Congratulations Entrepreneurs of Flight 8 Flight 8 Certificate

On April 8th, 2020, Entrepreneurs of Flight 8 of the World Innovations Forum  Entrepreneurs Acceleration Program (AEP) presented after completion of a 3-month accelerator program at the online Demo Day in front of Angel groups and Investors from Asia and Europe.

The selection of Flight8 startups started in South East Asia. In November we have been on the Asia Tour in fall 2019, where we met and interviewed several entrepreneurs in Vietnam and Cambodia who presented at our local pitch events in Saigon and Phnom Phen. Our Asian Ambassadors introduced us to 2 Pitch Event winners in South Korea and a company in Nepal who all joined the Bootcamp in Vietnam.

With the location support from the Saigon Innovation Hub, we conducted an intensive onside accelerator boot camp with ten teams from Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, and South Korea. The first week covered key topics of entrepreneurs’ experiences i.e.  Deep Innovation Design Method, identifying the uniqueness of a company, the need for speed, vision development, building a disruptive business model, customer experience, traction development, growth hacking, going global and capitalization of a company throughout its growth path. The intensity and necessary focus also showed the energy and willpower of the participating entrepreneurs.  Unfortunately, some teams simply didn’t make it and we completed the week with eight hardened teams.

The Bootcamp in Vietnam was well received and good preparation of what was coming: a 12-week online marathon to turn respective companies from a great idea into an execution path to make it a reality. The goal: a unique genuinely innovative business that will be hard to copy and have the attributes to be a stand-alone business for the future. During these 12 weeks, three more companies had to give up for different reasons, lack of focus, realizing the idea would not sustain the pressure the market will put on or realizing entrepreneurial requisites are different than they thought.

Five remaining teams proved that they would do whatever it takes to bring their business through any type of storm and received the World Innovations Forum Accelerator Flight 8 certificate after presenting their companies in front of roughly 60 Angels and VCs at our the Online Demo Day.

 

 

ASIA TOUR FALL 2019 HIGHLIGHTS

Mid-December, we returned from our third 2-month long work to Asia. This time we started our activities Phnom Phen and later on ran our very first Accelerator (Flight 8) in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. At the end of the trip, we spend time at the Tech Fest in Halon Bay in the north of Vietnam.

START IN CAMBODIA

What a fast emerging nation. After the typical get to know each other and what our plans are, we have been very welcomed. At our entrepreneurs night at THE DESK in Phnom Penh, we met three amazing teams with very creative ideas. One is building a business that focuses entirely on e-commerce returns and its entire logistical challenges for any e-commerce operation that is not as powerful as Amazon. Another team, also in the e-commerce business, found a way to build a hybrid for small shops with no digital affinity to slowly emerge into the digital world by offering a scalable model from no digital to fully digital. And a third company is bold enough to actually stand up to Amazon and Alibaba by building an e-commerce platform with already over 100,000 products, mainly from China, at a purchase price level of the likes of Amazon. Bun, the founder, had already built a successful startup in Phnom Penh and had an exit with which he started his new company. All three joined the Accelerator program in Vietnam 3 weeks later. The event at THE DESK, who thankfully hosted the World Innovations Forum, had a significant impact on us and the ecosystem in Cambodia.


FRIENDSHIPS IN VIETNAM

Our first visit to Vietnam was at a charity event from an already old friend from previous visits. His family is helping disadvantaged people, mostly women who are helping others. A very inspiring event with very moving examples of their work. It also shows that Vietnam is on its fast rise upwards where people make a lot of money but probably sooner than in other societies give back to those in need. In general, it was a great start meeting with all the people we met before. Since we are not a stiff and programmatic organization but people that love to work with people, friendships come more naturally. We believe it is what is needed to create impact rather than the impact on a report for donors.

Another old friend from the other side of the planet surprised me in Vietnam, Bill Reichert from Silicon Valley’s iconic Venture Capital firm, Garage Ventures. Yes, it’s a small world :) We found each other at the podium of the opening ceremony of the TechFest.


ACCELERATOR FLIGHT 8

Our first seven accelerator flights have been before our work in emerging countries and were attended mostly by entrepreneurs from developed countries. The only exception was Flight 4, which was a spontaneous “Refugee Accelerator.” There we tried to help entrepreneurial refugees from Syria and Afghanistan to start their own business in Berlin, Germany, and instead of seeking jobs creating jobs. The result was four companies created, and two years later, 36 jobs created plus one going back and now helping entrepreneurs in Afghanistan to start their own business.

But Flight 8 is different. We have teams from Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, and South Korea. After the first day when the ice has broken the teams ramped up very quickly. Initially not sure if it would be a good idea to grow a large business, all have been inspired to become a business owner that creates jobs and contributes to the economy. The idea of disruption and standing out of the crowd is very diverse to the various cultures in Asia. The Asian culture is very inclusive; we are all one; nobody is extraordinary. But understanding that the CEO must not be the superhero above all heroes and stand out of the crowd, but the products they introduce together with their teams must stand out helped understand the subtle difference between people and the action or product. While I write this post, the program is still going on but now as an online collaboration with video conferences. Not only it helps doing this remotely – most importantly, it helps to collaborate in the digital space truly — something the West still has to learn.


PARTNERSHIP WITH ICM AND SONCHAN

A new and very strategic partnership was formed with the Innovation Capital Management group that joined our global WIForum Innovation Capital Network. It’s the first investors’ group we have on board. The common ground is to make investments into startups in emerging countries much more accessible and to attract foreign investors by offering standardized stock purchase agreements in the English language with a notarized translation into the local language. The ICN project is still in the making but will be rolled out globally in 2020. Local investor groups from the countries we work in, such as Angel groups or venture capital firms, can join and collaborate on a framework that allows cross country investments, as long as the respective Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for private equity exits ts in the respective country.

Another important partnership signed Marita with the SunChan Incubator with multiple locations in Vietnam. The idea is to help the organization adapt our new Innopreneurs Academy Program, an accelerator framework that allows the partners to work with a full-blown business model through a much-extended program, including corporate innovators and mid-market businesses. The signing happened during the TechFest in Halong Bay.


TECH FEST 2019

At the end of our stay, we visited a fantastic TechFest 2019 in the beautiful Halong Bay in northern Vietnam. We performed several workshops, gave keynotes, and conducted lots of meetings.

It was a pleasure and honor to meet the Minister for Science and Technology, Tran Van Tung, during the event and together on one of the podium discussions. You feel the ambition and energy of the country all the way to the top political ranks, very different than most other Southeast Asian countries. You literally feel the energy in Vietnam.

Approximately 8,000 people attended the four-day event, and approximately 1,000 invited guests enjoyed a fantastic show at the opening ceremony. About 300 startups exhibited their products that ranged from helpful mobile apps to highly sophisticated, artificial intelligence-based, business applications. The event was very professionally organized and demonstrated the power of Vietnam to be the next big name in Asia.


GOING FORWARD

In 2020 we are launching our “Seeding Innovation” initiative and get very focused on identifying entrepreneurs’ talents that have the credentials to develop highly innovative solutions and disruptive business models. With the Innovations Paradigm Model and the methodical approach to “Innovative Thinking,” “Innovation Design Process,” and “Innovation to Market Model,” we believe we can help South East Asian countries to get to genuinely groundbreaking innovations. That helps propel their respective nations to autonomous developed countries and significant contributors to a global prosperity effort, eradicating poverty.

From Nov 14 to Dec 8, the founders team of the World Innovations Forum is back in Vietnam. Let us share their schedule so you can join one or the other event or arrange for a meeting in between events.

It’s our purpose to help innovative entrepreneurs to grow, get successful and create large amount of jobs in the country, driving a self propelled economy. It is our objective to help 17 countries, including Vietnam, become a “Developed Nation” before 2038.

Ho Chi Minh City

LOCATION
All below events take place at
Saigon Innovation HUB
273 Điện Biên Phủ, Phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Fri Nov 15, 09:15 am – 11:30 am
Inner circle meeting
For all WIForum supporter and those who are helping organize everything we do- now and in the future,

  • Introducing and discussing the plan for 2020 “Seeding Innovation 2020
  • Introducing and discussing our 18 year plan until 2038 “Go2038
    “Prosperity for all nations” and how we can jointly do it with the help of the world!
    Please let us know if you can come: closed
  • Saigon Innovation HUB

Fri Nov 15, 14:00 am …
Talent Interviews
We are interviewing candidates for our local ‘Program Manager’ position.
If you know any candidats, please send them our way.
See details here:  closed
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Wed  Nov 20, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Investor training
How we envision Investors can co-invest with international investors to close bigger rounds
Investment best practices from all over the world
Finding, reviewing and investing in innovative businesses
For Angel investors, PE investors and VCs
The ICN (Innovation Capital Network) a global investors initiative
Please register here:  closed 
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Wed  Nov 20, 03:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Entrepreneurs event
Introducing the “Seeding Innovation 2020” initiative and how can help in the next 8 years to get to IPO level.
Up to 6 companies can present, maybe joining the Seeding Innovation engagement.
Event URL:  https://www.meetup.com/wiforum-HCMC/events/265795315/
Presenter Application: closed 
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Thu  Nov 21 09:00 am
Media Breakfast, (Journalists an blogger only)
World Innovations Forum introduction
Informing media representatives about our goals and activities, Seeding Innovation 2020
How a million people can help ALL nations get out of poverty
Introducing the “Innovation Paradigm” a radical new way for innovative thinking
Q+A
Register: closed 
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Thu  Nov 21, 01:30 pm – 04:30 pm (canceled) 
Innovation Paradigm Seminar 
For SMEs, Corporate Managers and startup founders
Learning more about innovative thinking and disruptive business model design
A methodical approach to innovation creation
Why in the next 5 to 50 years every industry will get disrupted
Register: closed 
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Mon Nov 25 – Fri Nov 29
Innovation Accelerator (Flight 8)
Full week Innovation Accelerator program for founders and SME owners
Getting from good to great – from local to global – from one of many to an economic driver
So far we have stellar teams from Cambodia, Nepal, South Korea and Vietnam
Details & Apply here:  https://wiforum.org/programs/sfaccel/program-application/
Saigon Innovation HUB

Hanoi

LOCATION
TBD

Mon Dec 2, 09:00 am – 11:30 am
Innovation Paradigm Seminar
For SMEs, Corporate Managers and startup founders
Learning more about innovative thinking and disruptive business model design
Why in the next 5 to 50 years every industry will get disrupted
Register: https://wiforum.org/programs/innovations-paradigm-workshops/ 

 

Wed  Dec 4,  10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Innovation Ecosystem Hanoi meeting
(Incubators, co-working space, mentors universities…)
Moderating an ecosystem development process
Details & Apply here: https://wiforum.org/wiforum-ecosystem-meeting/
Select: Halon Bay Dec 4-2019
Halon Bay, Exhibition space 2nd floor

 

Wed  Dec 4 – Dec 6 
Techfest Vietnam Ha Long Bay
Vietnam’s biggest tech and innovation event
Axel Schultze will present a keynote at the opening ceremony and speak on a panel about the future of entrepreneurship in Vietnam.

Meeting with the ITP leadership team of the University of Ho Chi Minh City. An impressive presentation where Vietnam is planning to go what innovative businesses concerns.  We also had some great meetings with students, who are very ambitious and eager to learn everything possible about innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs Workshop with roughly 20 top startups and scaleups from Ho Chi Minh City. It was great fun to work with these super engaged and highly competitive teams. One of the things that all of them have in common with any top startup in the world: determination to win.

Investors meetings at the Kova facility. We discussed investor strategies, ways to select startups, due diligence processes and post investment mentoring. We also talked about the necessity to keep top companies in the country to not loose the innovative edge to somebody else.

A wonderful and very personal dinner at the Kova house. We enjoyed traditional Vietnamese food cooked by the lady of the house herself. This was an unforgettable evening.

Great discussions about innovative thinking, investment opportunities, ways to stimulate more innovation and getting startups better supported to be able to compete on a global scale. It was an amazing evening with amazing people.


HANOI

The future of innovation in Vietnam, Conference. Great and an amazing diverse speakers, high energy and very ambitious. We talked about the innovation paradigm and the value of going global for the national prosperity and wealth development.

We were invited by the University of Hanoi to speak about the Innovation Paradigm, the value creation for the national economy and what Vietnam can do to create an innovation economy within the country.

Interesting discussions about how to stimulate innovation and making innovation an even stronger point within an economy. Also we spoke about the value of speaking English as a prerequisite to participate in the global economy.

Meanwhile, Marita ran a workshop for female entrepreneurs. The interest to participate was so overwhelming that the initial 12 people roundtable had to be turned into a 70 attendee  presentation and podiums discussion.

Full house at the female entrepreneurs meeting in Hanoi

A very interesting meeting at one of the largest mobile phone providers. The organization is determined to innovate and bring all new ideas to their customers. It is absolutely amazing to see how Vietnam turned from a rather poor country, dependent on donations, just three decades ago, into a vibrant emerging country.


An equally great meeting at one of the top business banks of Vietnam. Also here, business transformation, innovation and moving from an industry follower to an industry leader is an amazing transition. We talked about how innovative thinking is not just improving the status quo but how to get to an idealistic model and back to reality.