With a youthful population, expanding economy, low production costs, government support, and enthusiastic funders, Vietnam is the perfect ecosystem for enterprise creation; which is why in 2019, RMIT will officially launch Activator in its Ho Chi Minh City campus.
The initial focus of RMIT Activator Vietnam is to implement a range of hands-on experiential learning experiences, with the long term vision to establish a thriving incubator and accelerator program at the existing campus. The latter programs aim to help founders define, iterate and test their ideas, as well as provide them with support and guidance to achieve market launch and enterprise creation, both within and outside of the classroom.
In line with RMIT’s mission to create transformative experiences for students around the world, getting them ready for life and work, Activator’s vision is to provide RMIT Vietnam students with the means to develop their entrepreneurial mindset, gain skills for intrapreneurship and help them form their own enterprises.
Hanneke Mallegrom, Manager, Operations & Planning RMIT Activator Melbourne says, “Engaging our active local alumni community in Vietnam through Activator will help create a globally connected industry network. RMIT Activator Vietnam can also help foster increased mobility of students and startup teams between Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne.”
Making the most of the opportunities in Vietnam, Melbourne-based LaunchHUB participants and IDA Sports founders, Laura Youngson and Ben Sandhu recently visited the thriving country to explore manufacturing options for their range of women’s football boots. Ben says, “Vietnam is a fashion hub and we would love to move part of our production there in the future as a way to leverage local talent and make use of the incredible facilities at the RMIT Vietnam campus specifically.”
Karen Rieschieck, Manager of Activator Vietnam describes Vietnam as the basis for an incredibly healthy startup scene, with the opportunities for entrepreneurs being vast. Karen says, “In 2019, the focus is on creating excellent experiences for students that flex and challenge their entrepreneurial ‘muscle’. We’re working on pathways for students that encourage movement beyond a curious state of mind into a longer-term strategy.”
Another way RMIT Activator Vietnam is bridging the gap and creating global networks is by providing opportunities for Australian founders and educating them on entering new markets and working overseas.
Melbourne-based founder Zac McClelland also has his eyes set on Vietnam. Zac’s startup, VicHyper, is both a product and service designed to tackle the issue of waste across the globe by creating innovative ways to increase recycling through incentives. Zac will be visiting Vietnam in early 2019 to meet with RMIT academics as well as to experience how to work between different countries and manage the logistics involved in the process. Zac says he’s incredibly excited about the prospect of working in Vietnam and hopes to run project-based learning to utilise Vietnam’s entrepreneurial talent to help refine his product.