Occupying three spacious floors, DreamPlex is the latest, state-of-the-art coworking space enabling startup entrepreneurs, creatives, consultants and investors to work collaboratively or privately in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. DreamPlex is designed to be a tech community, helping investors and entrepreneurs connect. Doors opened on November 16, 2015, and the coworking space now hosts 145 members and regularly runs workshops and pitching events.
DreamPlex’s interior design and programming facilitate effortless collaboration. On the main floor an entrepreneur can choose from a flexible or fixed desk and has access to a kitchen, private meeting rooms, high-speed Internet, printers and tech support. For a group of entrepreneurs or a small business, there are two floors of studios available for rent. There are several communal lounges scattered around the complex, giving members a place to hang out during breaks and chat about their work. Members can often be found trading technical skills, some even end up working together on a project.
Through surveys, DreamPlex staff is able to organise bespoke workshops tailored to the needs of their members. Members most often request workshops that can help them better understand the Vietnamese market. January’s workshops ranged from personal branding strategies to creative collaboration through comics. Members of DreamPlex lead many of the workshops as well.
Since DreamPlex’s opening last year, it has hosted a number of pitching events, including the Tech in Asia ‘Road to Singapore’ Tour 2016, an 8-city search in Asia for the best startups to showcase at the Tech in Asia Conference. The tour touches down in Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Bangkok, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta February - March 2016. On February 23 at DreamPlex, five startups from Vietnam pitched to a large audience and judges for Tech In Asia, competing for a place at the conference. A startup called AntBuddy, a communication tool for small businesses won the Ho Chi Minh City contest, receiving free flights and accommodation, conference passes, and a startup booth at Tech in Asia Singapore 2016.
DreamPlex works with six investment groups based in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan and the United States. The co-working space plans to host pitching events for angel investors on a quarterly basis. Last January, it hosted Vietnam's first private Angel Network event, with over 25 investors in attendance.
Its next project, DreamLabs, is a six month incubation programme at the end of which participant organisations are expected to receive investment funding. Five to six startups are geared to participate in the first programme, learning from experts in the technology field and meeting potential mentors and investors.
Co-founders Thao M. Nguyen, Tu Ngo and Nhut Nguyen each run their own startups concurrently to their work on DreamPlex. Thao created Umbala, a video sharing platform which won the first prize at the 2015 Forbes Vietnam Startup Contest. Tu Ngo, an ex-Stanford and INSEAD graduate is a co-founder of ELSA (English Language Speech Assistant), a speech recognition mobile platform that helps English learners improve their pronunciation and speaking ability. Nhut started Rabbat Creative, a communication tool that influences consumer decisions.