TECHFEST VIETNAM IN KOREA –
ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIPS TO SUPPORT VIETNAM – KOREA SOCIAL INNOVATION START-UPS
LAUNCHING THE SHINHAN SQUARE BRIDGE PROGRAM YEAR 2
South Korea, October 26th, 2022 – the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC), National Startup Support Centre of Vietnam (NSSC), Social Open Innovation Village, in collaboration with Shinhan Financial Group, United Way Worldwide, and Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD) – United Way Vietnam, organized TECHFEST Vietnam in Korea – Established relationships to support Vietnam – Korea social innovation start-ups, and launched the Shinhan Square Bridge Vietnam program Year 2.
The delegation of TECHFEST Vietnam 2022 in Korea led by General Director Pham Hong Quat of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC), under the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam, together with experts and heads of villages in TECHFEST Vietnam 2022, visited the Shinhan Square Bridge Innovation Startup Support Space in Incheon, learned and exchanged experiences about promoting innovation, and discussed with senior managers of Shinhan Financial Group Hope Foundation, Shinhan Square Bridge (S2B), United Way Worldwide, and Shinhan Square Bridge’s start-ups that are entering Vietnam in 2022 – 2023.
Delivering the opening remarks of TECHFEST Vietnam 2022 in Korea – Launching the Shinhan Square Bridge Vietnam program Year 2, Mr. Kim Dong Uk – Senior Director, Representative of Shinhan Financial Group Hope Foundation welcomed the delegation of TECHFEST Vietnam 2022 in Korea to visit, work, and connect with the Shinhan Square Bridge Vietnam program.
Upon introducing S2B, Mr. Kim stated that S2B cares about and invests in building an ecosystem for start-ups to lead the future. Funded by Shinhan Financial Group, S2B acts as a platform and a catalyst to support start-ups and create an innovation ecosystem. Up to now, S2B has supported more than 300 Korean and international start-ups and attracted nearly $100 million in investment. S2B has had a variety of startup support centers and incubators in Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, Daegy, and Jegu, in both Korea and Vietnam.
Notably, the Shinhan Square Bridge Vietnam program started in 2021 following the model and coordination of United Way Worldwide and MSD. With the support of NATEC, NSSC, and Vietnamese experts, S2B has achieved remarkable success in its first year, supporting 6 Korean start-ups to create impacts and nearly 100 Vietnamese start-ups, connecting with 166 local organizations and bringing social impacts to 43,000 Vietnamese people, especially vulnerable groups such as children, women, youth, people with disabilities. In addition, S2B has always accompanied TECHFEST by sponsoring the annual National Innovative Technopreneur Contest and funding the operation of the Social Open Innovation Village.
Mr. Kim emphasized “There are many Vietnamese and Korean start–ups with unlimited capacity and creativity potential to excel, but it is challenging for them to survive and develop on their own, and therefore support is of absolute necessity to them. I am very grateful and looking forward to collaborating with NATEC, NSSC, and Techfest in Vietnam, not only to support the start-ups of Shinhan Square Bridge Vietnam but also to promote the mutual ecosystem of Vietnam and Korea. “
After visiting the Shinhan Square Bridge Incheon incubator and attending the introduction about Shinhan Square Bridge, General Director Pham Hong Quat shared: “The investment of corporations for start-ups is essential. Businesses need investment, financial, and technical support to fuel their breakthroughs. I highly appreciate the professionalism and effectiveness of Shinhan Square Bridge, especially Shinhan Square Bridge Vietnam Year 1 in which I have directly participated as a supporting consultant. The program has supported various start-ups to successfully access the market and simultaneously create social impacts.”
Mr. Pham Hong Quat also suggested the need to promote an official partnership and to have a specific partnership plan signed between Shinhan Square Bridge and NATEC along with NSSC within the upcoming occurrence of Techfest Vietnam, in order to lay the foundation for a series of exchange events to support Vietnamese – Korean start-ups. Mr. Pham Hong Quat also proposed S2B to collaborate with NATEC, NSSC, and the National Techfest program in the long term to select competent Vietnamese start-ups for incubation and access to Korea’s leading advanced technology, simultaneously creating a working space for Vietnamese start-ups at S2B Korea. On the other side, NATEC and NSSC will provide technical support and working space for Shinhan Square Bridge’s start-ups that are expanding to Vietnam. “This is a Win-Win partnership where all sides are benefited, aiming at the mutual interest of prosperity of the start-ups in particular and the socio-economic conditions of the two countries in general,” – Mr. Quat affirmed.
The highlight of the event was the launching of launched the Shinhan Square Bridge program Year 2 by the delegation of Techfest Vietnam with S2B and the brief presentations of Korean start-ups about their business models and plans to enter the Vietnamese market. S2B Vietnam will continue to support 10 Korean start-ups to access the market and expand to Vietnam while committed to creating social values. Sharing about the plan for Year 2 of S2B Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh, MSD’s Executive Director, Head of Social Open Innovation Village, and also the person responsible for operating the Shinhan Square Bridge program in Vietnam, stated that 7 selected Korean start-ups including Tictoccroc, LabSD, Rivo, Reharvest, Toon Square, Piquant, and Xinapse will come to Vietnam, receive investment to connect with local Vietnamese organizations and expand their market whilst creating solutions with social impacts in three areas: (1) Promoting demand-driven and market-oriented vocational training, as well as creating jobs for youth, women, and people with disabilities in Vietnam; (2) Building inclusive, accessible smart cities for everyone; (3) Improving environment sustainability and public health, especially in marginalized rural and mountainous areas.
On the other side, the program will also select and sponsor 5 Vietnamese start-ups that have participated in Techfest 2022 for coaching, market expansion, and investment networking in Shinhan Square Bridge Incheon within 6 months. In addition, Social Open Innovation Village, under S2B’s financial support will continue its series of activities to promote the Social Open Innovation ecosystem within Techfest 2022 with 3 main focuses: (i) Promoting Open Innovation through an empirical model (smart living lab) with the engagement of OPEN actors in addressing governmental, organizational, and social challenges; (ii) Focusing on supporting innovative start-ups to address social challenges; and (iii) Establishing the foundation – mobilizing investment for social open innovation. Ms. Linh shared a message: “We always adhere to a belief that the foundation for sustainable development is collaboration and solidarity. I believe that today’s event is not only the start of Year 2 of a project or a series of activities but also the milestone of an official partnership and commitment between Vietnam and Korea in supporting innovative start-ups and building a solid ecosystem that creates trends and leads change in both countries“.
Techfest Vietnam 2022 in Korea and the Launch of Shinhan Square Bridge Vietnam Year 2 have been successfully organized. During Techfest 2022, S2B and start-ups are expected to participate in activities in Techfest Binh Duong and sign MOUs with relevant agencies, especially NATEC and NSSC to further foster the Vietnamese – Korean open innovation startup support ecosystem.