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HCMC announces support for startups

Released at: 19:26, 15/10/2016

HCMC announces support for startups

Photo: Archives/Courtesy

Southern city to offer $91,000 in assistance to deserving startups.

by Khanh Chi

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has announced the introduction of a financial support package for startup projects in the city that meet evaluation criteria.

Projects are eligible to receive a maximum of $91,000 over two years to provide them with a financial base on which to develop. Excellent projects in need of additional capital support will have their claims considered.

Individuals and groups of startups can use the funds for salaries, training, marketing and product and service promotions, information technology and invention, legal consultancy and production.

A special feature of the package is that projects already appealing to investors can access additional support from the city’s budget. The City People’s Committee will support part of the project or work with investors at a ratio of 1:1 and such startup projects will be prioritized.

To gain assistance, individuals, groups or businesses (in activities conducted within five years of the issuance of the first business license), must have startup projects in either of four major industrial sectors: machinery, electronics - information technology, chemicals - plastics - rubber, and refined processing foods.

Projects belonging to support industries and nine service industries: finance, banking and insurance; trade; travel; transport, ports and warehousing; post, telecommunications, and information and communications; real estate assets; consultancy; science, technology and healthcare; and education and training will be considered for selection.

Projects outside of these sectors can still participate in the program if they can persuade evaluating agencies regarding feasibility and prospects for economic efficiency.

Registration is directly with the city’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) or at competitions on innovation and creation held by the department or coordinating organizations. In cases of direct registration, the DST will establish an advisory and selection council for evaluating and selecting potential startup projects.

According to local authorities, suitable startup projects must have the capacity for rapid growth and be based on the use of intellectual property, technology and new business models.

After two years of support the DST will also organize activities connecting projects that have received support with other investment sources, such as private investors or venture capital funds.

In early August Ho Chi Minh City also announced the setting aside of VND3 trillion ($136 million) for supporting the development of local enterprises. The funding is separated into two packages. One package of VND2 trillion ($91 million) will be used to kick-off investment and support and encourage enterprises in renovating equipment and applying science and technology, while the other package, of VND1 trillion ($45 million), will be used for startups and individual businesses developing into enterprises.

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