Startup ideas, sustainability and the brightest student talent from RMIT Vietnam – all that and more took place at the Future Founders Competition this year.
Organised by Activator Vietnam, the annual competition supported participants as they built, tested and iterated their startup ideas.
All startup ideas were welcome, with a strong preference for sustainability and circular economy-oriented solutions.
In its second run, the competition took place at both the Saigon South and Hanoi campus this year, attracting a resounding number of 95 students who formed 25 teams.
For five weeks (31 July to 27 August), participants have access to Skill Up workshops, online tools and industry networks.
The support given was focused on developing an entrepreneurial mindset among students to help them turn an idea into reality.
“This year’s competition attracted a dynamic and passionate group of students, “said Pham Thi Hoang Oanh, the Events, Admin and Community Coordinator at Activator Vietnam.
“It was inspiring to watch them learn how to turn their idea into reality, explore their possibilities and connect with like-minded student innovators.”
Participants also had the opportunity to pitch their startup ideas to a panel of judges, who decided on the winners based on how the teams have demonstrated their entrepreneurial skills.
Joining the panel were industry experts Mr Nguyen Thanh Son (MVV Group), Mr Huynh Cong Thang (Inno Lab), Mr Nguyen Hoang Trung (LOSHIP) and Professor Matthew Nkhoma (Head of School of Business and Management, RMIT Vietnam).
The first, second and third place winners received cash prizes of US$2000, US$1000 and US$500 respectively.
Taking the top spot was Mi Tom for the idea of FIXETO, an online app that allows you to locate the nearest vehicle service workshops and reserve a slot for maintenance through an online booking system, allowing for price transparency and trust with an integrated rating and feedback system.
“Initially, our motivation for taking part was just to have fun,” said Vo Ho Gia Huy, a member of Mi Tom. “But the immense support we received from RMIT Activator got us so excited and motivated us to go all out in developing our idea.”
Bellissimo, who won first runner up, came up with an idea for a a skincare routine customisation platform that helps people find the best products for their own needs while second runner up, Healthy and Balance, introduced a healthy meal plan service that requires only 10 minutes of cooking time for a modern and time-starved generation.
"This competition has been positively helpful in fostering creative thinking, broadening the horizons, and developing quick plus efficient decision-making skills, “said Professor Nkhoma.
“For students, they are not only exposing their talents but also challenging themselves to realize their dreams and be able to think out of the box to get ahead of the competition.”
Another impressed judge, Mr Huynh, described the confidence and energy that he witnessed among the participants on their pitch day as “magnificent”.
“They make me feel proud and hopeful for the next generation of entrepreneurs in Vietnam,” he said.
Future Founders Competition winners can continue to build their business idea through the 6-week introduction to entrepreneurship program at RMIT Activator, which provides valuable startup resources, coaching and a supportive community of founders.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.