Media Releases 18 Jul 2019 Updated 18 Jul 2019 More opportunities for Singapore tech startups, SMEs and students to access the fast-growing Vietnam market as Global Innovation Alliance network expands to Ho Chi Minh City Share: MR No.: 032/19 Singapore, Thursday, 18 July 2019 Enterprise Singapore announced the expansion of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA)1 network to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) today, plugging Singapore technology startups into the emerging innovation scene in Vietnam, boosting startup collaborations between Singapore and Vietnam, and creating more internship opportunities for Singapore students in startups and innovative companies in Vietnam. Enterprise Singapore, Quest Ventures2 and Saigon Innovation Hub3 (SIHUB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost collaborations between Singapore startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and their counterparts in Vietnam. Under the MOU, the three partners will organise curated programmes to introduce Singapore startups to the innovation ecosystem in HCMC, and connect them to partners, investors and customers in Vietnam. This will help Singapore startups set up, test-bed and commercialise their solutions, as well as form business partnerships in HCMC and Vietnam. It will also support Vietnamese startups to set up in Singapore. Targeted to commence in September 2019, the first cohort of the programme will involve up to ten Singapore startups, with another two runs of the programme expected to take place over the next twelve months. As part of the GIA, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) signed six MOUs with Vietnamese startups – namely Alley51 Ventures4, CoderSchool5, ELSA Corp6, Lazada Vietnam7, SIHUB – and Quest Ventures. Under the MOU, NP aims to send 100 students over the next two years through its Global Entrepreneurial Internship Programme to undertake internships with their MOU partners, and expose them to the vibrant innovation ecosystem and business scene in HCMC. To support this initiative, NP will also be setting up its first GIA office in HCMC this August. Another partnership sealed today is the MOU signed between Singapore company Finaxar8 and Vietnam’s Indovina Bank9 to improve access to financing for SMEs in Vietnam using a first-in-region, fully online and automated credit financing solution specifically tailored for them. SMEs will be able to access working capital, choosing when and how much financing they need, all online through this partnership. Said Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore, “Vietnam is a growing market for technology startups and SMEs, given the young and increasingly tech-savvy population and strong government support. With the expansion of our GIA network to Ho Chi Minh City, Enterprise Singapore will help Singapore enterprises and startups plug into one of the largest innovation ecosystems in Asia. Similarly, we encourage Vietnamese startups to leverage Singapore’s established innovation ecosystem, to connect with multinational corporations (MNCs) and leading Asian enterprises based here to scale their business further.” Startup exchanges are already happening between Singapore and Vietnam. Last week, a group of 22 Vietnamese students were in Singapore for a startup immersion programme organised by Lead The Change Community, a global community for youths and startups empowering young people by exposing them to entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and networks. The students interacted with the startup community here, and also had the opportunity to pitch ideas to a panel of mentors. With HCMC, the GIA network now has connections to 11 cities globally – Bangkok in Thailand; Beijing, Suzhou and Shanghai in China; Berlin and Munich in Germany; Jakarta in Indonesia; Paris in France; Tokyo in Japan; San Francisco in the US; and now HCMC in Vietnam. Annex 1: Welcome remarks by Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore Annex 2: Details on the market access programme Annex 3: Background information on Vietnam’s startup and innovation ecosystem Get your story leads from Enterprise Singapore’s Facebook (@enterpriseSG), LinkedIn and YouTube. -End- 1 GIA was launched in 2017 as part of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) recommendations to strengthen Singapore’s connections to major innovation hubs around the world. This will create more opportunities for Singaporeans, students, entrepreneurs and businesses to gain overseas experience, connect, and collaborate with their overseas counterparts. 2 Quest Ventures is a Singapore-based leading venture fund for companies that have scalability and replicability in large internet communities. 3 Officially opened in 2016, SIHUB is a government-backed agency under the Department of Science and Technology of Ho Chi Minh City focusing on establishing the city into a startup and innovation hub of Southeast Asia. 4 Alley 51 Ventures is a venture builder established in 2017. 5 CoderSchool is a training school for developers, designers and data scientists. 6 Elsa Corp is a rising star startup and its vision is to enable everyone to speak foreign languages with full confidence. 7 Launched in 2012, Lazada Vietnam is the eCommerce pioneer to provide effortless shopping online, playing a critical role in growing and shaping ecommerce industry under Lazada Group, Southeast Asia's No. 1 online shopping and selling destination. 8 Finaxar is a state-of-the-art technology company that provides innovative, data-driven financing solutions tailored to SMEs in Southeast Asia. 9 Indovina Bank is Vietnam’s first joint venture bank established in 1990. The joint venture partners are Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) and Cathay United Bank in Taiwan (CUB). For media enquiries and/or photos, please contact: Ms Foo Xiao Xuan Corporate Communications T: +65 6433 4400 M: +65 9018 6916 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org About Enterprise Singapore Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development. We work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. We also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups, and build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards. Visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg for more information.