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Fifty startups selected for Google’s inaugural startup academy

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Fifty Vietnamese startups have been selected for the inaugural Google for Startups, Startup Academy Vietnam, a training and mentorship program for early-stage startup founders.

Of the 50, 25 are based in HCMC and 25 in the capital city of Hanoi.

In HCMC, Google partnered with the American Center and the Vietnam National Innovation Center to kick off the program for the 25 startups based in the south.

From October 3 to 7, the startups underwent mentorship and plenary sessions at the American Center, focusing on helping founders develop leadership skills, business practices, product management skills, technology know-how and marketing skills.

The one-week bootcamp is part of the new public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Google.

“This public-private partnership highlights our shared vision of HCMC’s tremendous potential to become an innovation powerhouse and a regional tech hub. Through this partnership, the U.S. recognizes Vietnam’s important role in achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the diverse and vibrant Indo-Pacific region. And we reaffirm our commitment to support Vietnam in this journey,” said U.S. Consul General in HCMC Susan Burns.

The selected startups worked relentlessly to solve some of Vietnam’s biggest problems across various sectors, from healthcare, energy and finance to education and agriculture.

Tran Hoai Phuong, vice president of Wavemakers Partners, shared, “Google Startups have been helpful in helping these startups access capital and strategic support via mentoring programs like these, which bring in mentors from venture capital institutions who can bring funding, and from companies who can share valuable operational advice.”

Thye Yeow Bok, Google’s head of startup ecosystem, SEA, SAF and Greater China Region, said, “We are very excited with this cohort of Vietnamese startups. They have a very clear idea of how they want to build successful business models that are not only profitable but also beneficial toward their industry and the community in Vietnam. While these startups are addressing issues in Vietnam right now, their solutions can also be expanded to other countries across the region which are facing similar challenges.”

Nguyen Duc Long, representative of the NIC, shared, “Google for Startups, Startup Academy has proved to be very well-organized and professional. Looking through the training curriculum, we can see that the initiative has been deeply invested, with many exciting activities for innovative startups. The program will be a good opportunity for startups to see and exchange new perspectives as well as strategic approaches. We hope the program will continue and be widely promoted in the coming years.”

In Hanoi, the 25 startups will begin the program in November. In December, 10 startups (from both HCMC and Hanoi) will be selected to participate in Demo Day, where they can showcase their innovation and pitch their companies to the investor community.

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