June 12, 2022

UVC: Do Bui from ThinkZone Ventures on why they work with just 10 startups in a year at ThinkZone accelerator, progress that the Vietnam startup ecosystem has made in the last 10 years and ways good public policies can help startups and VCs

UVC: Do Bui from ThinkZone Ventures on why they work with just 10 startups in a year at ThinkZone accelerator, progress that the Vietnam startup ecosystem has made in the last 10 years and ways good public policies can help startups and VCs

Understanding VC is a deep dive on how venture capitalists work. In this episode, I speak with Do Bui, the Founding Partner and CEO at ThinkZone Ventures, Vietnam’s largest local venture fund with $60 million in fund size, investing in technology-based startups. This conversation kicks off with Do sharing his journey studying engineering at one of the top universities in Vietnam and his early career working for startups and big corporations before becoming a VC. Do then talks about the difference between today’s startup ecosystem and the one that existed back when he started this journey. He elaborates this point by taking into consideration various factors such as knowledge base, VC investments, opportunities, per capita income, etc. Do then explains why large corporations are keen to invest in upcoming startups and elaborates this by digging deep into factors such as impact and innovation. The conversation then shifts toward his approach to supporting startups at ThinkZone Accelerator, his perspectives about working with a small number of startups at a time, and how he assesses a startup on its impact and also whether it has achieved product-market fit. The conversation then ends with a discussion about the business exit landscape in Vietnam and the ways in which public policies can help the Startups and VCs.


In this episode you will learn:

  • Why was becoming a VC a more appealing decision for Do instead of just continuing to build startups? How did the factors such as his ten years of work experience in building and growing startups, working with big corporates, and understanding how investments work affect his decision?
  • What are the challenges that he faced and the lessons that he learned along the journey of building his first business - ispeaking.org?
  • How different are today’s startup founders from Do’s generation ten years ago? How has the startup ecosystem in Vietnam changed in terms of knowledge base, VC investments, opportunities, per capita GDP of the consumer base, etc?
  • Why are all the limited partners in Thinkzone’s second fund local Vietnamese? How is that advantageous for the fund?
  • Why does Do work with just five startups at a time at Thinkzone accelerator? Why is the due diligence process one month long?
  • What are some of the difficulties facing startups and VCs that can be solved with better public policies?

About
Mr. Bui Thanh Do is the Founding Partner & CEO of ThinkZone Ventures, Vietnam's largest local-resourced venture fund with $60 million in fund size, investing in technology startups from Pre-Seed to Series A in various verticals. Before founding ThinkZone, Do Bui had more than 11 years of experience in startups and startup-support activities in the field of technology. 

He has also operated as a C-level leader in many large companies and corporations.

  • Vice President & CPO of Five9 Vietnam - One of the leading companies in Vietnam in telecommunications, big data, and providing a credit-scoring platform for banks with more than 50 million USD in annual revenue.
  • Co-founder of TechElite (with its products including bigtime.vn & worktime.vn), CCO of Co-Well Asia - One of Japan's leading IT solution providers with more than 500 engineers.
  • A former manager at Microsoft Vietnam, one of the first members of Money Lover (a personal financial management application with more than 10 million users
Do Bui Profile Photo

Do Bui

Founding Partner & CEO at ThinkZone Ventures

Mr. Bui Thanh Do is the Founding Partner & CEO of ThinkZone Ventures, Vietnam's largest local-resourced venture fund with $60 million in fund size, investing in technology startups from Pre-Seed to Series A in various verticals. Before founding ThinkZone, Do Bui had more than 11 years of experience in startups and startup-support activities in the field of technology.

He has also operated as a C-level leader in many large companies and corporations.

Vice President & CPO of Five9 Vietnam - One of the leading companies in Vietnam in telecommunications, big data, and providing a credit-scoring platform for banks with more than 50 million USD in annual revenue.

Co-founder of TechElite (with its products including bigtime.vn & worktime.vn), CCO of Co-Well Asia - One of Japan's leading IT solution providers with more than 500 engineers.

A former manager at Microsoft Vietnam, one of the first members of Money Lover (a personal financial management application with more than 10 million users