Saigon Tech Startup Fest 2016: An Inspiration to Future Entrepreneurs

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posted by Linh Nguyen
on Apr 21, 2016

Organized under the theme, “Bringing Silicon Valley to Vietnam,” Saigon Tech Startup Fest 2016 was considered to be an incredible success for drawing over 4,000 attendees of all ages and from around the globe.

First Startup Fest in Vietnam



From 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM on March 12, 2016, Saigon Tech Startup Fest 2016 made its mark as the biggest and grandest festival to date for tech-addicted youngsters and entrepreneurs alike in Vietnam. Held inside Independence Palace, the festival sought to create collaboration opportunities, explore the latest and fastest-growing startup schemes, and acknowledge donors and sponsors while supporting different aspects of the entrepreneurial industry. Startup Fest included diverse activities, such as tech conferences, a startup job fair, workshops, a digital showcase, and of course, community networking opportunities.


Inspiration For Like-Minded Techies; Nourishment For Startups

Approximately 50 leading startup enterprises (Uber, Hubba, Tiny Pulse, and Coc Coc, to name a few) were present to share their stories and experiences of being part of the tech and startup community. Walking among the booths, it was clear that diversity was a major goal in arranging this event; each booth had its own culture – and we are not speaking to the fact that many of these organizations are international. The companies ran the gamut from mobile apps to physical products, and we’re sure they were all hoping to get the attention of the representatives for the hit US television series, Shark Tank, who were scoping out new and upcoming talent! Here are some of the startups that were present at Saigon Tech Startup Fest.
Not in the mood to do house chores? Then Btaskee is definitely for you. Btaskee connects users to local taskers to do household services, from cleaning to plumbing.

Hubba is an event discovery and social network app that lets users discover local events and meet up with individuals who has similar interest. It’s basically YPlan meets Tinder.
An 8-week course for developers who wants to learn more technical skills. The website listed three instructors who studied in UC Berkeley, Yale, and NYU.

Cốc Cốc
Cốc Cốc
A search engine that understands Vietnamese language better than any other one does. Cốc Cốc boasts 18,211,640 monthly active users.
Dubbed as the largest bus ticket booking platform in Vietnam, works with 2000+ bus companies offering 5000+ routes and supporting 1.5M+ passengers monthly.
One of the biggest food discovery and review platform in Vietnam.

The multinational transportation company officially launched in Ho Chi Minh City in July 2014.

Apartment hunting can be a pain. Reeting connects apartment hunters and homeowners easily via their website and app (currently available on Google Play).

A local-language content platform created to enrich the lives of Myanmar youth, through deep, accessible and rich online experiences.

iCare benefits
iCare benefits
An end-to-end, comprehensive employee benefits package, that enhances workers’ lives while boosting their morale, loyalty and productivity.

English Language Speech Assistant or ELSA is an artificial intelligence coach who will help you perfect your English pronunciation.


NIFTIT had a booth at the event as well, and we were delighted to meet the young and talented tech-savvy entrepreneurs who came across our station. We like to think they were drawn in by our fun and enthusiastic team members, but that they stayed for the insight our NIFTers provided regarding our growth and role as a web development and design agency in today’s expanding market. Thank you to our dedicated supporters who helped us spread the word (and some brochures) at the event!


Representatives from some of the most successful entrepreneur-led organizations finished five workshops in rounds of applause. The first one started with two speakers from SHIELD Academy; Hai Ho (co-founder of and Bui Hai An (co-founder of both Silicon Straits Saigon and TGM Saigon) opened with their presentation, “Young Entrepreneurs: Invest In Growth.” Nicholas Embleton and Andrew Pope followed and used their current successes in management within the tech and startup community to host a MySQUAR workshop titled, “Journey at MyChat: From Idea to Hitting 2 Million Users.” Le Ba Minh, head of Zalo (of the VNG Corporation), presented, “The Startup Process for a New Future/Project Development at Zalo.”



The fourth workshop, “Startup Marketing and Growth Hacking On a Budget,” was a hit, as it was led by three young and successful entrepreneurs: Nguyen Thanh Long, Head of Coc Coc Marketing School; Le Le Nguyen Anh Duong, Product Manager of; and Pham Anh Duc, the Marketing Manager at The principle product manager of TINYpulse, Joseph Huynh, also gave a speech at the event titled, “Building the Billion Dollar Idea with Value Proposition Canvas.” Last but not least, Harley Trung – the co-founder of – hosted a fun workshop titled, “How To Code the Next Flappy Bird,” during which he showed the famous 18-line code for the million dollars net worth game, Flappy Bird. Saigon Tech Startup Fest 2016 apparently welcomed some of the biggest names in Vietnam’s tech and startup community; even Nguyen Phuong Anh – the head of marketing at Google Asia Pacific – came by to answer questions posed by the many young entrepreneurs in attendance!




One of the highlights of the fest was the opportunity for real experiences with advanced technologies, such as virtual reality glasses, a 3-D printer, drones, and more. People attending got to try out the latest inventions; the experience was a blast, and we have the pictures to prove it:




This event had closed the 2016 version over a month ago; however, the heat of it is still going around the Startup community and people keep talking about the next movements of its organizers. Attendees were clearly appreciative of the information and insight they received from the rapidly growing tech startup community in Saigon. Not surprisingly, the organizers (GetLinks, SHIELD, VYE, and were similarly pleased by the interest shown by the over 4,000 individuals who came to learn and demonstrate their support for this growing community. What did you think of this year’s fest? Do you have any ideas to make the next event even better? If so, share below; we’d love to hear your feedback.



Image sources:

1. Binh Phoenix –

2. Viet Le –

3. Viet Le –

4. Saigon Tech Startup Fest Facebook