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NUS Enterprise & Becamex to establish Block71 in Vietnam

Released at: 14:15, 26/11/2019

NUS Enterprise & Becamex to establish Block71 in Vietnam

Photo: NUS Enterprise

BLOCK71's eighth location a key gateway supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in Vietnam.

by Minh Do

NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), signed an MoU on November 25 with the Becamex IDC Corporation to establish BLOCK71 in Vietnam with the aim of cultivating a vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country and beyond.

The MoU was signed by Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise), and Mr. Nguyen Van Hung, Chairman of Becamex, at the Horasis Asia Meeting held in Binh Duong New City in southern Binh Duong province on the same day.

The joint initiative will support a two-way flow of talent, technologies, and startups with the aim of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in both countries. Vietnamese and Singaporean startups may use BLOCK71’s global network of resources and contacts to kick-start their entrepreneurial journey and gain access to international markets. At the same time, the initiative will facilitate greater information exchange, connectivity, and access to programs between Singapore, Vietnam, and the region.

Vietnam has the third-most active startup ecosystem in ASEAN, behind Singapore and Indonesia, with a reported six-fold increase in invested capital in technology deals in the last two years.

With a large consumer market, the ecosystem has experienced a growing openness to foreign investment and support from government agencies in entrepreneurship; well-matched with Vietnam’s young 96 million-strong tech-savvy population.

BLOCK71’s expansion will aim to serve and grow this demand and be an aggregator of cross-border support, funding, and learning.

BLOCK71 in Vietnam is the latest extension of NUS’s global network of entrepreneurial gateways to overseas hubs, enabling NUS startups and technologies to gain access to new markets and vice-versa, to promote access to education and innovation programs in NUS for Vietnamese students and entrepreneurs.

Set up and managed by NUS Enterprise in cooperative and strategic partnerships with corporates and government agencies, BLOCK71 taps into the synergies derived from the deep experience of NUS Enterprise, widely acknowledged as the engine behind Asia’s leading university-based entrepreneurial ecosystem, and Becamex’s track record as a leading developer of industrial infrastructure in Vietnam with access to seven business parks and over 900 corporate partners.

“NUS is delighted to embark on this partnership with Becamex to expand BLOCK71’s presence in Southeast Asia,” said Professor Boey. “Our NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) program has also expanded in the region by sending the first cohort of students for internships in Ho Chi Minh City in May this year.”

“The new BLOCK71 in Vietnam will enable entrepreneurs and innovators to access new markets, provide NUS students with interesting internship placements, and provide information and access to technology innovation and entrepreneurship programs and courses available in Singapore, such as full-time Masters of Science programs and the NUS Technology Access Programme.”

“As we have embarked upon our journey to build the innovation ecosystem around our core business of industrial estate and services, we are delighted to establish the strategic cooperation with NUS, Asia’s leading university, to support entrepreneurs and local talent in their entrepreneurial learning and pursuits,” said Mr. Hung.

“We also welcome global startups who aspire to venture into Vietnam’s thriving market and gain access to local tech talent. This is an essential part of our larger strategy to facilitate the transition of Vietnam’s economy from labor-intensive to technology and knowledge activities.”

In Vietnam, both NUS Enterprise and Becamex will work closely to cultivate a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem and build bridges for business development in the country and beyond.

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