If you thought Vietnam is a backwards country, completely out of touch with global trends and unable to pull in international acts, then this piece of news may shatter that. Guy Kawasaki’s coming here next month. That’s right, Guy Kawasaki, the guy who helped Steve Jobs market the Macintosh back in 1984; the guy who now sits in at Google as an adviser to Motorola. He’s also a best-selling author. And although Guy hasn’t had any great entrepreneurial claims to fame, his influence has been strong because of his marketing, public speaking, and blogging prowess.
Under what circumstances is this Silicon Valley hype machine (for better or worse) coming to Vietnam, you ask? Under a humble little organization called Viet Youth Entrepreneurs Bootcamp (VYE Bootcamp), which is dedicated to the “entrepreneurship movement in Vietnam that is by students and for students”. The organization has existed since February 2011, and holds an annual seven-day event with mentors and guest speakers who come to train, coach, share, and, encourage students in their startup dreams. Several startups have come out of the program including The Body Food restaurant, Toixedich, Mintown, Be Mam, Niche Cafe, and Cashflow Cafe. Obviously, not all those are in the tech space, but they’re relatively successful small businesses in their own right.
The organization has close ties and is strongly influenced by Tom Kosnik, consulting professor at Stanford university in the entrepreneurship center of the Stanford School of Engineering. Tom has been central to the development of VYE. Tom, no doubt, is also a key factor in inviting Guy to Vietnam.
Bringing Guy here, along with 10 other key mentors, will be a big boost to the morale and ecosystem in Vietnam, where many entrepreneurs have felt shunned when hot Valley names like 500 Startups have decided to skip over Vietnam completely and instead plough resources into India, Thailand, and Indonesia.
The event, which takes place from August 8th to 14th, is expecting 100 top entrepreneurs and 50 well-known global speakers to share and interact with hundreds to thousands of students. If you’re a Vietnamese student, register here now before it’s too late. Tickets are selling for $100 for Vietnamese citizens and $200 for non-Vietnamese citizens.
Ultimately, I’ll be curious which of Guy’s Valley insights will really be applicable to Vietnam and what kinds of wisdom those students will be able to apply.