U.S. Embassy Hanoi launches “Vietnam Challenge for Our Environment”

John Sechrest, founder of the Seattle Angel Conference, the Lean Startup Seattle Group delivered remarks at the opening of the “Vietnam Challenge for Our Environment”

HANOI, August 24, 2018 – The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, in partnership with Hatch! and Swiss EP, launched the “Vietnam Challenge for Our Environment” to create practical solutions for agricultural, industrial, and household waste, and solve plastic, carbon, and chemical pollution problems.

Environmental problems negatively impact human health and quality of life.  In spite of growing awareness including different cleanup activities, there are not enough viable, sustainable, and scalable solutions to address these challenges.

John Sechrest, founder of the Seattle Angel Conference, the Lean Startup Seattle Group discussed with researchers and entrepreneurs at the “Vietnam Challenge for Our Environment”
John Sechrest, founder of the Seattle Angel Conference, the Lean Startup Seattle Group discussed with researchers and entrepreneurs at the “Vietnam Challenge for Our Environment”

This competition is part of the U.S. Embassy’s ongoing campaign to #EndPlasticPollution and #KeepVietnamClean.  Matching researchers with entrepreneurs through this campaign encourages collaboration between universities, the startup community, and the private sector to create sustainable solutions.  “Through this challenge, the U.S. Embassy is committed to helping nurture more viable, sustainable and scalable solutions to address Vietnam’s biggest environmental problems,” said U.S. Department of State’s Regional Public Engagement Officer Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Mrs.Fenghua Wang.

Support from Hatch!, Swiss EP, BK Holdings, and Startup Vietnam Foundation helped rapidly launch this initiative.  Kova Paint, Vietnam Oman Investment (VOI) and VIC Partners also pledged support by providing one cash prize each to the winners.

John Sechrest, founder of the Seattle Angel Conference, the Lean Startup Seattle Group, and an expert on building startup ecosystems through Startup Weekends, gave the keynote presentation, “How to Form High-performing Teams.” Sechrest along with Aaron Everhart from Hatch! and others will facilitate the intensive 3-day boot camp.

The competition will be held from August to November 2018 with the following timeline:

  •  August 24: Researchers and entrepreneurs will present their ideas and explore the open networking space to form high-performance teams.
  • August 29-31: Intensive 3-day boot camp to help entrepreneurs discover their key customers and develop their products based on customer demands.
  • September 1- November 7:  Project incubation period that teams will regularly meet with their mentors and attend workshops to refine their business models to achieve fundable stages by investors.
  • November 8: Demo Day that six teams will receive seed funds, publicity and exposure, and pitch to investors:
    – New teams / startups – U.S. $3,000, $2,000, $1,000
    – Pre-existing startups – U.S. $4,000, $3,000, $2,000