Programme to help increase Vietnamese startup businesses’ capacity

Microsoft Corporation, Expara Vietnam and the Customer Loyalty and Acquisition Services (CLAS) Company Limited have just introduced startup support programme called “CLAS Expara Startup Accelerator” at Phu My Hung new urban area in District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City.


As the world’s leading IT company and trusted advisor to Vietnam, Microsoft wants to reaffirm its strong commitments to help Vietnamese startup businesses achieve more, thereby contribute to the national economic growth and transform the future.

CLAS Expara Startup Accelerator, a programme to help increase capacity for startup businesses, was initiated by Microsoft Vietnam and Expara –Singapore's pioneer and leader in incubation, early-stage venture capital, entrepreneurship, VC and innovation training, mentorship and advisory work; and CLAS – a startup company of SHTP Microsoft Innovation Centre– a hi-tech software service company to make use of the internet and mobile technology whose software can be custom tailored to businesses’ marketing need. 

Microsoft and its partners –CLAS and Expara will accept applications from startups between November 2 and November 20. Interested startups can apply at www.fundacity.com/clas-expara-vietnam-accelerator/apply/525. The organisers will establish Screening Committee to evaluate participants’ applications and choose up to eight startups for enrollment in the Accelerator’s 2016 Batch 1.

Within CLAS Expara Startup Accelerator programme framework, Microsoft Vietnam will provide startups the opportunity to access Microsoft technology including BizSpark and BizSpark Plus package with the total value of $147,000 within three years. 

Microsoft Vietnam also develops Go-To-Market Plan with startups whose solutions meet the needs of Microsoft customers.

CLAS will provide the facilities, management, and operation of the Accelerator. Expara Vietnam will provide the workshops on entrepreneurship, business plan and model, competitive strategy, fundraising and financial plan and investor pitching (valued at $10,500). 

Expara Ventures III will invest $10,000 into promising startups after the mid-point review and will invest up to $500,000 in successful graduates after Demo Day (subject to Investment Committee approval and successful due diligence).

Vu Minh Tri – General Director of Microsoft Vietnam said, “Vietnam is an important emerging market for Microsoft in Southeast Asia with great growth potential with its large, young, proactive, talented population. We believe that Vietnamese enterprises have many creative ideas, and the things they need are capital, market and specialised knowledge. Therefore, we are striving to empower Vietnamese startups to transform the future and continue contributing to the national economic growth through this programme”. 

“We are very glad to be in collaboration with Microsoft to implement this programme. We believe that, with Microsoft’s extensive expertise and global experience in technology, CLAS Expara Startup Accelerator programme will offer great benefits for startups in Vietnam,” said Pham Chi Thanh, chairman of the Board of Advisors of CLAS.

“We believe that Vietnam is one of the most exciting start up and venture capital markets in South East Asia today. Microsoft and CLAS are absolutely the best partners we could have to launch our first accelerator in Vietnam.  We are looking forward to helping Vietnamese startups to scale and to contributing to the growth of the enterprise ecosystem in Vietnam,” said Douglas Abrams, general director of Expara Vietnam.

Microsoft has actively supported small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam, sponsoring more than 100 start-up businesses through BizSpark programme since 2009 with free access to coding tools, technical support and products, services promoting consultancy. 

This mid-year, Microsoft partnered with Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA) to help Sao Khue programme’s startups develop their good potential to access to foreign markets with BizSpark and BizSpark Plus packages. 

Startup packages enable software businesses to gain opportunity to use Microsoft application development tools free of charge for three years together with free three-year usage of Microsoft cloud computing tools and services, which would cost $750 per month. 

It’s possible to say that Microsoft is reaffirming its strong commitment to help Vietnamese startups through empowering, reinventing productivity to help them do more and achieve more, thereby contributing to the national economic growth of Vietnam.

By Mai Thuy