UNDP

UNDP Viet Nam and Hatch! Ventures introduced SDG challenge 2017’s top 4, and announced a joint social impact incubation program with USD 80,000 non-equity seed fund


 

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Ha Noi, 19/12/2017- The United Nations Development Program in Viet Nam (UNDP Viet Nam) and HATCH! VENTURES held a ceremony to present awards to the TOP FOUR of the SDG Challenge 2017 competition and launch the Social Impact Incubation Program to provide business consultancy to the winning teams for further development.

SDG Challenge 2017is a national competition for social impact startups and business innovators. The competition was introduced and hosted for the first time by UNDP Viet Nam and HATCH! VENTURES with the aim to identify potential impact companies that could help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), advancing Viet Nam towards Agenda 2030.

25 teams/ companies were selected to pitch in the Semi-final events in Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCMC, along with series of HATCH! FAIR Elite Conferences. The Final round, which was hosted under the HATCH! FAIR the Fifth official event in HCMC, provided opportunity for 12 teams/ companies as the Finalists to showcase in the Startup Exhibition area, and delivered final pitches in front of five national and international jury members with experience in Business and Social Impact Development.

"These four teams are wonderful ambassadors for SDG impact business," UNDP Country Director in Viet Nam applauded the winners. "They utilize new technologies, their businesses are built on strong partnerships, with business incubators, mentors, and technical experts. Their businesses value the environment, empower and support the most marginalized in society, and find creative ways to ensure no one is left behind as Viet Nam continues to move forward".

Mr. Pham Quoc Dat, Founder & CEO of HATCH! VENTURES, commented on the cooperation between HATCH! VENTURES and UNDP Viet Nam: "Startup ecosystem in Vietnam is growing stronger than ever, creating favorable conditions for social impact startups to search for supporting resources. The cooperation between HATCH! VENTURES and UNDP Viet Nam is a vivid proof of how well the ecosystem is interacting for socio-economic development, which encourages future partnership between public and private sectors in supporting social impact companies and balancing the commercial and social parts of the economy's development".

The Four Winning Teams are Imagtor; Triip.me/Save the Ocean; Sign Language Interpreting Service Company; and 1516 Green Architecture:

(1) Imagtor provides video and photography editing service with majority of the staff are People with Disabilities (PwDs). The company started to generate profit after four months of operation with 100% customers from oversea, and a monthly sale growth is 36%;

(2) Triip.me/Save the Ocean sets up an affordable smart water refill network in order to reduce plastic usage. The project received 300 locations registered for refill network within 48 hours after official announcement and 1,000 locations up to date;

(3) Sign Language Interpreting Service Company provides sign language translation between deaf and hearing people via video telephones and similar technologies. The project idea was started in September 2017 with focus on fund raising in parallel with introduction of the service to Hanoi Association of Deaf People (HAD) and its member's network to acquire early adopters;

(4) 1516 Green Interior Design provides low-cost systems of wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity for the poor in remote areas. There are almost 100 wind turbines and solar systems installed within 2017 for poor households in the northern area of Vietnam (Hanoi, Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Nghe An, etc.).

As part of the Competition, UNDP and HATCH! VENTURES organized training workshops for interested groups/ companies on SDGs impact business in Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCM City. Before the final pitching round, two more workshops were held to provide finalists with guidance and tips for effective business pitch.

Ms. Nguyen Thao Van, Chairwoman of Imagtor, shared her experience from the competition: "What I learned most from the competition was how to improve and revise my business from judges' feedback. In all pitching sessions, I learnt how to present my business in only three minutes and still the audience understood what my business is. In the Q&A session, I received many thought-provoking questions that made me reconsider my business model, how to understand our weaknesses and utilize our strengths."

To follow up, the winners are put into a Social Impact Incubation Program jointly organized by UNDP Viet Nam and HATCH! VENTURES, from December 2017 to June 2018. Under the program, the companies are provided with initial working capital with total of USD 85,000, and consultancy package in business development. The program activities focus in supporting the companies to develop prototypes to test ideas and business models in the market, as well as to seize opportunities for future fundraising or grant proposals.

Mr. Csaba Bundik, Partner & Incubation Director from HATCH! VENTURES, commented on the upcoming Social Impact Incubation Program: "How can we be sure that we will be successful with this diverse portfolio? The same logic applies, we were actively looking for people who possessed both positive social sense and a "can-do" attitude. They are start-ups and leaders with delivered results, proven track records, with accomplishments. We were looking for hard workers and problem-solvers who were part of the solution, not the problem. The upcoming months will be challenging. In order to reach the next level of readiness, to be sustainable, there must be changes in all start-ups here."

After the Program, companies will join a Demo event to showcase their businesses and call for interest of investments and sponsorships. For further and updated information, please contact:

About UNDP Viet Nam Activities and Initiatives:

About Winners and Social Impact Incubation Program information:

ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS

United Nations Development Program Viet Nam (UNDP Viet Nam)

UNDP Viet Nam partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

HATCH! VENTURES VIET NAM

HATCH! was launched in 2012 with the mission to support entrepreneurs and promote the early-stage startup ecosystem in Vietnam. Since then, HATCH! activities and leadership have made international headlines, as the organization supports thousands of individual entrepreneurs operating hundreds of startups. In 2017, HATCH! expands through Ecosystem Building, Accelerator / Incubator Programs, and Co-Working Space.