in Vietnam’s development strategy, in each province, each city, each enterprise, organisation, and individual, especially in the context of having to adapt to the new situation, connecting production chain, besides disease control, should be prioritised and implemented.

The highlight of Techfest Week was that the events were recorded and broadcast live on multiple platforms; while 3D exhibitions showcased digitised products at 123 booths by corporations, large enterprises, and startup companies from more than 30 localities and countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and China.

Products covered digital technology (big data/AI, blockchain, IoT, VR/AR); smart production; manufacturing processing industries (cleantech, edtech, fntech, fodtech, agritech, robotics) and a number of other fields serving production and life. In particular, realistic 3D technology was first applied to exhibition activities. The exhibition website attracted about 1,000 visits a day.

Tran Van Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, highly appreciated the creativity exhibited at Techfest Haiphong 2021, with the use of virtual exhibition technology connecting multiple platforms under the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Haiphong has continued promoting great innovation startup resources from universities in the area, central research institutes and businesses, deploying an innovative startup ecosystem to become the mainstay of the northern coastal region and the Red River Delta, connecting with national and international innovation startup ecosystems.

Techfest Haiphong 2021: Connecting startup ecosystem
Dialogue on policies to support startups and innovation within the framework of Techfest Hai Phong Week 2021

Affirming pioneering and efficiency

After the government had approved the plan to support the national innovation startup ecosystem to 2025, Haiphong was one of the first localities in the Red River Delta to issue a development plan, consisting of plans to build an innovative startup ecosystem by 2020 with a vision to 2030 and Plan No.1394 of the People's Committee of Haiphong City approving the plan to develop the city's innovative startup ecosystem.

Since 2017, the city has organised four events of the Innovation Startup Day (Techfest Haiphong). Events have been increasingly improved in quantity and quality. Through innovation startup festivals, Techfest Haiphong has helped connect startups and other stakeholders in the system.

Techfest Haiphong 2017 involved 23 creative startup projects participating, including seven projects in Haiphong city. Fore the 2018 edition, the number of innovative startup projects in Haiphong increased to 30 projects, with exciting side events including an investment matchmaking session with nearly 20 projects participating in fundraising, a workshop to share experiences of success and failure when starting a business, and a startup competition. By 2019, the number of projects participating in the festival was up to 35 projects.

Techfest Haiphong 2020 took place on the largest scale with 46 booths showcasing products and services, participating in investment and business connections.

During 2017-2020, Haiphong has supported 18 innovative startup projects, the direct support for startup projects focused on expert consulting; training on perfecting products and technologies; legal knowledge on business, registration of intellectual property rights, and business establishment; developing business development strategies, corporate governance, financial accounting, building tools, advanced quality management systems, marketing activities, as well as building and developing brands; support to introduce and promote products at fairs and exhibitions; support to seek capital from state support programmes, investors, venture capital funds at home and abroad water, non-governmental funds.

Innovative startup projects show that immediately after receiving support, most projects have achieved a net profit accounting for 7-10 per cent of revenue and these profits continually increased in the following years. A number of innovative startup projects, after being supported, have expanded production scale, thereby creating jobs for local workers. These included household appliance producer Bamboo Thanh Giong Co., Ltd.; Trinh Nguyen Nam Duoc Trading and Production Co., Ltd. which created jobs for farmers in Vinh Quang commune, Tien Lang district to participate in growing medicinal plants for essential oils such as lemongrass, basil, and mint; Ecoffee Vietnam Company with a chain of 25 stores employing nearly 100 workers for localities. In addition, with support from the department, there have been five innovative startup projects that have borrowed capital or successfully call for capital from investors.

Le Khac Nam, Vice Chairman of Haiphong People's Committee said this is a meaningful, practical activity, creating a positive impact on innovation in business development, especially in the period of living with the pandemic, raising awareness, contributing to the formation of a culture of innovation, especially for the young generation. Haiphong will pay attention and invest to develop and issue policies, promote resources to support this activity, and strive to create "made in Haiphong" technology enterprises.

Leaders of the Ministry of Science and Technology and leaders of Hai Phong city experience the virtual exhibition with 3D glasses
Leaders of the Ministry of Science and Technology and leaders of Haiphong city experience the virtual exhibition with 3D glasses
Techfest Haiphong 2021: Connecting startup ecosystem
Product display area of Techfest Haiphong 2021

By Thanh Sơn - Phương Dung

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