Set Sail 20: accompany the youth on the start-up journey

(VLU06/07/2021) - Nearly 3 months of competition, the Start-up Ideas contest with the theme Set Sail 20 of the Business Administration Faculty has gradually come to an end: officially announcing 6 teams joining the Final (June 5, 2021). This contest is a playground for students to try out business ideas and is also the educational philosophy of "Learning through experience" of Van Lang University, in responding to the creative entrepreneurial spirit among students.

“Set Sail 20 gives students who are passionate about business the opportunity to go and to experience with their knowledge along with the support from their predecessors. Businesses will be the real teachers that impart experience and energy to young people on the path of entrepreneurship.”
- Mentor Duong Thi Ngoc My, Founder of Nang Tre Asia and Thai Hoa Construction And Trading Company Ltd - 



Not only Van Lang students, many students from other universities such as the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Natural Sciences, University of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Technical Education, etc., also participated. According to the organizers, 106 students have submitted their ideas to Set Sail 20, including 90 Van Lang students and 16 students from other universities.

After the kick-off and the launch of the Talkshow and the first Training session to introduce Mentors to Mentees, the Covid-19 epidemic in Vietnam in general and HCMC in particular suddenly turned complicated, the program plan had to change. In order not to interrupt the process of the contest, Set Sail 20 quickly adjusted the format and rules of the coming up activities, transmitting to the teams the most typical spirit of startups: change and adapt.

vlu ra khoi editSet Sail 20 kickoff held on April 24, 2021, sharing startup experiences from successful entrepreneurs

Almost three months of competition was also the time when teams were busy running deadlines to implement their ideas.  Social distancing made it impossible for people to conduct face-to-face discussions.  “We have to talk online a lot. Sometimes, we couldn’t understand each other. Before the semi-finals, the whole team even had an argument.  Everyone has to spend a session sitting down to talk, listen to each other, and put our ego aside to move on together.” - shared Nguyen Le Anh Tu - a member of the Fortis Fortuna team with the psychological solution project R U OK?.

Coming to the competition, not every team was knowledgeable about the business market and financial analysis. The only common thing they shared is passion.  “My team is all art majors that have never been exposed to business data.  The online survey took us a lot of time and effort.  Before the semi-finals, we had to practice pitching together until 12 o'clock at night to be somewhat reassured." said Nguyen Hoai Nhu, a member of Team Clube with the Dress up Yourself project.

Team 3T1N was in a situation where they had to change their members at the last minute: “Initially, my group had 4 people. But on the day of registration, one withdrew.  The group was about to give up but we then changed our minds and regained our spirits.  We determine to create an impact even though our team has few members", Tran Duc Trung shared about the project of Household products from coffee grounds.

Set Sail 20 is a real competition when mentors accompanied the team’s ideas until they take shape. Ph.D. Nguyen Quynh Mai - Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration said: “The Mentors and the Judges of the contest are businessmen who have successful careers and are famous in society, but they are also people who are extremely interested in students and want to contribute to the education and inspiration of the younger generation.”. Although the semi-final and final were changed to Online, both the judges, mentors, and competition teams maintained their spirit, showing their burning passion and enthusiasm.

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Still having a heart-pounding feeling after the semi-finals, Ph.D. Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang - a Member of the organizing committee, Ph.D. in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UAB University, Spain, shared:  “From the perspective of someone who has worked in the West for many years, I find that our students are not inferior to international friends.  The longer I went with the competition, the happier and prouder I became.  You guys have progressed and matured far beyond where you started. You have made methodical investments with diversity and quality in both content and form. You also have an acute sense of business even though not all of you study economics.”


From the initial 30 teams, only one team will get the chance to win the title. Not winning the title does not mean that the projects of the remaining teams will stay only on paper. The Startup Club of the Faculty of Business Administration will be the connecting channel to support students who have dreams and ideas of starting a startup to continue to develop on their journey. This support is a good sign, showing that the purpose of the contest is not only the award but also the actual product, the student's growth, and progress.

Among the Mentors who have accepted to accompany the "sailors" of Sailing for 20 years, there were six alumni of Van Lang University. The older generation always watches and is ready to support the younger generation. This is the tradition of Van Lang family.

From business competitions to the upcoming establishment of the Startup Club, the Faculty of Business Administration of Van Lang University is making efforts and determination to become a business training brand towards applied training, diversifying experiences for learners. The faculty is also acting as a bridge to develop startup businesses for young people. 

Besides Lecturers of Van Lang University and Ms. Duong Thi Ngoc Lien - Lecturer of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, the participation of businesses in the role of mentors to guide the teams is a key factor to Set Sail 20’s success. Our sincere gratitude to the companionship of businesses with Set Sail 20:

Mr. Le Hai Binh – Chairman of the Board of Mat Bao Corporation, Vice President of Vietnam E-Commerce Association
Ms. Truong Ly Hoang Phi – Chairman of the Board & CEO IBP (Investment & Business Partners)
Mr. Pham Hung Phong - CEO of Cyfeer Joint Stock Company
Mr. Trinh Minh Cuong – CEO of Happy Young House
Mr. Ly Quang Thang – CEO SIV Investment
Mr. Hoang Van Trang - CEO of Zoom Media Television Production Company
Mr. Nguyen Duc Binh – Director of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Center (SMEPC) - VCCI
Mr. Le Trung Hieu – Technical Director of Ewater Engineering Company Limited
Mr. Hoang Ngoc Tung – Founder of Out Of Boxes
Mr. Tran Anh Viet - Founder of Boxes Viet Nam
Mr. Do Tran Anh - Chairman of the Board and CEO Farmtech Viet Nam
Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Long – Bussiness Household of Aquatic Products
Mr. Phan Thanh Huy Cuong - CEO of O & M Trading Services Technology Production Company Limited
Ms. Tran My My – CEO of My Tuong Produce Trade Co.,Ltd
Ms. To Thanh Hue and Ms. Duong Thi Ngoc My - Founder of Thai Hoa Construction And Trading Company Ltd.
Mr Michael Lisovich – Founder, CEO Wines of America, USA
Ms. Phan Thuy Ly – Deputy Director of SHTP-IC – Saigon Hi-Tech Park Incubation Center
Mr. Dang Duy Hop – CEO of Brilliant Chip Joint Stock Company
Mr. Le Duc Phuc – MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management, University of Nottingham (UK)
Ms. Pham Minh Nguyet – CMO of Propzy Viet Nam Company Limited
Mr. Nguyen Tran My – CEO of Herbio Joint Stock Company
Mr. Nguyen Hai My – Director of Ecofarm Long An

6 ideas that will attend the final (July 10, 2021)

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