Major start-up conference, exhibit opens in Da Nang

More than 2,000 young businesses, speakers and students attend in the second International Start-up Conference and Exhibition in Da Nang. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh

More than 2,000 businesses, speakers and students joined the second International Start-up Conference and Exhibition in the central city yesterday, sharing experiences and ideas in panel and round-table discussions, talks and fireside charts among domestic and international experts.

The event, entitled Surf-the Start-up Wave 2017, also featured local government leaders, partners, investment funds, investors, entrepreneurs, enterprises, start-up support organisations, authorities, students from universities and residents from Ha Noi, HCM City, Hue, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Can Tho, Dong Thap, Da Nang and representatives from 27 countries and territories.

Da Nang has launched its business start-up programme eco-system from now until 2020, with a vistion to 2030.

“We are looking to make the city into a start-up destination and international innovation hub of ASEAN in 2030. The 2017 International Start-up Conference and Exhibition will be a significant chance for the city and partners forming development of the city’s start-up ecosystem in the future,” said chairman of Da Nang’s Start-up Network Council and Da Nang Business Incubator, Vo Duy Khuong.

“It’s also an opportunity for young businesses in Da Nang seeking fund investors,” he said.

The event drew the participation of 70 pavilions from start-up projects and businesses, institutes, colleges and sponsors in panel discussions, roundtables, pitching competitions, and exhibitions.

Motivational speaker Jeff Hoffman, the cofounder of Priceline.com and of ColorJar, also shared experience and suggestion for young start-up businesses during the two-day event.

Earlier this year, the city and the Ireland Embassy in Viet Nam agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on high quality human resource education, management skills for the city’s personnel and start-up programme for students in Da Nang.

The MoU will include Master Education programme, education exchange among Da Nang’s Economics College and Iris universities and humanitarian programme in supporting the disabled persons in Da Nang.

Cait Moran, Ambassador of Ireland to Viet Nam, said Ireland looks forward to a burgeoning partnership with Da Nang City.

She said the MoU aims to boost the relationship between Ireland and the central city and foster co-operation between Da Nang with locals and cities in Ireland.

Participants also focussed on the start-up ecosystem, support policies and investment as well as sharing experience and technology.

The conference, which was sponsored by the Asia Development Bank, the Mekong Business Initiative, Swiss EP and the Innovation Partnership Programme in Viet Nam, will close today.

Last year, the central city’s Song Han Incubator launched a tourism start-up programme.

Da Nang has 18,000 businesses, 95 per cent of which are small and medium-sized enterprises. — VNS



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