Fulbright’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation empowers entrepreneurs and innovators to go after Vietnam and the region’s biggest challenges.
The Vietnamese economy and startup ecosystem are booming. Vietnam will grow economically at a breathtaking pace in the coming years. Entrepreneurs starting companies and innovators developing new products have helped to uplift Vietnamese society, be it empowering individuals economically, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, or improving access to education and health care.
Yet, for Vietnam, major existential challenges loom on the horizon. Vietnam is one of the world’s most at-risk countries in terms of climate change, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi continue to grow rapidly while already struggling with air pollution and congestion, and advances in automation and artificial intelligence threaten Vietnam’s manufacturing labor force. As a university that aims to cultivate the next generation of ethical leaders and changemakers of Vietnam and the region, Fulbright is committed to empowering aspiring and current entrepreneurs and innovators — both our students and beyond — to tackle our society’s greatest challenges.
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) is Fulbright University Vietnam’s first University Center.
The CEI is Fulbright’s flagship effort to embed entrepreneurship and innovation into the core of Fulbright’s culture and academic program. The CEI also offers impactful learning opportunities on entrepreneurship and innovation for stakeholders across Vietnamese society and the region, including non-Fulbright students, professionals, startups, companies, and members of the general public. In time, as both the CEI and Fulbright University Vietnam grow, the CEI will incubate and accelerate ventures going after Vietnam and the region’s toughest challenges.
CEI is still in “soft launch” mode, with the official opening of CEI’s physical space scheduled for November, 2019. To start, our physical facility is comprised of a co-working space and a makerspace for basic fabrication activities, located on the ground floor of our Crescent Plaza campus at 105 Ton Dat Tien, Tan Phu, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City.
Activities Planned for Year 1
For Fulbright students:
Venture Fellows Program
A selective fellowship for those interested in pursuing entrepreneurship. At the heart of the fellowship is a summer internship with a promising startup in Ho Chi Minh City. Beyond the internship, there will be regular fellowship meetings during the 4th academic quarter (to prepare for the internship), the summer (to reflect and problem solve), and during the 1st academic quarter of academic year 2020-21 (to synthesize and share learnings).
In future years, we seek to offer internship opportunities in other cities both in Vietnam and overseas; we currently are exploring Silicon Valley, the Hong Kong – Shenzhen area, and Hanoi.
Strategic partnerships with renowned academic institutions and entrepreneurship centers in Vietnam and abroad who are able to offer complementary programming for our students. These partnerships will vary in scope; currently we are exploring residencies at academic institutions abroad, visiting fellowships for professors, shared working spaces, and joint-research.
Academic Program Support
Ongoing provision of various high-impact activities to supplement the academic program, allowing students the opportunity to put theory to practice. This is slated to include office hours with leading practitioners and experts, speaking engagements with notable entrepreneurs and investors in the field, experiential skill-training workshops, and larger-scale events.
To see highlights from past CEI events, please check out our Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FulbrightCEI.
For the broader community:
Rigorous entrepreneurship and innovation education programs, led by experienced entrepreneurs and practitioners. The training will be focused on activating the entrepreneurial mindset, building the entrepreneur toolkit, and providing exposure to entrepreneurship in Vietnam and beyond.
Currently under development are both short workshops (2-3 days) and academic quarter length programs.
Our very first training program is a 2.5 day entrepreneurship bootcamp co-delivered by Singapore’s premier entrepreneurship education organization, Reactor School. See more details on Reactor School here.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Publications
Ongoing release of thought-leading content on entrepreneurship and innovation, to set new standards for Vietnam, provide insight into the ecosystem, and act as a platform for conversation. These will include interviews, articles, opinion pieces, and podcasts.
Currently under development is a series of interviews with the founders of leading Vietnamese startups.