In today’s world, we see the alarming effects of climate change, and it’s evident that we must step up as environmental champions. Human actions have played a role in about two-thirds of extreme weather events in the past two decades. We’ve witnessed a notable increase in floods, extreme temperatures, droughts, and wildfires. Climate scientists are examining how our actions have contributed to these crises.
As we face these challenges, it’s clear that we have a crucial part to play in guiding our planet towards a more environmentally-friendly future.
But you might be curious as to why this matter so much? Well, it turns out that climate change is a major worry for millennials and Generation Z, just behind the high cost of living, according to a survey by Deloitte. It’s not just about protecting the planet; it’s also about ensuring a sustainable future. Sustainable businesses are proving to be better businesses. But don’t take our word for it; here are some compelling facts:
- Environmentally-focused startups are twice as likely to survive during their early development. (University of Trento)
- 89% of companies with strong environmental records outperform the market. (Deutsche Bank)
- 90% of studies show that brands with higher Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores have a lower cost of capital. (Harvard Business Review)
In such a landscape, initiatives and individuals promoting sustainability matter more than ever. The GREEN HORIZON Pitch Contest brings together some of the brightest minds and advocates of environmental change, both as participants and as judges. Here, we’ll introduce the esteemed panel of judges and get into their background, making them the right people to assess the innovative green ideas poised to make a difference.
Nguyen Tung Son - Associate at Impact Investment Exchange (IIX)
Nguyen Tung Son, an associate at Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), plays a pivotal role in leading the transaction advisory operation in Vietnam for IIX Impact Partners, the world’s largest private placement platform for impact investing.
His expertise lies in making impact enterprises in Vietnam and Southeast Asia investment-ready, connecting them with global investors, and successfully raising capital. With experience in finance and management consulting at KPMG, as well as hands-on experience in the venture capital and impact investing industry in the UK, Son is passionate about the impact investment and sustainable finance space. He believes in leveraging his finance expertise to serve the community where companies can attain triple-bottom-line success - people, planet, and profit.
Marina Tran-Vu - Founder and CEO of EQUO
Marina Tran-Vu is the visionary Founder and CEO of EQUO, a sustainable brand dedicated to providing 100% plastic-free and compostable alternatives, from straws and utensils to cups and food containers. These eco-friendly products are crafted from materials like grass, rice, coconut, sugarcane, and coffee, reducing plastic waste.
Marina’s dedication to sustainability has earned her global recognition, being featured in Forbes US, Bloomberg TV, Shark Tank Vietnam, and even a US show produced by NBA player Chris Paul. EQUO’s achievements include winning the VISA She’s Next Grant Programme and being named a Top 9 Global Startup by the United Nations Special Projects Program.
Nguyễn Trung Hiếu - COO at CarbonFarm Technology SAS
Nguyễn Trung Hiếu boasts nine years of leadership experience in digital transformation. He is a passionate advocate for leveraging technology to drive sustainable change. As an entrepreneur, Hieu has ventured into ed-tech and climate tech, witnessing the power of innovation in these domains.
Currently, he serves as the COO of CarbonFarm, a Paris-based climate-tech startup that assists farmers in Vietnam, India, and Spain. CarbonFarm is dedicated to building MRV (Measurement, Reporting, and Verification) technology that utilizes satellite data and AI to enable nature-based solutions. Their goal is to enable farmers to access carbon markets and contribute to a greener and more sustainable future. CarbonFarm’s recent accomplishment includes raising 2.5 million euros for global expansion. Hieu’s educational background includes Bates College in the US and the University of Oxford in the U.K.
Yoonmin Cho - Partner at Sopoong Ventures
Yoonmin Cho, a partner at Sopoong Ventures, is an ardent proponent of global investment with a particular focus on climate tech. Her investments include DAC startup Capture 6 in the US and electric motorbike company Selex in Vietnam.
Before joining Sopoong, Yoonmin served as Chief Business Development Officer at Kmong, a Korean startup, where she led global business expansion. Before that, she spent over a decade with Google, playing a vital role in successfully expanding Google’s business in Southeast Asia. Later, she launched Google for Startups in Korea and led APAC-wide initiatives. Her diverse experience and global perspective make her a valuable addition to the judging panel.
Hao Tran - CEO of Vietcetera
Behind the scenes of the GREEN HORIZON Pitch Contest is an individual dedicated to driving change, Hao Tran. Under his guidance, Vietcetera takes the lead in discussing climate change and its effects. Hao understands the urgency of the issue and is aware that climate change isn’t just an environmental concern; it threatens to amplify poverty and a slew of other challenges in the future. However, he believes in the collective ability to make a difference
With VNI GREEN HORIZON, Hao and Vietcetera have taken the initiative to create a platform where innovative green ideas can flourish. This contest is more than just a competition; it’s an opportunity to contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.