Ryerson to launch zone in Vietnam this spring

Courtesy of Jam Michael McDonald

Ryerson Futures Inc. (RFI) is partnering with VinaCapital and independent investors Tin Nguyen and Cong Phan to launch a new startup accelerator program in Vietnam.

RFI runs accelerator programs for businesses under Zone Startups. Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said this is an opportunity for Ryerson to expand its footprint in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia.

“Vietnam is a very emerging market with a lot of potential. We signed an agreement with some local entrepreneurs there to establish a new zone at no cost for Ryerson so basically it’s a win-win situation for us. For them, they want to access the expertise that we have, for us it’s also to enhance our reputation in Asia,” he said.

Zone Startups Vietnam will be opening in Ho Chi Minh City this spring and aims to accept its first cohort of companies in the third quarter of this year.

“I’m very excited to join Zone Startups Vietnam as a partner and investor,” Phan said in a press release. “I believe the startup ecosystem in Vietnam will greatly benefit from an international accelerator program focused on assisting startups and market validation and customer acquisition.”

The program will be an extension of RIF and it will follow current Zone Startups programs.

“We’re excited to expand and grow the Zone Startups network in Ho Chi Minh,” said Matthew Saunders, Zone Startups president, in a press release. “Vietnam is full of entrepreneurial spirit and potential, and we’re thrilled to launch our program and provide the tools, resources, and network needed for these talented founders to succeed.”

Companies accepted into the program will have access to mentors, networking opportunities and fundraising strategies. The announcement for the program was made on Feb. 20 at Zone Startups India in Mumbai, which is also in a partnership with RFI.

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