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Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program an invaluable experience

Released at: 09:25, 18/03/2017

Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program an invaluable experience

Photo: Hong Nhung

Two Vietnamese startups report on Google support program at workshop held by tech giant.

by Khanh Chi

Two Vietnamese startups selected to take part in Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program, Haravan and ELSA Speak, have recently completed a two-week boot camp at Google’s dedicated Launchpad Space in San Francisco and spoke at the “Technology Startup Workshop” held by the tech giant on March 17 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The intensive program included workshops on Google tools and platforms to help startups grow their businesses, along with intensive one-on-one mentoring from Google engineers, product managers, and other experts from leading tech companies and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

Returning from the two-week boot camp, Mr. Huynh Lam Ho, CEO of Haravan, said: “We literally spent hundreds of hours working with mentors and Google experts while we were in the US learning how to improve and perfect our platform and products. We found out ways to scale up our business and strengthen our corporate culture.”

“Support from Google is not limited to this six-month program but is longer term,” he added. “The Google tools available for startups like us offer countless opportunities and I am more confident about taking my business globally.”

Mr. Vu Van, co-founder and CEO of ELSA, told the conference that “the Google LaunchPad program totally blew me away with how much value it provides to startup founders like myself. In a short two-week boot camp, Google LaunchPad arranged one-on-one meetings for us with 50 or more top-notch mentors from the Bay Area and around the world.”

“What impressed me most was that mentors didn’t just give very high-level, generic advice; they are real experts and provided us with specific and targeted feedback that had a real impact on our challenges and issues,” he added. “The value of the Google Launchpad Accelerator program goes way beyond its monetary value.”

The program’s Global Mentorship Network boasts experts from around the world who are trained to provide ongoing support to startups. The network includes two mentors from Vietnam, Hieu Le from Trust Circle and Trung Dung from iCare Benefits.

Sami Kizilbash, Google’s Developer Relations Program Manager for South and Southeast Asia, who travelled with the startups to San Francisco and has been by their side throughout the journey, said “it has been incredible to watch the Vietnamese startups soak up every moment here with their mentors, and to see how much they were able to teach us about the realities of building products in their country.”

In November last year, Google announced a third class of the prestigious Launchpad Accelerator program and selected the two Vietnamese startups to attend.

The program is a mentorship-based effort focused on helping tech startups build successful companies. Participants receive $50,000 of equity-free investment, credits for Google products, and PR support, and work closely with Google for six months in their home country. It leverages all that Google has to offer to help participating tech startups reach their true potential.

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