CAN THO CITY DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Mr. Ngo Anh Tin, Director of Can Tho City Department of Science and Technology: Perfecting the startup ecosystem, creating an environment to promote startups to develop new business models
Since the Government's launch in 2016, innovation startup activities in Can Tho City have been implemented synchronously and diversifiedly. The city aims to complete and develop the innovation startup ecosystem in the area; create an environment to promote and support the formation and development of fast-growing businesses based on the exploitation of intellectual property, technologies, new business models and innovation in business. Thereby, contributing to the rapid and sustainable economic growth of the city. Talking to a reporter of Can Tho Newspaper about this issue, Mr. Ngo Anh Tin said:

Startups can use machines and equipment at the Vietnam - Korea Industrial Technology Incubator (under Can Tho City Department of Science and Technology) to serve research and development of new products and services. Photo: MY THANH

After more than 3 years of implementing activities to support the development of the innovation startup ecosystem according to Plan No. 175/KH-UBND dated December 12, 2017 of the Can Tho City People's Committee on Support for the development of the innovation startup ecosystem in Can Tho City in 2020, with a vision to 2025 (Plan No. 175), the city organized 59 training programs, workshops, seminars, mini talkshows for nearly 6,000 turns of organizations, individuals and businesses inside and outside the city.

Thereby, providing and sharing knowledge, skills and experiences on innovation startup ecosystem. In addition, the birth and operation of the innovation startup - CASTI Hub helps to connect the components in the innovation startup ecosystem of Can Tho City with other provinces and cities nationwide, regionally and internationally. Thence, creating opportunities for startups, investors, managers to meet, exchange and share information, experiences and investment opportunities.

Connecting and spreading the spirit of innovation has also been enhanced through the forum: http://canthostartup.vn, developing a Fanpage about innovation: CASTI Hub - Can Tho Startup and Innovation Hub to create a stepping stone for connection and consultation and promote the online forum. Currently, it has approached about 150,000 turns and attracted nearly 4,200 followers, 3,923 interactions; building an innovation startup community connecting with the innovation startup ecosystem components of the whole country through Zalo with 252 participants.

Mr. Ngo Anh Tin, Director of the Can Tho City Department of Science and Technology

With the above-mentioned efforts, Can Tho city gradually becomes the cradle of direct and indirect support for more than 100 innovative start-up projects of the city and the provinces and cities across the country in the stages of product completion, perfecting business models, connecting markets. Many projects have been selected by incubators and business promotion organizations for incubation and development; Some projects have successfully called for capital from investment funds and investors with a capital of more than 6 billion dong.

Have you encountered any difficulties in the development of the city's innovative startup ecosystem in recent times?

- Although many encouraging results have been achieved, it must be recognized that the city's innovation startup ecosystem still lacks the participation of key components: startup coaches, venture capitalists, venture capital funds and business promotion organizations.

The facilities for innovation startup activities of start-up support organizations have not been synchronized, nor have maximized their operational efficiency because they have not been able to connect the components in the innovation startup ecosystem. In addition, human resources to implement activities to support innovation startup are still thin in number, just starting to access knowledge and skills to support innovation startup, so in the implementation work is still limited.

On the side of startups, some ideas and start-up projects have not been completed, and in individual opinion, have not been directed to market needs. Many startups and innovation startup businesses have not yet formed the mindset and culture of innovation startup in a profound way to be brave enough to overcome difficulties and move forward in the process of startup. In particular, from the beginning of 2020 until now due to the complicated situation of the COVID-19 epidemic, the city's start-up support activities, even though it has changed from direct to online form, are still interrupted. The event must be suspended to meet the requirements of epidemic prevention and control.

The Can Tho City People's Committee has just issued the plan No. 135/KH-UBND on supporting the development of the innovation startup ecosystem in Can Tho city in the period of 2021-2025, with a vision to 2030 (Plan No. 135). How will this plan affect the city's innovation startup activities in the coming time, sir?

- Compared to Plan No.175 issued in 2017, Plan No.135 still adheres to the common goal of creating an environment to promote and support the formation and development of businesses with the potential rapid growth based on exploitation of intellectual property, technologies, new business models and innovation in the creative movement in enterprises. Besides, Plan No.135 expresses the aspiration to make Can Tho become a center to connect and spread the innovation startup movement in the Mekong Delta region.

Accordingly, the city supports the development of infrastructure and services to support the development of the innovation startup ecosystem through the project of establishing an innovative start-up support center and an exchange of ideas and products for innovation; strive to turn Can Tho city into the of the innovation startup center  in the Mekong Delta by 2030.

At the same time, support at least 50 ideas and innovative startup projects in the city on contents related to training, capacity building of business models, co-working spaces and incubation; develop and support the formation of 14 more science and technology organizations or enterprises and etc.

The outbreak of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital transformation took place strongly, especially in the context of the complicated development of the COVID-19 epidemic, which had an impact on Startup's startup activities. Therefore, how will start-up support activities and innovation startup activities be implemented in the coming time to suit the new situation?

- Currently, components in the innovation ecosystem, especially startups, are more or less affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. This is a challenge but also an opportunity for startups to find new business opportunities. A company that has the ability to be lean and thrifty becomes a competitive advantage. Any startup that is flexible and can find products and services when the market need. It will surely succeed. In particular, it must mention startup ideas in the fields of health, online consumption, technology 4.0 and etc.

Currently, we are preparing to implement 2 projects to support innovative startups in 2021: Project "Supporting individuals, groups of individuals and innovation startup businesses" and Project "Supporting capacity building for innovation startup support organization”. In particular, focus on training courses to improve capacity, skills and professional knowledge to orient young people to make good use of new opportunities from the constantly changing economic environment.

In addition, Can Tho continues to connect with other provinces in the region to create synergy to promote regional startups. This is also the foundation for investment in building and putting into operation the Can Tho Innovation Startup Support Center, which is oriented to develop into a Center for Innovation Startup Support in the Mekong Delta region located in Can Tho. The center will be a place to gather, converge and link resources inside and outside the city to create motivation and lead the region's innovation startup activities in the coming time.

Thank you Sir!

ctngoc

Can Tho newspaper
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