1. How much funding do VSV - NA Ventures Batch 1 start-ups receive?
Each start-up will receive up to $40,000, of which $30,000 will be in cash, spreading over 4 months and $10,000 will go to cover experts' expense, event costs and company's office during the four-month boot camp..
2. What types of startup do you focus on?
We focus on a broad range of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to agriculture start-ups. We encourage every start-up to complete the application because even if we are not able to fund your start-up, we can refer your company to many investors in our network that might be interested.
We typically fund a company that has a working prototype and a business model that has been validated or one that is in the growth stage.
3. How do you choose which companies to accept into the program and to fund?
i. Our evaluators will do a first-round assessment based on your online application on F6S. In this round, we focus on understanding your product, the problems you are trying to solve (your product needs to be solving a real-world problem) and the founders’ personalities.
ii. Once you pass the first stage, we will invite your team to join 1-month pre-accelerator program. During this period, we focus on understanding your team.
iii. After 1-month program, we will invite your team in for interview. We expect a 15 -30 minutes pitching session with Q&A. The main focus is on your ability to communicate your business ideas, personalities and mindsets, and collaboration with your co-founders. Although we prefer interview session conducted in English, it is acceptable for groups to pitch in Vietnamese.
We expect every Founder to attend the Interview day. Your startup success is important to us but it should be even more important for you.
4. How do you evaluate the my application?
The application will be evaluated based on six critical factors – viability, innovativeness, local potential, scalability, and sustainability – as well as the composition of their teams. In detail:
- Application: Criteria to estimate the extent to which your solutions will effectively target the specific challenges of the economic and social development of Vietnam. The solutions should fit the local needs and address the local context
- Products/Services: Criteria to demonstrate the viability of your solution in terms of its effectiveness in solving the problem. Proven success of solution is desirable
- Market: Criteria to demonstrate the innovativeness of your idea in terms of using new products, services, technologies or other approaches to tackle the problem you have mention
- Competition: Criteria to assess the ability of the solutions to be scaled up and be replicated in other contexts. The potential of the solutions to grow and be applied in all over Viet Nam, and even across other countries will be assessed
- Financial: Criteria to assess the operational and financial sustainability of the solutions. The solution should have a long term business plan to ensure it sustainability, including the possibility of securing investment for your solution
- Management: Criteria to assess diversity among the team
5. I’m a single founder. Can I get accepted into the program, or do you only look for teams?
No, we don’t accept single founder startup. The workload is just too much for a single person, and you will need to have a partner(s) to share your responsibilities when it gets tough.
To increase your chance of admission into the accelerator, as well as building a successful start-up, you should be looking at:
- Rounding out your team with business, technical (product development), marketing and other necessary skills.
- Making progress on your prototype or product and reference it in the application.
- Showing everyone you’ve really thought about your business and have gotten off your butt to do something about it.
6. What does the program get out of this?
10% maximum. This is the equity funding program.
7. Can I apply if our company or founders are not from Vietnam?
We accept applications from around the globe. You just need to establish your headquarter in Vietnam, and legally reside in Hanoi during the 4-month boot camp.
8. Why do I need to answer all these questions when there is a chance that my company doesn’t get accepted to the accelerator?
We design our application to align with what startup founders need to know about their business. If you really know your business as well as you think you do, you shouldn’t have any trouble in providing us with a kick-ass application. If you think these questions are unnecessarily lengthy, keep in mind that those are the ones you need to ask yourself about your business if you want to be successful.
9. Do I have to submit an application to get funding or can I just send you my startup profile?
You have to complete our application. For 2 reasons:
1. Discipline is very important to us, and we need you to show us that you have enough discipline by sitting down and producing a kick-ass application.
2. The application structures how you can communicate your ideas and business to our evaluators, and allow us to access your writing skill.
10. What if I don’t have Product Demo video or I don’t have a working prototype to demo yet?
We generally will not accept application without demo video. If your prototype is not ready for demo, please provide us with a video of the founders explaining the product.
11. What if I don’t have Founder Introduction video?
We will not accept an application without a video introducing all the founders. Funding startups at this early stage is about the founders as much as it is about the idea, we need to know who we fund and put a face on the business/idea.
We don’t ask for an elaborate introduction video. Just tell us your name your role and expertise in your startup would do just fine (or in case you really want to leave an impression, sing a song!).
12. My English is not that good; can I submit the application in Vietnamese?
You can, but a good number of our mentors and investors cannot understand Vietnamese, and our goal is to integrate you into the global ecosystem after the bootcamp. You should have someone on your team who is efficient in writing and speaking English to help communicate with international mentors and investors.
13. Do I need to write a business plan?
Not for our accelerator. We make funding decisions based on your application form and personal interviews. However, Demo video and Founders introduction video is a MUST.
14. Can we do it without moving to where you are?
Possible. However, a big part of the accelerator program is integrating startups into a mentorship network. Good mentors are extremely busy, and they won’t chase after you unless you are in an accessible community.
15. What if my company doesn’t ultimately succeed?
At the end of the bootcamp you will have met a large number of smart and well-connected people who can support you with your next endeavour.
16. It is OK for me to skip some questions?
Yes, it is OK. if you don't have information, please put down your answer as "N/A" or "No information" or "Not yet".
However, the more question you answer, the more information we can get. It will give you more scores to pass the application round.