2020 is a challenging year for the world economy in general and Vietnamese startups in particular. With the mission of pioneering in creating the right launch pad for Vietnamese startups, the fifth season of VietChallenge 2020 is entering the most intense period. The final round of the competition, "Global Entrepreneurship - VietChallenge 2020," was held at 21:00 on 10/10/2020 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and at 08:00 am on October 11, 2020, Vietnam timezone. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic's impact, the Final Round of VietChallenge was held online on social networks to ensure the guests and the organizers' safety.
You can re-watch the event's live-stream here.
We are pleased to introduce:
Mr. Nguyen Duy Hung, Founder and Chairman, SSI Securities Corporation.
Mr. Ha Kim Ngoc, Ambassador of Vietnam to the U.S.
Ms. Mai Phan Zymaris, Founder and President of VietChallenge.
Mr. Steven Tai Nguyen, CEO of VietChallenge.
Along with these special appearances, we also welcomed our judges, the co-organizer of VietChallenge 2020, the Vietnamese Ambassador in the United States, and the participation of sponsors such as Saigon Securities Corporation, NDH Invest, BDA Partners, Republic.co, 500Startups Vietnam, Google, Amazon. This year, VietChallenge 2020 proudly welcomes the participation of the influential judges:
Ms. Anne Dwane, Co-founder, Partner, Village Global
Mr. Andy Wu, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School.
Mr. Binh Tran, General Partner, 500 Startups Vietnam
Mr. Denny Cowger, Managing Director, Navigate Consulting Vietnam
Ms. Lucy Lu, Vice President, BDA Partners
Mr. Kendrick Nguyen, Founder and CEO, Republic
Mr. Mike Edelhart, Managing Partners, Social Starts and Joyance Partners
Mr. Tuyen Do, Senior Managing Director, Teneo Capital
Mr. Vivek Soni, Managing Director, TiE Boston Angels
Moreover, there is participation from the panelists:
Ms. An Do, Principal, Patamar Capital.
Mr. Gavin Teo, General Partner, Altara Ventures
Mr. Olivier Raussin, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, FEBE Ventures
Ms. Vy Le, Co-Founder and General Partner, Do Ventures
This year, from 200 teams worldwide, the organizers have selected six best startups with diverse business models in different fields such as education, medical services, engineering technology, robotics, and attending the Final Round of VietChallenge 2020. With a convincing show to the judges, influential and equally fastidious, the Champion of the 5th season, VietChallenge 2020, belongs to CricketOne with a reward of USD 15,000 in cash. Rejoicing in the joy of victory, Bicky Nguyen, Co-Founder of CricketOne, who is also the next businesswoman to win the VietChallenge 2020 season, shared that She and the whole company were thrilled and touched when known. With all the company's efforts, VietChallenge 2020 Champion is one of the most commendable achievements that she and CricketOne have received.
CricketOne is a global leader in supplying a sustainable and affordable protein that replaces conventional animal and grain protein.
Start with the opening remarks of Mrs. Mai Phan Zymaris, Founder and President of VietChallenge, together with her five years of dedication to VietChallenge, Mrs. Mai shared, "When we ended VietChallenge 2019, we looked forward to 2020 as the dawn of a new decade full of possibilities. 2020 marks the fifth anniversary of VietChallenge. None of this could have been possible without our sponsors, judges, mentors, and our volunteers and staff members operating on two continents. Thanks to all of your support."
Besides, Mr. Steven Tai Nguyen, CEO of VietChallenge, also shared the mission and vision of VietChallenge in upcoming years: We've also realized that equity crowdfunding in the US is becoming more accessible to international startups, specifically Vietnamese startups. With that in mind, we have established the VietChallenge Ventures Network of more than 65 VC firms and angel investors. We have also signed a partnership agreement with Republic, the leading equity crowdfunding and blockchain platform in the US. After tonight's final round, Republic, and we will inaugurate VietLaunch, a platform promoting Vietnamese startups to American investors."
In an opening speech to the program, Mr. Nguyen Duy Hung, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SSI Securities Corporation shared his pride in being a witness to the growth. Non-stop in 5 years of VietChallenge. He said: "VietChallenge is not just a competition, but VietChallenge has become a forum for Vietnamese youth, young entrepreneurs, where culture and knowledge exchange knowledge to develop and integrate. And VietChallenge has been and is in the process of helping the economic growth of Vietnam and the world." Mr. Nguyen Duy Hung especially praised: "Looking back on what you have done, I feel very proud and fortunate to have supported VietChallenge from the very first days of its establishment. I hope you will take advantage of these experiences to join hands in building Vietnam to become more developed and stronger. I hope to see you again in the 2021 VietChallenge season. I wish you success!"
Followed by a speech from Mr. Ha Kim Ngoc, Ambassador of Vietnam to the United States of America has mentioned one of the most critical events in 2020: the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. In the framework of United States-Vietnam and ASEAN-United States cooperation, leaders of the two countries (Vietnam-United States coordination within ASEAN framework) have determined that technology development, infrastructure, digital economy, entrepreneurship, and promotion of the roles of small and medium businesses and female entrepreneurs are prioritized. Additionally, the Ambassador also mentioned the government's interest and support to businesses and the potential of development in technology and the digital economy to create a favorable legal corridor for technological firms, connecting with businesses, researchers, and creative startups to promote entrepreneurship among students.
Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc emphasized the role of VietChallenge as a strong network between young people, domestic and foreign entrepreneurs in technology development, and application. "This is a platform for incubating and developing startup ideas in technology, as well as being a place for networking and exchanging opportunities for cooperation, fostering entrepreneurship among young Vietnamese, thereby connecting Vietnamese people nationally and internationally, including everyone who is living, studying, and working in America."
VietChallenge 2020 is pleased to welcome the participation of Mr. Abe Minkara, Chief Investment Officer and Founding Partner, Legacy Knight, along with enthusiastic sharing about his advice for young entrepreneurs. Due to the aid of technology and the development of the Internet, it is the best time for entrepreneurs to understand their strengths to empower them. Mr. Abe Minkara mentioned the first step of good preparation, such as starting from the basics by having a bank account, website. Secondly, please take advantage of modern tools to connect with potential mentors or investors to expand their relationships. Moreover, it is also essential to connect with other local entrepreneurs' networks. It's the VietChallenge Team's outstanding honor of having an excellent share from Mr. Abe Minkara.
Simultaneously, there is an impressive and attractive startup story of Ms. Sahra Nguyen, Founder and CEO at Nguyen Coffee Supply. Ms. Sahra Nguyen shared the mission of Nguyen Coffee Supply is to bring the Vietnamese coffee brand to the world level to great powers such as the US and other countries. Besides Nguyen Coffee Supply's vision and mission, Ms. Sahra Nguyen shares more of her memories with her family on the way to find a passion for Vietnamese coffee. With Sahra Nguyen's startup story experience, the VietChallenge team believes that this will be an influential driving force to promote young people's entrepreneurial spirit in Vietnam.
In addition to the particular sections of the VietChallenge Finals, the discussion on "Startup Insights: A Perspective from Investors" came from famous speakers and guests in the startup ecosystem. It is considered an exciting part awaited by a large number of audiences. In this discussion, young entrepreneurs will have opportunities to cultivate and learn from Vietnamese and foreign investors' valuable experiences. Speakers and guests will share about their companies' size and structure, investment funds, future investment visions, and business strategies to call for successful investment from the big "sharks" in Vietnamese startups in particular and international startups in general.
After the results announcement, VietChallenge had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Tran Quang Hung, Deputy Secretary, Hanoi Youth Union, and VietChallenge National Organizing Unit. In his speech, Mr. Hung thanks to the support from both of the VietChallenge Team in Vietnam and the United States. He said: "Hanoi Youth Union has been a keen supporter with VietChallenge since 2018, the competition was mostly overseas, so the domestic ecosystem doesn't know much about VietChallenge. Since then, VietChallenge has become one of the most prestigious competitions worldwide for overseas Vietnamese. 38% of participants joining VietChallenge are from Vietnam, 40% are in Ho Chi Minh City, and most of the VietChallenge competitors are sourced in Vietnam. So please let's take a look at the domestic market as a big support to our country."
VietChallenge is known as the competition of "Global Entrepreneurship - VietChallenge 2020," with the Final Round's success. VietChallenge hosted the "VietChallenge Investor Day" as an opportunity to showcase the semifinals and finals of VietChallenge 2020. By joining VietChallenge Venture Network, startups, and investors, advisors will have the opportunity to exchange through the network's monthly activities. Startups will hear business stories and valuable lessons from renowned speakers, seasoned trainers, serial entrepreneurs, and academic experts from across ecosystems worldwide. One of the benefits of VietChallenge Venture Network members is to receive a monthly newsletter from VietChallenge to connect global startup networks. Through the monthly newsletter, members will always be updated with all the information and useful event series from VietChallenge.
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