Contest for start-ups in innovative, hi-tech agriculture announced


The Center for Business Incubation of Agricultural High Technology has announced its annual “Innovation in Agricultural Production with Hi-tech” contest for start-ups and innovative projects. The contest is organized by the center, a non-profit belonging to the Agricultural Hi-tech Park of HCM City that promotes start-ups in the agriculture sector that use advanced technologies, together with the HCM City Department of Science and Technology.

The contest, held for the first time last year, seeks to attract innovative ideas and projects that offer solutions to problems related to the economy and environment and work towards smart agriculture.

“We want to inspire a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation in educated youths and develop an eco-system for innovative start-ups in the field of hi-tech agriculture,” Nguyen Hai An, director of the center, said.

The contest is open to youths in HCM City and surrounding provinces.

The final round is slated for October 12 with a grand prize of VND30 million.

Winners can also receive funding from investors and mentorship to commercialize their start-up ideas.

Nguyen Thanh My, who founded RYNAN Smart Fertilizer, RYNAN Technologies and RYNAN Agrifoods when in his 60s, said using industry 4.0 technologies such as smart fertilizers and salinity measurement systems can help improve the farming process.

Vietnam’s agriculture still faces numerous problems that start-ups can fix such as inefficient cropping, pollution, climate change, overreliance on middlemen and lack of product traceability.

Start-ups are meant to offer new, better solutions to problems faced by communities and societal issues as a whole, he said.

“You really should not view farmers as customers, but think of them as the ones that need your help the most.”

Last year there were 50 contestants.

This year the contest has received 30 applications so far, and the closing date is September 6.