A start-up business showcases its products on the sidelines of the seminar in Can Tho. (Source: VNA)

Can Tho (VNS/VNA)
- Developing an innovative entrepreneurial eco-system and attracting participants to it were among the topics discussed at a recent seminar in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

Vu Minh Hai, Director of the municipal Department of Science and Technology’s Science and Technology Information Centre, said Can Tho had the basic components required for an innovative start-up eco-system such as 18 institutes and schools, 89,000 students and 15 start-up support organisations.

He added that there are three shortcomings in the innovative entrepreneurial eco-system in Can Tho in particular and the country in general: poor start-up culture (fear of risks or failure), lack of key stakeholders (advisors, investors and others) and weak internal and external co-operation and linkages resulting in a lack of start-ups with innovative and breakthrough ideas.

Can Tho has a programme to support innovative start-ups in 2017 -2020 with a total budget of 14.8 billion VND (637,711 USD). It focuses on communication to change the mindset and entrepreneurship culture, training to help start-ups improve their entrepreneurial capacity and offering support to selected start-ups in terms of facilities, equipment, management skills, training, and funding.

According to Pham Hong Quat, Director of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development, a Ministry of Science and Technology affiliate, developing an innovative entrepreneurial eco-system requires consistency and coordination from the central to local government levels, between ministries and industry and from policy to practice.

It is necessary to have in place a legal framework related to innovative start-up, help start-ups improve their capacity, promote international co-operation, establish a network connecting stakeholders in the national innovative start-up eco-system, and develop information about it.

Huynh Kim Tuoc, CEO of the Saigon Innovation Hub, stressed the need to apply advanced technology such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and internet of things in start-up projects and start-up exchanges to ensure efficiency.

Organised by the Can Tho Department of Science and Technology, the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development and Saigon Innovation Hub, the conference also shared experiences in building successful start-ups, linking and building innovative start-up systems and others.

At the event, the city science department launched the Can Tho Startup and Innovation Hub to connect and promote an innovative start-up eco-system in the city and linking resources to support start-up individuals and groups.-VNS/VNA