[Photo: First place winners, Higi Energy/Credit: Tim Barker]
Congratulations to the following winners of the GIST Startup Boot Camp Vietnam!
First Place ($2,000): Higi Energy
HiGi Energy converts invasive water hyacinth and other agricultural waste into an affordable, environmentally friendly, smoke-free cooking fuel.
Higi Energy will also receive the following in-kind awards from program partner, Microsoft:
- Acceptance into the CLAS-Expara Vietnam Accelerator (CEVA) program, which includes 21 classes with Microsoft's accelerator team
- Three years of free usage to BizSpark (software and services tailor made for startups)
- Access to most Microsoft software and a $750/month credit for Azure (Microsoft's cloud computing platform and services) for three years
Second Place ($1,000): SportHub
SportHub is an app that helps athletes schedule matches with friends.
SportHub will also receive the following in-kind awards from program partners, Danang Incubator and Silicon Straits:
- Six months of free membership at the Danang Incubator coworking space
- Three months to work with Silicon Straits product managers, user interaction/user experience designers, developers, and management team to improve their product (such as better code infrastructure, better UI/UX, go to market strategies)
Spirit of GIST award: Glampy
Glampy is the first online, on-demand beauty service marketplace in Vietnam.
Glampy will also receive the following in-kind award from program partner, Danang Incubator:
- Three months of free membership at the Danang Incubator coworking space
Boot Camp Details
During the GIST Startup Boot Camp, 18 teams (36 team members) of science and tech entrepreneurs from all over Vietnam spent four days in extensive trainings to help them perfect their business ideas. The teams collectively completed 340 customer interviews in three and a half days, and spent 22 hours in one-on-one mentor sessions. Finalists received pitching mentorship prior to showcasing their innovations to the public during Demo Day on September 30th at American Center. In addition to hearing top team presentations on Demo Day, the audience engaged with keynote speaker Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, Nina Vaca, Pinnacle Group’s Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer.
"It's an honor to participate at the GIST Startup Boot Camp in Vietnam, and empower young science and technology entrepreneurs to build successful startups,” said Nina Vaca. “There is such a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ho Chi Minh City. I know first-hand that entrepreneurship continues to be a key catalyst in growth and innovation around the world. My goal is to empower globally these aspiring entrepreneurs with the same level of opportunities that I've enjoyed.
The instructors for the Boot Camp were:
Adam Bates, Instructor of Information Technology at Mahasarakham Business School in Thailand
Kerry Rupp, Venture Partner at True Wealth Ventures
Two Tech-I winners, Hoang Dao Xuan and Jackie Yap served as guest speakers and pitch coaches. Hieu Pham, CEO of Startup Vietnam Foundation also gave an inspiring talk on entrepreneurial mindsets.
Boot Camp Partners
Implementation partner, VentureWell is a nonprofit that fosters new ventures from an emerging generation of inventors and supports the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems that are critical to their success. They do this by building innovative communities of practice, including faculty from multiple disciplines, and by funding and training science and technology innovators at the earliest stages of developing products and ventures with high potential for socially beneficial impact. Inventions created by VentureWell grantees are reaching millions of people in more than 50 countries.
Vietnam-based program partners included:
500 Startups Vietnam
Startup Vietnam Foundation
Learn More About Vietnam's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
We recently interviewed several Vietnamese entrepreneurs and thought leaders about startup challenges and opportunities in their country.
Alvin Chai: Tech Startup Opportunities in Southeast Asia
500 Startups Vietnam Highlight the Countries Entrepreneurial Opportunities
Hoang Dao Xuan: Insights on Startup Opportunities in Vietnam