SURF 2018 – A significant step-up for the startup ecosystem by the sea

  • The 3rd International Startup Conference and Exhibition in Danang – SURF 2018 with its final big day on June 29th, 2018 at Da Nang City Administrative Center has welcomed more than 2,000 turns of visitors, hosted 73 exhibition booths and been seen as the most remarkable startup event in Central Vietnam in the year.
  • More than 40 speakers and startup experts, domestically and internationally, delivered over 30 talks and panel discussions addressing the most essential matters of the industry – Startup Capitals, which refers to five key capitals for successful startups: Financial, Technological, Human, Local and Social Capitals.
  • Top 7 (seven) potential startups nationwide have entered the finale of the SURF Pitching Competition, winning prizes of up to VND 200 million and opportunities to participate in big startup events in the world.
  • Flying fish, which bears the spirit of the Central Coastal Area, remains the mascot for startup community here. Choosing this iconic image, SURF 2018, with the key message #linkthewaves, is expected to build sustainable values through effective long-lasting connection and bonding and lay the foundation for future successful startup stories.

DANANG, JUNE 29th, 2018 – The 3rd International Startup Conference and Exhibition in Da Nang – SURF 2018 under the theme “Startup Capitals”, was organized on June 29, 2018 at Da Nang City Administrative Center (24 Tran Phu Street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang). The event drew more than 2,000 attendees including governmental leaders, local authorities, domestic and international partners, angel investors, venture capitals, entrepreneurs, startups, universities, delegates and guests from other cities and provinces including Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Can Tho, Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh and so on.

During the SURF Week of June 25-29, 2018, a wide range of activities and events were organized which included the mini accelerator program of Israeli experts, panel discussions on “Building creative hubs” hosted by British Council (Vietnam), workshops on Intellectual Property and IP registration by the National Office of Intellectual Property – Branch Office in Da Nang and a festival for developers and IT students,  followed by the spotlight of the major exhibition and pitching day on June 29, 2018

In particular, the SURF event featured more than 30 presentations from domestic and international startup experts. The talks and panel discussions focused on how to utilize, optimize and link the capitals in a startup journey, where those resources are not just only cash or financial matters but also a diversity of capitals covering human resources, technology, local resources and social aspects. Every startup story would revolve around these five major capitals.

Especially, one of the main focus – “deep tech”, the combination of different technologies in a particular startup product, was put on the table, debated and discussed by leading experts. This helped facilitate startups that want to pursue this new trend.

SURF 2018 was an attempt to kick off and explore different perspectives and to create a hub where capital holders came together and sought for ways to initiate sustainable startups. This event, in addition, was a great opportunity for startups to meet up and connect with the above-mentioned entities. It is the core meaning of the “#linkthewaves” message that SURF 2018 conveyed.

The 3rd  International Startup Conference and Exhibition in Da Nang – SURF 2018 was organized by Da Nang Business Incubator (DNES) under the direction of Da Nang Startup Council and endorsed by Da Nang People’s Committee. It was expected to be a gathering point for not only impressive initiatives and insightful consultancy, but also for connecting resources, especially capitals, in order to motivate the local and regional innovative startups, and to make Da Nang a hub-to-be of entrepreneurship and innovation in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

“On determining that innovative startups are the driving force for the socio-economic development of the city in the future, Da Nang People’s Committee has set a target in enabling Da Nang to become a destination for startups and to be an innovation hub of Southeast Asia by 2030,”, said Mr. Vo Duy Khuong, Chairman of Da Nang Business Incubator (DNES). “Obviously, this is a lengthy and challenging journey that, without the efforts of the local startup ecosystem along with the contribution and support of friends and partners all around, it will be difficult to achieve. This is the cause for the creation of SURF and the effort for making it annually organized in Da Nang as a valuable place for the entire ecosystem to gather together with partners and come up with visions and solutions for the ultimate goal. We believe that SURF 2018 will be a significant step-up for the startup ecosystem by the sea”.

Nonetheless, the 7 (seven) Finalists of Pitching Competition, namely Camera 360, BGift, Ikkai Inc, TOB, EduSi, Xedike and Carami had surpassed 20 other projects in the Semi-final Round to compete in the Finale for the prizes of up to VND 200 million, and one study trip on entrepreneurship to Israel, as well as opportunities, to call for investment from angel investors and venture capitals.

Without the support and companion of our friends, partners and sponsors such as the Embassy of Israel in Vietnam, Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), Swiss Entrepreneurship Program (Swiss EP), VietinBank, Ba Na Service Cable Car Joint Stock Company, Grab Vietnam and many other organizations, it would not be able for SURF 2018 team to make the event this successful.

*** You can find the e-version of this Press Release (as well as other related information) and event photos at

Contact Info:

  • Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Nhi (NhiNa)
  • Phone number: 0932 528 851
  • Email:

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