Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the two leading startup hubs of Vietnam, compared to these two, the startup ecosystem in Danang is still young. To be able to speed up and catch up with the two ends of the country, Da Nang has made breakthroughs, creative and important ways in accordance with the local realities.

Last year 2016 was selected by the Government as the year “start-up country” with the aim of creating a strong push to push the national ecosystem forward. The Prime Minister’s promulgation of Project 844 “Supporting a national innovation start-up ecosystem to 2025” is the most concrete demonstration. A wide range of activities for young people, students and business people blossomed and spread across the country this year.

In that context, the Da Nang city government, with the consultation of domestic and international experts, has created innovative ways to build its own startup ecosystem development model. In a short time, the city has built itself, out of almost nothing, an ecosystem that is young and small in scale, but full of potential. And without stopping at the initial successes, the city continues to research and test new models and approaches to better suit the conditions of the city, creating its own strengths and brands my enemy.

An innovative startup ecosystem in Da Nang today

Before 2015, there was almost no startup ecosystem in Da Nang, there were just a few little-known small startup clubs and a few contests on starting a business idea. internal universities and colleges in the city.

However, in a short time, with determination and consultation efforts of the NTFP Council, the City People’s Committee had a strong involvement with a positive change in community opinion, the situation started The innovation business in Da Nang has made remarkable progress with the emergence of incubators, most notably the establishment of the Danang Business Incubator. Since then, a series of incubation and acceleration programs have been implemented, attracting a considerable number of start-up projects in Da Nang as well as neighboring localities.

The city’s series of projects and start-ups have begun to reap certain rewards. Some projects have won high prizes in domestic and foreign innovation start-up competitions (AntBuddy, Minh Hong, S&E), others have also successfully raised capital (Zody, Hekate).

Many large-scale startup events are held, the most prominent being the StartupFair Conference & Exhibition (formerly StartupFair and Surf – Danang startup wave now) held in July every year. attracts a large number of important domestic and foreign startup partners, potential start-up projects and many media outlets.

One of the potential development directions of Da Nang is smart tourism. In the image is the contestants participating in the Hackathon Tourism Competition under the Mekong Tourism Initiative organized by MBI and Da Nang Business Incubator.

Development orientation to 2020

Da Nang has determined that entrepreneurship, especially innovative start-ups, is an important driving force for socio-economic development in the city. Therefore, entrepreneurship promotion cannot follow the movement but needs depth and focus on practical support. With this long-term thinking, the City People’s Committee has approved and issued the Da Nang Start-up Ecosystem Development Project to 2020, with a vision to 2030, in which goals and solutions are set out. clarity helps shape the activities that will take place in the coming years.

Accordingly, the Danang startup ecosystem will develop based on 5 major pillars:

Start-up culture: Build a culture of entrepreneurship innovation, raise awareness, knowledge and build the passion of Danang students, students and youth about entrepreneurship, thereby promoting scientific research, creation.
Support policy: Complete and promulgate support policies, promote start-ups and re-start-ups; bring into full play the role of the NTFP Council in implementing policies into practice; establish start-up support funds, local investment funds.

Infrastructure: Building infrastructure system for start-up development (centralized startup support service area, co-working space, invention space, laboratory …); promote the operation of business nurseries in the city.
Training and consulting: Develop programs and content to train entrepreneurship knowledge and skills for young people who are passionate about starting a business; to build and develop consulting centers, enterprises, to connect supply and demand of technology to participate in start-up support activities.

Links and cooperation: Expand cooperation, improve capacity, attract domestic and foreign resources to build and develop a startup ecosystem; replication of the 3-party cooperation model: government – schools – companies.

Some potential and innovative development directions are being researched

Da Nang is researching some other breakthrough development directions:

Two of them are (1) increasing the attraction of resources, especially international human resources, to turn the city into a “beachfront innovation hub”; and (2) selecting the most advantageous fields to focus on entrepreneurship development in these areas.

Innovation hub by the sea

If only relying on internal resources with a population of just over 1 million people (GDP per capita below 4000 USD according to 2015 statistics), the city will hardly make the next breakthrough after the initial period of rapid development . Consider attracting international resources, and the city is in the best position to do so. Having favorable natural conditions: owning one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, strategic geographical location (the center of the Central region, the end of the East-West economic corridor); completed infrastructure …

In 2018, when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is fully implemented, human and capital flows will move freely within the region and partners outside the region need only to set foot in one location. was able to access this entire market. Therefore, it must be ready to embrace this shift to transform itself into the region’s “start-up agent”, becoming an attractive new option for international startups looking to find new markets.

To be able to become an international innovation startup center, this place must first be an attractive destination for the “digital nomads” community – the expatriate employees are working. remote for customers in countries around the world or are building their own startups. These people collaborate with other people around the world thanks to the advancement of information and communication technologies.

The appearance of this community in Da Nang will be a good driving force for the city’s ecosystem when we know how to utilize them, rather than their knowledge in the right way. This community needs to interact a lot with the local startup community, from which there will be the interference, exchange of entrepreneurship culture and style. The local community will thus become more professional and develop an international mindset about entrepreneurship. It is this change in thinking, about people that will be the key factor to trigger all other changes in the future.

Smart travel and smart city

A nascent ecosystem is a good opportunity for Da Nang to experiment with areas that could become its spearhead. Smart tourism (technology in travel) and smart city are two areas that stand out more.

For smart tourism, Da Nang Business Incubator has taken some pioneering steps to become an official partner in Vietnam under the MIST – Mekong subregion tourism startup. In addition, tourism start-ups also account for a relatively high and stable share (2-3 projects / course) in the Incubator’s Incubator Course.

The field of “smart city” can also be seen as a strong point of Da Nang. The city is investing heavily in transmission infrastructure, Internet connectivity, e-government and smart transportation … Both the government and the people are ready for the next big change from city-wide projects. I bring. In addition, the current moderate population size and density are also a favorable condition to make the city an ideal “laboratory” that can test all the latest ideas about pine cities. intelligence.

At the 20th anniversary of Danang becoming a centrally-affiliated city, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized that Danang must build a startup city and international trade hub such as Hong Kong, Singapore, And instead of copying and repeating the model somewhere, the city has to make a difference, have its own unique, unique identity.

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