In 2016, 17 projects will receive IPP2′ grant with total value  up to EUR1.2 million. Answering IPP2, Mr. Huynh Cong Phap, representative from the consortium of Danang University, DISED and DNES – one of the outstanding innovation project teams selected for IPP2’s Phase 2 Grant shares about the project:

– What inspired you to start this project?

The idea of building the project comes from the current situation in Vietnam in general and Danang city that the current ecosystem to support entrepreneurship and innovation is very weak and lacks many key components. Therefore, the big idea of the project is to promote the cooperation of coalition partners including universities, governments and business to develop an ecosystem to support entrepreneurship and innovation sustainably and sufficiently in Danang city. Accordingly, it can promote the investment environment, business and entrepreneurship in Danang, attract and support more businesses, investors and start-ups, especially foreign enterprises and investors into Danang.

Anh minh hoa_Huynh Cong Phap

– What is the vision of your project? What about your project’s impact on the community?

The objective of the project is to build a system of innovation and entrepreneurship promotion, including incubators and supporting ecosystems. This system is developed by the cooperation and collaboration of the three main coalition partners which are the University of Danang – College of Information Technology (UD-CIT), Danang Institute of socio-economic development (DISED) and Danang Incubator. Particularly, UD-CIT who constructs the incubators is responsible for inspiring, supportting innovative and entrepreneurship ideas from students and lecturers, as well as creating inputs for the city’s incubator with the aim of incubating more businesses and commercial products.

– Name the most interesting features of the project.

An interesting point of this project is the alliance of three members from different sectors which are the State, the University and the Entrepreneur with a devotion and a passion for building a sufficient and sustainable ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship and innovation in Danang city.

Another highlighting point of the project is just the results obtained after 9 months of implementing the Phase 1 of the project (from July 2015 to March 2016). We have achieved a lot of success and very impressive results, contributing greatly to the startup movement in particular and positive impacts on the economy and the society in general for Danang city. Specifically, the incubators and the ecosystems in universities and the city have been built to incubate a lot of startup projects; many domestic and international investors, experts are networked; many training workshops about entrepreneurship are delivered; many events and seminars related to entrepreneurship are held.

– With EUR 100,000 in grant from IPP2, what are your short-term and long-term activities?

After 9 months, although many activities have been done so well, we are still at the beginning stage. In the next phase, the project will continue to build and develop a sustainable entrepreneurship supporting ecosystem. In particular, the project will focus on strengthening and enhancing the network of experienced mentoring experts who will provide valuable supports for the development of start-ups. Besides, the establishment of entrepreneurship curriculum along with the creation of a professional instructing staff should be focused to develop entrepreneurship training programs in line with the environment of Danang in particular and Vietnam in general. In addition, the project will organize more activities on entrepreneurship such as seminars, entrepreneurship development projects; we will expand our participants, not only students but also community. The project will also develop a network of satellite incubators toward a sustainable and extensive ecosystem, contributing to the city incubation infrastructure, with the aim of building Danang into a startup city in the future.

– Name some of the challenges that you are facing. How can IPP2 best support your project?

The challenges we are facing are not just in Danang but in the whole Vietnam. First of all, entrepreneurial spirit and mindset of people in Vietnam Central should be changed. Knowledge and entrepreneurship skills of high-school students and students still lack a lot generally. In addition, the team of professional consultants is still limited. Finding supporting teams for start-up projects still faces with many difficulties. Moreover, instructing staff in site and training programs dedicated to entrepreneurship has not been created methodically yet, leading to the fact that foundation of entrepreneurship knowledge is still missing a lot. Angel investors, especially in the central region are few. The matter is Danang needs more investors.

The role of IPP2 during the last 9 months is very important, not only in financial aspect. The team members’ knowledge on innovation and entrepreneurship has been improved very much through their participation in the Innovation Accelerator Training Program, a useful course with foreign professional training experts. Besides, IPP2 facilitated in connecting investors, creating opportunities to participate in many workshops, meeting many startup project teams to learn from their experiences. We have also received mentorship and supports from experts who are experienced consultants.

Hopefully in the next phase, in addition to financial support, the IPP2 will continue to support in training, providing network of dedicated and professional consultants, facilitating in introducing and connecting investors to Danang.

– Thanks for sharing, Mr. Huynh Cong Phap. Congratulation and best wishes to your projects./.