According to Tuan, Hanoi has issued measures and regulations for the establishment of startup ecosystems, such as the Hanoi Innovative Business Incubator of Information Technology, or proposal supporting startups in Hanoi until 2020.
Recently, the Hanoi People’s Council has approved another proposal supporting innovative startups in the city in the 2019 – 2025 period, as well as policies for those new enterprises to thrive. The goal of the proposal is to create a network connecting startups to resources from within the country and abroad, promoting startup establishment and expanding the startup ecosystem in Hanoi.
Under this context, Hanoi’s authority would continue supporting the development from three to five innovative startup incubators while focusing on promoting startups and building a startup culture, training human resources; providing capital for upgrading incubators, among others.
As of present, Hanoi has the second largest business community in the country with 260,000 enterprises and has seen 20,000 businesses newly created on average annually over the last three years.
The competitiveness of Hanoi’s enterprises have been improving, including many operating in high quality services and industrial sectors as well as international trade which contribute significantly to the city’s state budget revenue, Tuan stated.
By 2025, Hanoi targets to support 500 startup projects and 150 startups having their products commercialized, in which at least 20% of them successfully raise funding from private equity funds. Moreover, merging and acquisition activities among those startups in Hanoi are estimated to reached VND500 billion (US$21.5 million) by that time.
Nguyen Huu Viet, CEO of Tech and Trade Appa Group, said the company faced the lack of capital and limited corporate governance after its establishment.
“Luckily, I got invitation to join a startup course in South Korea and later a Japanese incubator in Hanoi,” Viet said. “Thanks to knowledge gained from these two opportunities, I have been able to overcome difficulties.”
Viet said Hanoi’s policy of supporting 50% of the training courses expenses for small and medium sized startups are practical and essential for them.
Director of Kawaii Vietnam Nguyen Binh Nguyen said instead of providing financial support, Hanoi should consider setting up free working spaces for startups, in turn creating a professional startup environment.
“I hope the city’s initiative of setting up three to five startup incubators would help nourish the startup dream for many young people,” Nguyen added.
Vice Director of Hanoi’s Science and Technology Department Tuan, nevertheless, acknowledged the fact that shortcomings still remain in local authority’s support to small and medium enterprises, including inconsistent support programs, administrative procedures involving multiple agencies leading to delay in processing, difficulties for enterprises in accessing capital, land and market, among others.
“These are the bottlenecks that prevent startups from going all-out in investments,” Tuan said.