VIISA will be an open-ended fund with participation from many large enterprises and investment funds. FPT and Dragon Capital will be the founders of the fund, according to a joint press release.
The mandate of the fund is to train and invest in startup groups in information technology, mobile, internet and finance. The first training course of VIISA is expected to open in the second quarter of 2016.
“Currently, FPT and Dragon Capital are calling for more names among the Top 500 enterprises in Vietnam as well as funds and startup incubators worldwide to build and develop VIISA,” said the announcement.
The establishment of VIISA was in response to the national programme initiated by the science and technology ministry to build a startup ecosystem in the country, the two firms said in a press release.
The agreement between FPT and Dragon Capital was signed at the National Startup Initiative Workshop on Wednesday, where experts and supporters of the local tech space discussed how to transform Vietnam into a “startup nation”.
The event attracted Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who has shown major interest in the startup community as the new driver for the Vietnamese economy, representatives from the ministries of technology and education and the Vietnam Software Association and investment funds.
“We believe in the information technology and mobile revolution. The growth engine of the economy in the next decade will lie in the innovative startups we see today. By starting to work on this programme, we do hope to accelerate the commercialisation and the application of innovative technologies in Vietnam,” said Dominic Scriven, executive chairman of Dragon Capital.
By playing a new role in building an ecosystem, Dragon Capital and FPT expect to help hit the goal that Vietnam will have 5,000 technology companies by 2020.
The founders of VIISA hope the accelerator will become a centre to connect Vietnamese startups with partners and investors around the world.
In addition to the declaration of VIISA, the founding members also reached an agreement with local education utilities to bring startup activities to universities and schools. Promoting entrepreneurship from education has started to be an area where funds aim to partner.
Lotus Impact Fund is a step ahead as it has already collaborated with Danang University and the Foreign Trade University to help ignite entrepreneurship among students and incubate vibrant startups.
Meanwhile, FPT Corp earlier in 2015 launched its $3 million-targeted FPT Ventures fund, which has so far invested more than $1 million in FPT spinoffs and other startups.
“Some startups have affirmed their position in the community. Security intelligence platform CyRadar was named among Asia’s top 10 most promising tech startups by Echelon, advertising platform ANTS had hundreds of large customers and maintained an annual growth rate of over 100 per cent, while education app ELSA secured investment from 500 Startups and won the SXSWedu Launch startup competition,” said the release.
Dragon Capital, which has been well-known for its investment in listed equities, has also paid its attention to the startup space. The deal with FPT is not the investment firm’s first partnership in this area. In 2015, it teamed up with Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam to establish the Vietnam Fintech Club, an effort to boost the nascent financial technology industry in Vietnam.