Ho Chi Minh City, March 9, 2021

It is without doubt that the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 has caused tremendous challenges in international trade and business development all over the world. Despite that, the Vietnam startup ecosystem has welcomed good news in the beginning of 2021. SK Group, the third largest conglomerate in Korea, has officially kicked off the second batch of SK Startup Fellowship Program in 2021. This has demonstrated a strong and long-term commitment of SK Group towards its investment and social responsibility in Vietnam. 

SK Startup Fellowship Program (SKSF) has the mission to discover high potential early-stage startups and provide them with grant and in-kind support. At the same time, the Program strives to build a long-lasting relationship with all the startups alumni. For the second batch in 2021, SKSF aims to source and select 12 finalist startups who have raised less than $3 million in total funding. The 12 finalists would all receive grants (non-equity funds) from SKSF, with the top 4 receiving $50,000 each and the other 8 startups receiving $16,000 each. Beside grant, all finalists would receive in-kind support from SKSF and its partners throughout the 6 months of the Program, including training on financial management from KPMG, training on Investor Pitching from BSSC, 1on1 mentoring, workshop with Vietnam businesses, networking activities with the startup ecosystem. More importantly, the finalists would have the chance to connect with SK Group and its subsidiaries over 40 countries to explore opportunities for further business development. SK Group has future plans to invite SKSF finalists and alumni for a tour at SK Group’s facilities in Korea and meet up with top management, this has clearly demonstrated the Group’s goodwill in building strong relationships with the Vietnam startups.

SK Startup Fellowship 2021 also welcomes a local Program Partner – Business Startup Support Center (BSSC), to bring more benefits for the startups, particularly in connecting with the local business ecosystem. The 12 finalists would get exclusive offers from BSSC to participate in Startup Day 2021 – one of the largest and most intensive startup exhibition events in Southeast Asia. At Startup Day, the startups would pitch with more than 500 investors / VCs, showcase their technology and products/services, as well as approach 15,000 potential customers and business partners.

The SK Startup Fellowship 2021, Batch#2 is now open for Vietnamese startups across all fields, with priority given to startups applying technology to solve social problems. Vietnamese startups in the early stage or post seed stage with products and revenues are all welcomed to apply for the program. Hi-tech startups holding a service/product related patent(s) will be eligible to participate even without the revenue requirements.

Application for SKSF 2021 details are as follows: