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Winners of SDG Challenge 2017 announced

Released at: 14:10, 20/12/2017

Winners of SDG Challenge 2017 announced

Winner and leaders of UNDP Vietnam and HATCH! VENTURES at the event (Photo from en.dangcongsan.vn)

Four winners to join Social Impact Incubation Program, receiving initial working capital totaling $85,000 and a consultancy package in business development.

by Linh San

The United Nations Development Program in Vietnam (UNDP Vietnam) and HATCH! VENTURES held a ceremony to present awards to the TOP FOUR in the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Challenge 2017 competition.

They also launched the Social Impact Incubation Program, to provide business consultancy to winning teams for their further development.

The four winning teams are Imagtor, Triip.me/Save the Ocean, the Sign Language Interpreting Service Company, and 1516 Green Architecture.

“These four teams are wonderful ambassadors for SDG impact businesses,” said Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Country Director in Vietnam. “They utilize new technologies and their businesses are built on strong partnerships with business incubators, mentors, and technical experts. They value the environment, empower and support the most marginalized in society, and find creative ways to ensure no one is left behind as Vietnam continues to move forward.”

The winners will join the Social Impact Incubation Program jointly organized by UNDP Vietnam and HATCH! VENTURES from December to June. Under the program, the companies are provided with initial working capital totaling $85,000 and a consultancy package in business development. Program activities focus on supporting the companies to develop prototypes to test ideas and business models in the market, as well as to seize opportunities for future fundraising or grant proposals.

The SDG Challenge 2017 was a national competition for social impact startups and business innovators. The competition was introduced and hosted for the first time by UNDP Vietnam and HATCH! VENTURES with the aim of identifying potential impact companies that could help achieve the SDGs, advancing Vietnam towards Agenda 2030.

Twenty-five teams / companies were selected to pitch their ideas in semi-finals in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City, along with a series of HATCH! FAIR Elite Conferences. The final round, which was hosted under HATCH! FAIR’s fifth official event in Ho Chi Minh City, provided opportunities to 12 teams / companies to appear in the startup exhibition area and deliver final pitches in front of five national and international jury members with experience in business and social impact development.

“Vietnam’s startup ecosystem is growing stronger than ever, creating favorable conditions for social impact startups to search for supporting resources,” said Mr. Pham Quoc Dat, Founder and CEO of HATCH! VENTURES. “The cooperation between HATCH! VENTURES and UNDP Vietnam is vivid proof of how well the ecosystem is interacting for socioeconomic development, which encourages future partnerships between the public and private sectors in supporting social impact companies and balancing the commercial and social parts of economic development.”

About the winners:

(1) Imagtor provides video and photography editing services, with most staff being People with Disabilities (PwDs). The company began to generate profit after four months of operations, with all customers being foreign. Monthly sales growth is 36 per cent.

(2) Triip.me/Save the Ocean set up an affordable smart water refilling network in order to reduce plastic usage. The project had 300 locations register for the refill network within 48 hours of its official announcement and now has 1,000 locations.

(3) The Sign Language Interpreting Service Company provides sign language translation between deaf and hearing people via video telephones and similar technologies. The project idea started in September 2017, with a focus on fund raising in parallel with the introduction of the service to the Hanoi Association of Deaf People (HAD) and its member network, to acquire early adopters.

(4) 1516 Green Interior Design provides low-cost systems of wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity for the poor in remote areas. There were almost 100 wind turbines and solar systems installed in 2017 for poor households in the northern region: Hanoi, Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Nghe An, and elsewhere.

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