Bản tin 500VN tháng 8/2017

Congratulations to the Vietnam student delegation to the International Math Olympiad for getting 4 gold medals and #3 overall!  Of course, the outcome was not terribly surprising — it’s  Vietnam’s sixth Top 10 finish in the last seven years.  This kind of math talent has formed the basis of Vietnam’s tech labor force.

However, as we reminded the audience at Danang’s annual startup conference last month, tech capability is necessary but not sufficient.  Successful startup founders, let alone complete global citizens, must also be capable with critical thinking, teamwork, ethics, etc.  Anecdotally, Vietnam’s education system still has gaps on some of these elements.  Until now and for the near future, many students have filled the gaps with sheer hustle, soaking up digital content and/or fighting their way to international learning opportunities.  That’s why, for example, Vietnam has been such a major source of study abroad students in places like the U.S., Australia, Japan, Korea, and France, and that’s why in July we closed an investment in ApplyBoard, a startup helping students anywhere in the world (incl. Vietnam) study at leading institutions in the U.S. and Canada. But Vietnam’s full potential can only be met if local learning is transformed and world-class education is made available to everyone.  This was a common topic of discussion at this year’s EdTech Asia Summit, held a week ago in Saigon. Besides universal conversations regarding the evolution of education, preparation for jobs of the future, etc., Eddie moderated a panel covering Vietnam’s evolving education landscape: a proposed revision to Decree 73, the ongoing effort to establish Vietnam’s first independent, non-profit university, and so on.

By the way, a friend at Google SEA has tips for our newsletter subscribers who want to make sure they catch our newsletter each month: move the newsletter email from the Promotions tab (for those who use gmail tabs), and add the sender’s address to your Address Book.  (Thanks Ly!)

Until next month ~

Team 500 Startups Vietnam

Vietnam in the News

  • Vietnam to launch nearly 40 IPOs of state companies in 2H2017. “The country has set itself a goal of paring stakes in 137 state owned enterprises by 2020.” DealStreetAsia. 7/17
  • Vietnamese students score 4 medals at the International Mathematics Olympiad, including the top individual performance. The Vietnamese as a team ranked third overall behind South Korea and China. VNExpress. 7/22
  • China reportedly threatens Vietnam into ending energy exploration in South China Sea. Vietnam has reportedly terminated a gas-drilling expedition in a disputed area of the South China Sea…” CNBC. 7/23 BBC. 7/24


500 Startups + INSEAD: VC Unlocked Asia
November 6-10 at the INSEAD Asia Campus in Singapore

Join us at the next session where INSEAD faculty and 500 Startups partners will lead current and aspiring investors through a comparison of the startup investing landscape across different countries in Asia. Spots are limited. Apply now here.

Vietnam Tech in the News

  • Channel News Asia features Binh and Eddie on their latest episode of Power List Asia. Channel News Asia. 7/26
  • Eddie keynotes SURF Tech Conference in Da Nang on the topic of “Why it’s now (or never) for Viet Nam”. SURF, video. 7/20
  • Uber CTO Thuan Pham shares his story and advice in local fireside chats in Hanoi and Saigon. Deal Street Asia. 7/28


Skoll Global Threats and benetech are partnering to bring top technology mentors to the world, with Vietnam as one of their focus countries. If you are interested in digital healthcare initiatives and want to find out more, send an email with subject “Technology Mentorship” to Deep at deepd@benetech.org.

Upcoming Events

  • 2nd Annual Startup Weekend, August 25 – 27, HCMC. Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event designed to provide experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Event Page
  • Seamless Vietnam, September 6 – 7, HCMC. Over 2 days, Seamless Vietnam 2017 will bring together the most exciting online merchants, offline retailers, banks, transport operators and more with the very best in international payments, e-commerce and retail solution vendors. Event Page
  • Pre-Money, September 7, San Francisco, CA.A one-day event about the most disruptive strategies, models & technologies for the future of venture capital. Event Page
  • Startup Day 2017, August 26, HCMC. One of the largest annual startup events organized by the Business Startup Support Centre. Event Page
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