BLOCK71 expands to Vietnam

25 November 2019 | Entrepreneurship
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Prof Boey (3rd from left) and Mr Nguyen (5th from left) shaking hands after signing the MOU

NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Becamex IDC Corporation (Becamex) — Vietnam's leading industrial infrastructure developer — to establish BLOCK71 in Vietnam with the aim of cultivating a vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in country and beyond.

The MOU was signed by Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise) and Mr Nguyen Van Hung, Chairman of Becamex, at the Horasis Asia Meeting held in Binh Duong New City.

The joint initiative will support a two-way flow of talent, technologies and start-ups with the aim of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship development in both countries. Vietnamese and Singaporean start-ups may use BLOCK71’s global network of resources and contacts to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey and gain access to international markets. At the same time, the initiative will facilitate greater information exchange, connectivity and access to programmes between Singapore, Vietnam and the region.

Burgeoning Start-Up Scene in Vietnam

Vietnam is the third most active start-up ecosystem in ASEAN, behind Singapore and Indonesia, with a reported six-fold increase in invested capital in technology deals in the last two years.

With a large consumer market, the ecosystem has experienced a growing openness to foreign investment and support from government agencies in entrepreneurship, well-matched with Vietnam’s young 96 million strong tech-savvy population.

BLOCK71’s expansion will aim to serve and grow this demand, and be an aggregator of cross border support, funding and learning.

Enabling entrepreneurs and innovations to scale globally

BLOCK71 in Vietnam is the latest extension of NUS’ global network of entrepreneurial gateways to overseas hubs, enabling NUS start-ups and technologies to gain access to new markets, and vice-versa, to promote access to education and innovation programmes in NUS for Vietnamese students and entrepreneurs.

Set up and managed by NUS Enterprise in collaborative and strategic partnership with corporates and government agencies, BLOCK71 taps on the synergies derived from the deep experience of NUS Enterprise, widely acknowledged as the engine behind Asia’s leading university-based entrepreneurial ecosystem, and Becamex’s track record as a leading developer of industrial infrastructure in Vietnam with access to seven business parks and over 900 corporate partners. 

“NUS is delighted to embark on this partnership with Becamex to expand BLOCK71’s presence in Southeast Asia. Our NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) programme has also expanded in this region by sending the first cohort of students for internships in Ho Chi Minh City in May this year. This new BLOCK71 in Vietnam will enable entrepreneurs and innovators to access new markets, provide NUS students with interesting internship placements, and provide information and access to technology innovation and entrepreneurship programmes and courses available in Singapore such as full-time Master of Science programmes and the NUS Technology Acess Programme,” said Prof Boey.

See press release.