Vicoland Group Representative (left) presenting the diamond sponsorship for the “Innovative and Creative Startup” Contest 2021 in Thua Thien Hue province
Growing up from competition
Since 2016, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has organized and chaired the provincial “Innovative and Creative Startup” contest. Since then, there have been 5 contests that have left their mark in the community, especially creating opportunities for startup ideas and projects to attract more resources, to connect their activities, and boost their business.
A participant of the 2018 Challenge, XƯA (Old-time) Service Trading Production Co. Ltd came up with a project called “Applying traditional fine art handicraft to the fashion footwear industry”. Their innovative idea of integrating traditional craft elements into modern fashion footwear production - blending traditional cultural identity with modernity, was considered to have high applicability in practice, and thus was highly appreciated by the organizing board and won the first prize.
After a short time participating in the contest, the products of XƯA company have developed well. Being granted a trademark protection certificate by the National Office of Intellectual Property as well as the "Hue Handicraft Identification Seal” from the Department of Industry and Trade helped the company promote their business and bring products to the big market.
The organizing board had also introduced the “Spices for Hue Beef Noodle Soup - genuine Hue Taste” Project from YesHue Co. Ltd, winner of the 2017 Contest, to be among the finalists at the National Techfest 2018 to find young talents to startup their business.
This project, highly appreciated by the Ministry of Science and Technology for its practicality, has great potential in preserving Hue’s specialty cuisine, contributing to building its brand name and image with domestic and foreign tourists. YesHue's Spices for Hue Beef Noodle Soup - genuine Hue Taste is currently exported to fastidious markets such as the US and Thailand and is available in supermarkets across the country.
Signing cooperation agreement to develop “Innovative and Creative Startup” program in Thua Thien Hue area between Department of Science and Technology and Vicoland Group
Dr. Ho Thang, Director of the Department of Science and Technology, the organizer of the annual contest, shared that recent contests had attracted more than 200 ideas and projects with potential for socio-economic development; among which more than 30 of them won high prizes and was awarded by the province. From there, they were cultivated and supported to become startup products in the market.
Four award-winning ideas and projects of the 2020 contest are currently fulfilling the province’s mission of science and technology, such as Hichagol Service and Trading Production Co. Ltd, which applying science and technology to build a high-value link age model for production and consumption of Phong Dien red artichoke; and Hue Viet Organic one member Co. Ltd, which applying technology to grow lotus plants in Thua Thien Hue...
Creating an expansion
Continuing to search and select ideas, projects with potential for development remains the goal of the 2021 contest. This year, the Provincial People's Committee assigned the Department of Science and Technology to be the standing agency, cooperating with local departments to attract individuals, groups of individuals as well as organizations with startup ideas and projects that utilize intellectual property, technology, new business models with the ability to grow rapidly, to prepare for their local implementation and development.
The conditions for participation of startup enterprises are having operating period of no more than 5 years from the grant date of the first operation registration certificate. Each startup individual, group of individuals, organization and business can participate in the contest with one or more than one ideaand project.
According to the 2021 contest representative, the contest, while launched during the complicated COVID-19 pandemic, by the beginning of October, had received as many as 55 entries, with focus on various fields of industry, agriculture, tourism, education, health care, green, modern and advanced technology application. This year’s surge in number of entries compared to previous contests showed the growing interest of the local startup community.
In mid-October, the organizing board had chosen 25 entries to enter the semi-finals, such as Go Green - Agricultural service distribution business technology platform from AIO Investment Joint Stock Company; Hue Lepironia - revitalizing traditional craft villages, spreading Vietnamese culture and the message of environmental protection by Le Thuy Nhi and associates...
The semi-finalists are currently being coached by the organizing board on presentation skills, product positioning, market planning, etc., for the final round selection.
The announce of the results and award ceremony of the Innovative and Creative Startup contest 2021 are expected to take place in November, where the finalists will answer direct questions from the judges, investors and audiences...
Story and photos: SONG MINH