Ha Long Bay Field Trip – EPPIC 2020

On November 4-7/2020, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Viet Nam and Vietnam Silicon Valley Foundation (VSVF) organized a field trip to Ha Long Bay for 9 EPPIC 2020’s finalist teams, who are currently in Viet Nam. This field trip was especially relevant to improve understanding of these teams about the current situation of plastic waste in Ha Long, the local policies as well as the challenges in plastic waste management.

Having joined the “Plastic waste management in Ha Long” workshop organized by Green Hub, the teams performed such lively 1-min pitches that won the hearts of all workshop participants, from representatives of Ha Long Farmers’ Union, Women’s Union to ones of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The teams also visited a fish farm, where they could directly observe the process of disposing of waste in the aquaculture industry. They were happily suggesting some creative ideas for a better way of waste treatment for the fish farm owners.

The field trip continued with back-to-back meetings with government officials from the Department of Tourism, Department of Planning and Investment, and Ha Long Bay Management Board as well as various potential partners such as coffee shops, hotel chains, tourist companies, universities, etc. Despite the busy schedule, everyone was very energetic and cheerful because this was such a valuable experience for the teams to have opportunities to meet and discuss with their potential customers and partners. They were able to carry out the “customer interview” techniques that they’ve learned from the incubation workshops and validate many of their “assumptions”.

After the field trip, our 9 finalists were able to bring back many lessons and firsthand experiences on plastic and waste management, which can be reflected to help them further improve their ideas and better prepare for the EPPIC 2020 Final Pitching taking place early next year.

“I especially liked the third day of the trip where we had a chance to meet many potential partners in Ha Long.  After those meetings, our team will consider adjust our pricing and model to better fit customers in Ha Long. We are also thinking of expanding our production facilities to areas nearby Ha Long, with which we can help to create jobs and better livelihoods for people here.”

– Do Hong Son, team Green Joy

“The trip really helped me to understand the local context, be aware of stakeholders involved and having a chance to practice pitching.”

– Nguyen Thi Thu Thao, team GreenPoints


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