Vietnam Tech Startups Seek Next Step Forward
Vietnam's technology startups face a complex question: Now what?
The country did not ignore the startup trend of the 21st century. But in the trend's early days, Vietnam was spending more time and energy talking about technology and its promise.
Now, Vietnam hopes to move to the next step – getting entrepreneurs to meet their economic goals. Startup leaders hope to make a profit, expand internationally or combine their companies with other businesses.
Vietnam has a high literacy rate. Its people, generally, have strong math ability. Both are critical tools for building a technology economy. The country also has a large consumer market, similar to Thailand and the Philippines. And, Vietnam has the potential for high growth rates, similar to Laos and Cambodia.
Low wages and the low cost of internet service help make Vietnam a good place to build a small business. It might be the perfect environment for technology startups.
But, Vietnam needs to act.
"Vietnam usually does copy-paste," said Lam Tran, leader of the startup WisePass. He says the Vietnamese need to move beyond copying a foreign business and recreating it in the Vietnamese market. Now, he says, it needs to create inside Vietnam and spread the businesses internationally.
WisePass is an app that connects monthly subscribers to restaurant and bar deals. It began in Ho Chi Minh City and Lam Tran plans to expand to seven other countries.
Using good relationships with border countries is a smart plan, say technology business experts. Vietnamese make up large communities in other countries. These communities can help connect the Southeast Asian country to investors, advisers and developers in those countries.
Also, technology in Vietnam is increasingly sophisticated.
The Vietnamese Innovative Startup Accelerator, or VIISA, is one example. For a second year, it has invested in 11 startups.These new businesses have partners operating in countries such as Ukraine, South Korea and France.
Sangyeop Kang is an investment officer at VIISA partner Hanwha Investment. He said he is pleased with the international reach of this year's group.
"The foreign teams were able to expand their business in Vietnam, while helping Vietnamese companies with global insights," Kang said. He added this was a strong move forward for tech startups in Vietnam.
The government of Vietnam is supporting such growth. On January 1, a new law for startups, called Law on Supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, will begin. The law offers new companies financial assistance for office space, equipment and training. It also provides low interest rate loans.
To do more than copy and paste, new businesses must consider how to appeal to Vietnamese people. For example, the startup But Chi Mau makes games that are directed toward Vietnam's endless drive for education. Another, Market Oi uses motorbike drivers to deliver customized food orders.
MarketOi founder Germain Blanchet said the question is how to be different from others. The answer, he believes, is to be flexible.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.economic goal 经济目标
My economic goals and policies are very clear.
2.talking about 谈论
I don't understand what you are talking about.
3.similar to 与...相似
The accident was similar to one that happened in 1973.
4.be pleased with 对...满意
I was not too pleased with the record you sent me.
5.Startup leaders hope to make a profit, expand internationally or combine their companies with other businesses.
make a profit 赚钱；盈利
This year the airline will be hard-pressed to make a profit.
His purpose was to make a profit by improving the company's performance.
6.The law offers new companies financial assistance for office space, equipment and training.
financial assistance 财政援助
When times were difficult, he relied on friends for financial assistance.
Technical and financial assistance for local governments is also available.
越南没有忽视21世纪的创业潮 。但是，越南在创业潮早期花费过多的时间和精力谈论科技和未来展望 。
如今，越南希望开展下一步行动——帮助创业者实现经济目标 。创业公司的领导人想盈利，进行海外扩张或与其他企业进行合作 。
越南人的文化水平较高 。越南人的数学能力也很强 。这两项能力在建设科技型经济方面非常重要 。与泰国和菲律宾一样，越南也拥有庞大的消费市场 。此外，越南的经济也和老挝、柬埔寨一样，拥有很大的增长潜力 。
越南的低工资和互联网服务的低成本有利于发展小型经济产业 。越南或许因此成为创办科技公司的理想之地 。
WisePass创新公司的领导兰德兰表示，“越南企业通常都是照搬别国企业 。”他说，越南需要摆脱复制外国企业的模式，开创适合越南市场的产业 。他指出，目前越南需要在本土进行创新，然后将其推向国际 。
WisePass应用程序可每月为注册用户提供餐厅和酒吧的交易信息 。该公司创办于胡志明市，兰德兰还计划将其推广至其他7个国家 。
科技创新企业专家称，利用与邻国的友好关系为明智之举 。其他国家也有越南人聚集的大型社区 。这些社区有利于帮助越南建立与投资者、咨询顾问和开发商的友好关系 。
越南创新企业“加速器组织”（VIISA）就是一个典型案例 。该企业在成立后第二年投资了11家创业公司 。这些新兴企业在乌克兰、韩国和法国等多个国家拥有合作伙伴 。
姜相烨是VIISA合作伙伴韩华集团投资办公室主任 。他说，他对于今年的国际合作集团十分满意 。
姜相烨指出，“外国企业也可以扩大在越南的业务，同时帮助越南企业培养全球性眼光 。”他还说，这对于越南科技创新公司来说是很大的进步 。
越南政府非常支持这些发展项目 。1月1日，针对创业公司的新法规《关于支持中小型企业发展的法规》将正式生效 。法规指出，将为创业公司在办公场地、办公设施和培训方面提供财政援助 。同时也将提供低利率贷款 。
要想摆脱“复制粘贴类”的企业模式，创业公司必须要尽力吸引本土消费者 。例如，创业公司But Chi Mau设计的游戏直接面向越南的永无止境的教育 。另一家Market Oi公司雇佣摩托车司机配送食品 。
Market Oi公司创始人杰曼·布兰切特指出，真正的问题在于如何与众不同 。而他认为答案因人而异 。