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KVision & VIISA to host startup hackathon

Released at: 08:03, 28/05/2019

KVision & VIISA to host startup hackathon

Photo: Hong Nhung (VET)

Program brings together seasoned mentors from local and global startup community.

by Hong Nhung

Kasikorn Vision (KVision), an investment holding company under Kasikorn Bank PCL in Thailand (KBank), will join hands with VIISA, a leading startup accelerator in Vietnam, and UP Co-Working Space to hold a three-day hackathon between June 28 and 30.

The event targets startups with products or ideas to tackle finance and business challenges facing Vietnamese and ASEAN economies. Bringing together KBank’s expertise in regional banking, KVision’s $245 million in funding, VIISA’s local know-how, and innovative ideas from local startups, the aim is to drive synergy that will spur cutting-edge solutions that create value and drive growth in Vietnam and the wider region.

Mr. Chat Luangarpa, First Senior Vice President of KBank, said that Vietnam has emerged as one of ASEAN’s most vibrant startup markets. It is now one of the most active venture capital (VC) markets in the region, and with a fast-growing economy, a pool of youthful tech talent, and strong government support, it has all the key ingredients for rapid growth in innovation. The country’s young, change-oriented consumer market also makes Vietnam a perfect place for startups to thrive.

KVision, aiming to drive innovative growth in the region, sees potential for Vietnamese startups to not only grow in the local market but also capture opportunities across ASEAN. Supported by KBank’s presence in the region, the hackathon is aimed at equipping Vietnamese startups with the right tools to bring them to their next level of growth on the regional stage.

From design thinking to pitching, the end goal is to inspire and drive startups to come up with real solutions to materialize their business and form real connections to make their business happen. On top of that, startups with potential will have the opportunity to gain financial backing from investors from Vietnam and overseas, as well as fast-track entry into a range of other startup programs.

At the heart of this program lies the idea of co-innovation. Mr. Duc Tran, CEO of VIISA, said that the time for partnerships is now. Gone is the time when bricks-and-mortar corporations and startups could simply view each other as competitors. Partnerships between the two can bring a synergy effect and a combination of different strengths to accelerate growth, allowing startups to scale in a time of increasing competition while also allowing corporations to transform in the digital age.

Mr. Luangarpa added that this is now also one of KBank’s key strategies. The establishment of KVision in Vietnam as well as other countries with outstanding technology sectors, including China, Israel, and Indonesia, is in order to scout innovative startups to co-launch new services in the region’s underserved and quickly-evolving markets.

KVision looks to play an active role in linking startup ecosystems in ASEAN. Earlier this month, it signed a cooperation agreement with the Vietnamese Government’s Business Startup Support Center (BSSC) to support Thai startups’ entry into the Vietnamese market. To continue its focus on Vietnam, KBank has a plan to upgrade its Ho Chi Minh City representative office into its first branch in the country, once the license is granted. Alongside setting up physical branches, KBank also looks to bring in digital solutions, including partnerships with startups, to address financial service gaps and drive disruption in the region.

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