The Smart City Vietnam Demo Day was held on 13 November 2017 at Sheraton Hotel in Hanoi City. The event attracted over 250 attendees ranging from private companies, finance institutions, investors, business associations and development partners. The VIP audience of representatives from the Department of Science and Technology, Applied Technology Research Institute and Smart City Committees of 13 cities in Vietnam represented the country’s dedication to this initiative.
The Demo Day received wide coverage across local media and was featured on 23 newspapers and 5 television channels. Out of the 15 finalists who pitched to a panel of judges, 3 winners were selected at the Demo Day with cash prizes offered (1st prize: USD5,000; 2nd prize: USD3,000 and 3rd prize: USD2,000) and received fast track to the cities’ program to help accelerate localization of their solutions.
First place: GridComm – a smart street lighting solution for cities and their partner, G Element, a 3D software company focusing on smart cities and buildings. When asked about impact, Mike Holt, CEO of Gricomm said,
“Ultimately, we are about making big impact. Our impact is building a smart city through a sensor network that provides valuable data insights. There is a driver to adopt Gridcomm’s control of streetlights with immediate payback of dramatically reducing the cities overall electricity cost. Once this infrastructure is in place, Viet Nam will then have the ability to deploy other smart city projects such as traffic management or urban planning much faster and easier.”
Second place: XRVision – facial recognition software for uncontrolled environments. CEO Guy Ron used to work for Microsoft, heading up the security practice in Israel; and when asked why he chose to start his company in the region, he explained, “Southeast Asia offers some unique characteristics that help a company like XRVision. Digital transformation is catching up very quickly and we see the trend very strongly in countries such as Viet Nam and Thailand. The need for facial recognition for their government and large corporations is growing and we see great opportunity here.”
Third place: MimosaTek – a Vietnam-based urban agriculture startup providing irrigation solutions for all crops. CEO Nguyen Khac Minh Tri summarized the deeper meaning of a smart city being “where people can utilize technology to lead smoother and more effective lives. It is about having a better and happier life, no matter where one stays.”