Top 3 Vietnamese youth-led impact startups secure support from the region

December 1, 2023
UNDP in Viet Nam

Hanoi, 1 December 2023  - The three most innovative and socially impactful startup teams addressing critical issues were announced during the Demo Day of the Youth Co:Lab Viet Nam SDGs Innovation Incubator 2023. HUBTECH ASIA, a comprehensive platform connecting agriculture stakeholders, emerged as the first-place winner. Snotty Cat Games, an application enhancing awareness of safe sexual relationships, and Tam Nguyen, a startup focused on thermal depolymerization of plastic waste, secured second and third positions, respectively. The winning teams received seed funding and opportunities to engage in events and support programmes in Viet Nam and the Asia-Pacific region throughout 2024, facilitated by Youth Co:Lab, a project co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation.

Youth Co:Lab Viet Nam's Demo Day, which concluded with the announcement, was co-organised by Youth Co:Lab Viet Nam and the Department of Science and Technology of Nam Dinh Province, together with support from HASU (Youth Co:Lab Viet Nam alumni), and showcased the top 5 startups from the 3-month national incubation programme.

This event served as a platform for the five outstanding impact startups to present their innovative ideas to a diverse audience of investors, partners, and business support organizations.

Mr. Patrick Haverman, Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP in Viet Nam, stated, "We (UNDP) recognise the transformative power of socially responsible entrepreneurship. Through our incubation programme, we instill corporate social responsibility, fostering sustainable business practices, environmental stewardship, and community engagement. By integrating these values, we empower individuals to be successful business leaders and agents of positive change in an ethical and sustainable world."

Mr. Tran Minh Hoan, Director of the Department of Science and Technology of Nam Dinh Province, emphasised that "development cannot be separated from the vision of sustainability. Building a better future is not just about economic growth but also includes environmental protection, promoting social justice, and ensuring comprehensive development for all."

The SDGs Innovation Incubator 2023, a 3-month national incubation programme for Vietnamese young social entrepreneurs, aims to support initiatives led by youth in Viet Nam, providing them with the knowledge and skills needed for a successful startup journey while promoting social and environmental sustainability.

Officially launched on 6 July 2023, the programme garnered interest and participation from young social entrepreneurs across the country. After the selection process, 10 youth-led impact startups with the most outstanding business ideas were chosen to participate in the programme. They underwent a three-month intensive training journey, including individual mentoring sessions with advisors from leading organisations such as Citi Viet Nam, Lotte Ventures, BK Fund, and more. Concurrently, the training covered various topics, including SDGs and Impact Business Models, Early-stage Growth Strategies, The Power of Storytelling, Financial Planning, and Fundraising for startups.

Young social entrepreneurs also had the opportunity to participate in the Investor Meet-Up networking event and the Feedback Day session, where the teams presented their ideas and received support from nearly 30 leading experts in various fields.

Mr. Ramachandran A.S., Citi Vietnam Country Head, shared, "Citi and the Citi Foundation are active contributors to initiatives that drive positive impact and change. Our commitment goes beyond financial support. It is rooted in our dedication to fully embracing the diversity of the communities we serve. Through partnerships and programmes such as the SDG Innovation Incubator with Youth Co:Lab, we are able to directly support these passionate entrepreneurs as they address issues impacting society and underserved communities.”

The success of Demo Day highlights the importance of Youth Co:Lab Vietnam and the SDGs Innovation Incubator programme as vital training and support platforms for the long-term development of Viet Nam's young social impact entrepreneurs.

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For additional information, please contact:
Nguyen Viet Lan, UNDP Communications Lead,, phone: 0914436769