S Korea’s Hanwha, BIDV join FPT, Dragon Capital to run $8m accelerator in Vietnam

South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group and Vietnam’s third largest lender BIDV have partnered to run the Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA) along with the initial two co-founders, Dragon Capital and FPT Corporation.

VIISA, an open-ended fund, will invest $8 million in Vietnamese startups with the objective of making them global-ready.

The accelerator, which launched in March, introduced its website www.viisa.vn.

It has now initiated the process of calling for applications to select 10 potential startups for a four-month training phase.

The accelerator targets to fund eligible startups with $15,000 in exchange for a 5 per cent stake in the companies.

Along with the networks already available through Dragon Capital and FPT, the teams will also be exposed to Hanwha’s and BIDV’s investment links and the bank’s lending and financial management services.

A demo day, slated for March 2017, aims to enable startups to attract follow-on funding of up to $500,000. As each boot camp ends, VIISA hopes its graduates will be assisted in regional expansion, particularly into Singapore and South Korea.

“Vietnam is one of the most vibrant ecosystems in Southeast Asia. We believe VIISA plays a decent role in helping accelerate the startups from the idea stage to doing real business, which will boost the entrepreneurship ecosystem here and ultimately create values to a wider society,” commented Adrian Tan, VIISA’s programme director, in a press statement.

Tan was a former coach at JFDI Asia, which recently decided to close its acceleration programme.

Other mentors include Dragon Capital executives, Tran Huu Duc, head of FPT Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures managing partner Jeffrey Paine, NSI Ventures partner Hian Goh and Japanese VC firm IMJ Investment Partners’ principal Ryu Hirota.

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