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Innovative Startup with Students as the Focus

24/11/2022

Students are the backbone of the innovative startup ecosystem since they are not afraid of change and are highly adaptable to new trends and technological advancements. Therefore, it is crucial to educate students about the significance of innovative startups as well as stimulate their desire to start a business. 

The process of starting a business based on creative ideas and applying advanced technologies and techniques to create new products or improve existing products with superior characteristics and make them more competitive than previously available products and services on the market is known as innovative startup. Innovation is the driving force behind the country's economy and the long-term growth of businesses. Colleges and Universities, in particular, are increasingly playing an important role in promoting startup activities as well as training human resources to meet the market's needs in the new era.

Students are considered the “nucleus” of the innovative startup ecosystem.

In terms of global innovation, Vietnam ranks 44th out of 132 countries and economies in 2021. Currently, our country has over 1,000 organizations capable of assisting, and 100% of training schools have plans to assist students in starting a business. According to the World Bank, Vietnam is one of the few Southeast Asian countries investing in innovation, with the number of patents equaling or exceeding expectations. 

Various contests are organized within the university system to foster the development of innovative ideas among students.

Notably, on October 30, 2017, the Prime Minister decided to promulgate the Project “Supporting students to start a business until 2025” (referred to as Project 1665). The project's goal is to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship and to provide students with knowledge and skills about starting businesses while they are still in school; to develop a supportive environment for students to form and realize their ideas and startup projects, thereby increasing their job opportunities after graduation.

According to Deputy Minister of Education and Training Ngo Thi Minh, who reported on the project's results after 4 years of implementation, the percentage of universities that make entrepreneurship an obligatory or elective topic climbed from 30% by the end of 2020 to 33% by the end of 2021. Through entrepreneurship skills classes, 75% of training institutions have organized short-term training programs for students. Through workshops, forums, and contests, 100% of training institutions have created entrepreneurship inspiration programs for students. A network of 200 startup consultants and support staff has been established in training institutes around the country.

The units signed a cooperation agreement to assist students in starting a business in response to Project 1665.

However, fostering entrepreneurship and skills for students in schools today is still limited, for example, by the lack of experienced consultants and support staff and specialized departments. Besides, many officials and teachers lack enthusiasm and innovation; regimes and policies for guidance staff are still limited; startup guidance documents for students are few and far from reality. Moreover, some students are afraid of challenges, lack dynamism and creativity, and are unable to balance studying and participating in extracurricular entrepreneurship activities. Furthermore, our country lacks an even distribution of startup support units, centers, and incubators, with the majority concentrated in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. As a result, students from other areas are unable to receive the essential assistance services.

Actively operating in the Mekong Delta, FUNDGO Startup and Innovation Fund is a pioneer in promoting innovative startup among students. The Foundation has worked with universities and colleges to organize programs, seminars, and contests to find potential projects, etc. to share experiences and create a useful playground for students to unleash their ability and creativity. In addition to a partner network of prestigious organizations, the Fund also accompanies institutions, departments and sectors in many activities to support students in starting a business and training high-quality human resources for the national digital transformation. In the future, FUNDGO will connect with experts in the field of startup, open short-term training courses on startup knowledge and skills for students of schools in the region, contributing to improving the quality of regional and national innovative startup ecosystems.

The representative of FUNDGO awarded the first prize to the student in the contest “Students with Startup Ideas in the Mekong Delta”.

Building an innovative startup ecosystem is not a short-term effort but rather a long-term process that demands substantial vision and strategy. To improve the quality of the startup movement, it is not only required for schools and teachers to take the lead, but also for state agencies at all levels, organizations, and investment funds to participate and support in a variety of ways. These resources will provide a solid foundation for students to confidently implement their innovative ideas, thereby contributing to the growth of Vietnam's innovative startup ecosystem.

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