Vietnam: Innovative climate mitigation ideas in PoC Competition

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Earlier this year, Vietnamese start-ups as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the clean energy and climate technology sectors were invited to submit their innovative ideas in a competition by the soon-to-be launched Vietnam Climate Innovation Center (VCIC).

Vietnam has rising sea levels, fluctuating rainfall and destructive typhoons, making it one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. According to a 2013 assessment on Environment and Climate Change in Vietnam by the Asian Development Bank, Vietnam is highly susceptible to climate change impacts “given its extensive coastline, river deltas and highlands that have poor water retention capacity and are susceptible to severe erosion”.

Furthermore, in a World Bank report on the social dimensions of adaptation of climate change in Vietnam, authors wrote, “Drought and hazard damage were brought up again and again as a main cause of poverty.” They found that factors directly related to climate to be among the main causes of poverty.

The former assessment asserts that climate change adaptation to improve resilience “should contribute to ecological sustainability”, and that simply increasing infrastructure to absorb more damage will not work.

Therefore, the rise of local climate technology innovations would help Vietnam better adapt to climate change. It would also help mitigate emissions, to maintain competitiveness, meet energy needs and minimize dependence on fossil fuel imports.

Competition for innovative climate mitigation ideas

The Proof of Concept (PoC) competition is held in anticipation of the VCIC launch. Organised by infoDev and the World Bank Group in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, the competition’s aim was to identify emerging entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for climate mitigation and / or adaptation.

Applications opened in May 2014. 5 months later, the 24 successful candidates of the PoC competition have been announced. They are as follows:

The above candidates will next have to undergo a ‘bootcamp’ from the 10th to 13th of October, where they have the opportunity to develop their ideas. The ‘bootcamp’ will see speakers from World Bank, ADB, Lotus Impact and more. Professional project mentorship will be provided, and candidates will be trained in areas such as:

  • Entrepreneurship: Personal experience from a local (climate) entrepreneur
  • CleanTech (Global, Regional and Vietnam outlook): Emerging trends and new business models for clean tech
  • Managing Your Financials: The cash flow model and why it is important for business
  • Developing the Business Model and Case: Understand how to use a business model canvas and feed the business case
  • Developing the Pitch: Understand how to craft a story from product, market opportunity, business model and funding
  • Funding: What is the future of VCIC and how will grants and investments be managed? How to attain funding for the business
  • Legal and Government: Dealing with issues of ownership i.e. shareholders, investors, equity, and debt
  • Validating Your Business Plan: Learn start-up principles and methodology

These 24 candidates stand a chance to showcase their innovative work at the VCIC – first in East Asia – launch as well as grant funding of up to VND 1,000,000,000 per entrepreneur. With this, they can develop, launch and / or scale up a product or service.

*** is the official Media Partner of the PoC Competition organized by the Vietnam Climate Innovation Center. For more information about the competition, click here.

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