On July 27, 2023, SK Group held Orientation Day – the first event in its activities for the Top 15 startups of SK Startup Fellowship 2023 (SKSF 2023).

Orientation Day of SK Startup Fellowship 2023

After one month since the application opened, the SKSF 2023 program has received applications from over 180 startups. SKSF Batch 4 has demonstrated its appeal by attracting numerous startups from diverse sectors, including Education, E-commerce, Environment/Clean Tech, Healthcare/Wellness, and technology fields like AI/Deep Tech, FinTech, FoodTech, among others. SK Group emphasized that the SKSF program does not restrict the industry or stage of startups and places high value on startups with positive environmental and social impact factors.

With consecutive success from the previous three batches, SKSF has garnered significant attention from startups at the stage of rapid growth this year. After reviewing each profile for nearly two weeks, a panel of experts selected potential startups to participate in 1:1 in-depth interviews. As a result, the 15 most promising startups for SKSF 2023 were officially revealed. 

Highlights of the Top 15 SK Startup Fellowship 2023? 

Overall, the Top 15 SKSF 2023 startups are mostly in the scale-up phase, having successfully passed the product-market-fit stage. This is a very positive sign amidst the winter of fundraising. In particular, many startups are focusing on developing their products, providing feasible solutions to customers, and prioritizing customer care to achieve sustainable revenue growth rather than continuously relying on fundraising to survive. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that this year’s SKSF has seen several startups with positive environmental and social impact factors in their business models, which has been highly praised by the expert panel.

Looking at the founding teams, the Top 15 startups of SKSF 2023 feature many serial entrepreneurs, who are founders with extensive experience in setting up companies, successfully exiting them, and starting new ventures with innovative business models. The entrepreneurial background and past experiences of the founders contribute significantly to increasing the success rate of these startups.

Looking at the technology aspect, there is an increasing number of startups developing and owning core technologies, which has become more and more trending through previous batches of SKSF. These startups heavily invest in R&D, resulting in products and solutions with advanced technological capabilities. Some startups adopt a “full stack” development strategy, encompassing hardware, software, and AI technology. This approach enables them to have complete control over their technological assets and creates a protective barrier.

Top 15 SK Startup Fellowship 2023 and The Organizer at Orientation Day

What value will Top 15 gain from the SKSF 2023 program?

SKSF is recognized within the Vietnamese startup ecosystem as a pioneering and prestigious program that optimizes the resources of SK Group to support and provide tangible value to Vietnamese startups. SKSF Batch 4 is expected to unlock numerous valuable opportunities for the Top 15 startups through its high-quality network of experts and partners. The Orientation Day marks the beginning of the 4-month journey for the Top startups in SKSF 2023.

At the event, Mr. Yu Jae Wook, representative of SK Group, Vice President and Chief Representative of SK Hanoi Office, shared “Having had the opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs from various countries, including the US, Korea, and Malaysia, I must say that I have been truly impressed and pleasantly surprised by the resilience, tenacity, and creativity displayed by Vietnamese entrepreneurs like yourselves. Over the past three years, SK has provided a platform where startups can connect with investors and peers, explore fundraising opportunities, and foster business growth. I take great pride in the fact that some of our past participants have achieved remarkable successes, securing funding from renowned venture capitalists and private equity firms. I believe these achievements exemplify the very purpose of this program.”

Mr. Yu Jae Wook, Vice President and Chief Representative of SK Hanoi Office, shared in the Orientation Day SK Startup Fellowship 2023

Ms. Pham Ha My, Investment Manager of SK Group, also shared details about the SKSF this year. After the announcement, Top 15 startups will participate in the training activity and receive feedback from experts of SK Group and Program Partner BSSC through company visits. Following this phase, the program will select the Top 10 startups to advance to the final round – Demo Day, expected to take place in November 2023. During Demo Day, startups will pitch for a no-equity grant of $50,000 each for the Top 3, and $15,000 each for the remaining 7 startups. One of the special benefits of this year’s Top 10 is that SKSF will sponsor a business trip to Korea, facilitating their connections with Korean startups and investors. Moreover, throughout the 4-month program, the Top 10 will participate in a sharing and networking event with SKSF’s partners such as Do Ventures, Nextrans, Wavemaker, ThinkZone, Grab, Jungle Ventures, VincaCapital Ventures, NIC, and alumni from previous batches; and having 1:1 mentoring sessions, enabling direct connections with experienced experts in related fields. This mentoring activity has garnered high appreciation from many startup alumni from previous batches due to its value.

After listening to the representative of SK Group, Top 15 startups also appreciated opportunities and actual values from SK Startup Fellowship. Top 15 showed the commitment for their active participation in the SKSF 2023 activities and making the most of the opportunities offered by the program.

SKSF Batch #4 continues its collaboration with Program Partner BSSC, aiming to add more value to startups by establishing profound connections within the Vietnam Startup Ecosystem.

The organizer: SK Group – the second largest conglomerate in Korea. With nearly 70 years of establishment history, SK has more than 100 subsidiaries that operate across over 40 countries and territories, with a variety of industries such as Energy, Telecommunications, Semiconductors and Materials, Biotechnology, and other services. SK Group recorded revenue of US$139 billion in 2021 and was ranked in the Top 100 Global Enterprises of Fortune 500. Since 2018, SK Group has officially entered the Vietnamese market through major investments such as approximately US$1 billion investment in Vingroup, more than US$1.2 billion investment in Masan Group and its member companies, etc. In 2020, SK Group launched the SK Startup Fellowship program, demonstrating its commitment to long-term investment in the Vietnamese market. SK Startup Fellowship (SKSF) has provided over $1 million in non-equity convertible grants to 37 Vietnamese startups continuously for 3 years from 2020 to 2022.
Program Partner: BSSC is one of the most prestigious and largest startup support organizations in Vietnam. BSSC’s ecosystem has more than 15,000 Startups/SME, 25,000 Entrepreneurs, 100 Mentors and Experts, 200 Angel Investors and Venture Capital Funds. As the Program Partner of the SK Startup Fellowship from 2021 to 2023,  BSSC is committed to contributing quality resources to the program.

List of Top 15 SK Startup Fellowship 2023, Batch#4

No.Startup NameRepresentativeShort Intro
1Beta PropTechDao Quy PhiAPlus Home is pioneering in building a Plus-living ecosystem by applying technology to build an optimal living solution at a reasonable price for young people. This is a new generation of prop-tech that combines financing models, property development, and management on a modern technology platform.
2BUYO Bioplastics Company Ltd.Do Hong HanhBUYO provides a 100% nature-based and biodegradable bioplastic solution, using our advanced proprietary technology to convert bio-waste and plant-based materials into plastics.
3EcoTruckLe Hoang AnhEcoTruck is a tech-based logistics company in Vietnam. EcoTruck is focusing on B2B trucking (both first mile and middle mile) and has built the first and the biggest ecosystem of supporting services for trucking suppliers.
4Foodmap AsiaPham Ngoc Anh TungFoodMap is a bridge connecting producers and consumers to help optimize agricultural supply chains and enhance the value of Vietnamese agricultural products.
5Gitiho Vietnam Edtech CompanyNguyen Hong QuanGitiho not only provides the platform but also includes training programs to help employees and businesses improve their work performance and help them transform into a better version.
6IC2 Digital Health JSCKieu Huu ThuIC2 Digital Health JSC is a healthcare company that specializes in telehealth platform services for insurance and public customers.
7JOOLUXTa Xuan HienJOOLUX is a re-commerce exchange platform for luxurious brands with the mission of “Bringing the world of luxury closer to Vietnamese people”.
8KAMEREOTaku TanakaKamereo is a B2B commerce for F&B businesses in Vietnam. We build a better supply chain from upstream to downstream so that we supply food ingredients better and cheaper.
9KIRO EDU JSCDoan Van TuanKIRO Vietnam, a leading Vietnamese Edtech, is revolutionizing preschool education with STEAM & Robotics Innovation. The SUNBOT program, KIRO’s acclaimed solution, has empowered 225+ institutions nationwide, with 44,500+ students enrolled and a 100% positive feedback rate.
10OLLI TechnologyTa Thanh HaiOLLI Technology builds an ecosystem of AI interactive platforms including AI platform, devices, and content. Our product, in the form of an AI virtual character, can proactively interact with children using natural conversation and keep them engaged in entertaining content and active learning experience.
11OnMicNguyen Bao KhanhOnMic, a social audio content universe, offers a wide range of premium audio content while allowing almost everyone to become a content creator.
12RostekNguyen Trong DoanRostek specializes in Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE), digital transformation consulting, products and services. By leveraging these core areas, we empower our customers to enhance their operational capabilities, increase productivity, and gain a competitive edge in today’s market.
13TraoTayHieu aspires to promote a circular economy for a sustainable environment and disrupt SEA re-commerce by unlocking and digitizing the resale of $19bn unused goods in Vietnam first via AI-powered listings and an end-to-end consignment service.
14WecareTran Dang KhoiWecare is an industrial supply chain solution transforming industrial B2B Procurement with Technology. We help manufacturers manage their supply chain, and incoming materials much easier.
15Wecare247Nghiem Minh HoangWecare247 provides comprehensive healthcare solutions with high quality and competitive cost; while enhancing the value and role of the caregiver profession in society.