The GBA successfully hosted the final pitch event of the GBA Business Challenge – Season 4 on Monday, 6 November 2023, at Sofitel Saigon Plaza. The event drew the attention of 80 participants, including members of the German business community, university professors, and entrepreneurs.
Launched by the GBA in 2020, the GBA Business Challenge aims to support local young talents with promising, forward-thinking ideas, helping them transform their visions into viable businesses. The competition provides participants with entrepreneurial tools, real-life business experience, and a starting fund. The first three editions were highly successful, attracting over 200 diverse business concepts with the potential to positively impact society, the environment, and people in the long term.
This year’s competition theme focused on addressing social, environmental, or sustainable development issues. Out of 50 startups that underwent a rigorous 6-month training and evaluation process, five teams from various universities across Vietnam reached the top ranks of the competition. They presented their innovative solutions to a panel of judges, competing for a prize of 350 million dong and a 12-month coaching program.
The coaching program is facilitated by experienced leaders and experts from the German business community in Vietnam in collaboration with professors from the Vietnamese-Germany University (VGU) and The German Academy Exchange Agency (DAAD).
The victorious team from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology distinguished themselves with their practical business idea, “ENSOVER: Sustainable Water Hyacinth Paper.”
The initiative transforms the invasive water hyacinth into high-quality paper, turning an environmental issue into a sustainable solution. Embodying the motto “From Waste to Great,” the champion aims to highlight Vietnamese identity through innovative solutions to local environmental challenges, fostering national pride and showcasing Vietnamese ingenuity. This effort reflects Vietnam’s commitment to sustainability and resilience.
The AGROWISE team, comprising students from the Danang University of Economics and Vietnam-Korea University of Information and Communication Technology, clinched the first runner-up spot with their persuasive business ideas centered on “Internet of Things” (IoT) technology. This empowers farmers to yield abundant crops while conserving valuable natural resources.
The MEDIFIND team, from the University of Economic Ho Chi Minh City and the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, secured the second runner-up position. They offer a comprehensive app that ensures the safe usage of antibiotics by meticulously analyzing ingredient lists and providing decisive advice and warnings.
Tuan Vi, GBA Board member and sector Committee member of the “GBA Business Challenge,” stated, “As a business association, the German Business Association believes it can make a more sustainable impact by encouraging and mentoring businesses. The GBA Business Challenge is an effort of the GBA to create and support new start-ups, which later can create jobs and income and contribute to Vietnam’s economic development in the long term. Through this initiative, we also want to create a connection between German business values and Vietnamese entrepreneurial spirit that might open many cooperation and business opportunities in the future.”
The champion team of the GBA Business Challenge – Season IV, ENSOVER, expressed their gratitude for the competition, stating, “Participating in the GBA Business Challenge provided us not only with financial support and a capacity-building program, but also a chance to challenge ourselves, grow our confidence, and enhance soft skills such as presentation and pitching in English, logical and critical thinking, and project management.
We also experienced the challenges and pressures of the real business environment. After six months of competition, we have gained a wealth of knowledge and valuable lessons, which have boosted our self-confidence and entrepreneurial spirit.”
Honored to be a partner with GBA for Season 4 - Techtronic Industries (TTI), expressed: “Techtronic Industries (TTI) was co-founded in 1985 by Mr. Horst Julius Pudwill. The company is committed to accelerating the transformation of its served industries through superior environmentally friendly cordless technology.
TTI brands like MILWAUKEE, RYOBI, and HOOVER are recognized worldwide for their deep heritage and cordless product platforms of superior quality, outstanding performance, safety, productivity, and compelling innovation. Our chairman’s entrepreneurial spirit inspired us to continue encouraging the entrepreneurship development among the next generations in Vietnam.
Through the collaboration with GBA in this GBA Business Challenge Competition, we hope that young Vietnamese talent with good business ideas can enhance their skills and knowledge, receive constructive feedback from the judging panel and turn those creative ideas into reality, contributing to the thriving economy in Vietnam.”