Techfest 2019 successfully connects VN startups to global community

The Ministry of Science and Technology has just finished the program Techfest Vietnam 2019 in the US, aiming at offering a playground for startups to attract international capital, introducing the Vietnamese innovative startup ecosystem, and drawing talented experts, especially Vietnamese Americans, to the country.

Medlink – champion of VietChallenge 2019 in the US – received the award. (Photo: SGGP)

Medlink – champion of VietChallenge 2019 in the US – received the award. (Photo: SGGP)

The final round of the contest for global startup – VietChallenge – consists of 9 Vietnamese startup teams coming from various nations in the world. It has just been held in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.

It belongs to the series of activities in the project ‘Supporting the national innovative startup ecosystem until 2025’ (Project 844) chaired by the Ministry of Science and Technology. The contest attracted more than 400 participants.

After the final round, Medlink – a platform to directly connect pharmaceutical firms and pharmacies – won the first position. Highly appreciated by both the judge board and leading experts, investors from the US, Medlink’s platform offers a website for medicine companies and a mobile phone app for pharmacies so that the latter can place online orders to the former without any extra cost or advertising. This greatly boost the product distribution time and revenues of both partners.

Standing at the second position in VietChallenge 2019 is VVN AI, a solution to use artificial intelligence to recognize images and texts, to be used in automating transactions in shops and banks to save time and increase security as well as precision.

From Techfest Vietnam, especially VietChallenge, many Vietnamese startups such as Techfest Vietnam 2018 winner Abivin (in the Startup World Cup) or Tubudd (in the Top-10 Pitch@Palace Vietnam 2018) are able to prove their high potential to the international community. Significantly, Medlink won the first prize in Techsauce Global Pitch Competition 2019 in the framework of Techsauce Global Summit 2019 – the largest technological event in Asia.

According to Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung, VietChallenge has been one of the most important bridge to link the Vietnamese startup community to its international counterpart. Therefore, this year’s contest has received over 250 works by 1,000 young Vietnamese startups from more than 23 nations.

In the framework of Techfest Vietnam in the US, on September 12, the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC) under the Ministry of Science and Technology formally signed a memorandum of understanding with Pegasus Tech Venture (organizer of Startup World Cup) and Ai20X (a startup incubation center in Silicon Valley) to connect the Vietnamese startup network to the international one.

Another notable event was the participation of the Vietnamese representative - Abivin - in May 2019 in Startup World Cup. Surpassing challenging competitors from Japan, the US, Canada, Brazil, India, China, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea, it impressively won the first prize, worth US$1 million.

Deputy Minister Tung said that in the near future, Vietnam is going to host various contests to identify potential startups for the next Startup World Cup.

He shared that those competitions have positive effects not only on the innovative startup ecosystem in Silicon Valley but also in the world, including Vietnam. Therefore, his ministry wholeheartedly supports them.

The to-be startup contests in Vietnam will invite senior experts from Pegasus Tech Venture to become consultants or judges to directly evaluate and guide contestants in order to increase the competitiveness of domestic participants.

Mr. Anis Uzzaman, Chairman of Start World Cup cum Pegasus Tech Ventures investor, expressed his good impression about Vietnamese technological startups and his wish to visit Vietnam in order to take part in such high-quality contests as Techfest Vietnam.

Techfest Vietnam is an annual event for the Vietnamese innovative startup community, held by the Ministry of Science and Technology in the framework of Project 844. It has been quite well-known domestically and internationally, attracting more than 5,000 contestants each year, along with the participation of hundreds of investors and experts.

By TRAN LUU – Translated by Vien Hong

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