30/12/2019 10:01 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Startup training inspires deaf people

For the first time in Vietnam, young people with hearing loss have joined a special training program to help them bring their business ideas to life.
Do Hoang Anh Thai is a deaf person who has successfully started up his own business, SC Deaf. Thai has organized Vietnam’s first bootcamp for deaf people with a desire to help them build confidence and self-reliance to realize their dreams.

Deaf Bootcamp 2019 was an intensive program for 25 participants, all of whom are deaf. The program aimed to commercialize business ideas; which, when launched, will not only generate income for participants, but also create jobs.


The program was made possible through the US Department of State’s initiative “Global Innovation through Science & Technology” (GIST), Innovation Hub (iHub) program, HATCH! Ventures, and the National Economic University’s Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CSIE). 


Deaf Bootcamp 2019 is attended by 25 deaf people.


Nguyen Thai Thanh is a startup example for deaf people.


Many sponsors support the young participants at Deaf Bootcamp 2019.


The participants are divided into four teams.
They develop new projects, and present and defend them to get funds for the implementation.


A members of team 4 confidently presents the team's project of a game business.


The jury board not only gives marks and assessments
but also helps the trainees solve problems related to their business ideas.



The exciting atmosphere at Deaf Bootcamp 2019.


The teams are guided by experienced business people to develop their projects.


All participants at Deaf Bootcamp 2019 communicate using the sign language.


The joy of the first-prize winning team.


The training largely inspires the participants and helps build their confidence.


The participants pose at the closing ceremony of Deaf Bootcamp 2019. 

The eight-day training program was inspiring for the trainees. The young deaf people had a chance to learn from successful startups one of whom is Do Hoang Anh Thai.

Established in 2018, Do Hoang Anh Thai’s SC Deaf provides a video relay service (VRS), which helps connect almost 2.5 million people with hearing loss in Vietnam, a community accounting for 2% of the population. VRS is a sign language interpreting service which uses mobile app technology to facilitate communication via video calls between deaf people and non-signing persons through a sign language interpreter. During the training, Do Hoang Anh Thai  the trainees how to make presentations and organize work effectively. He also stressed the importance of patience as a key factor to find out unique business ideas and models.

Another speaker at the training was Nguyen Thai Thanh, the deaf owner of a hair salon. Thanh shared his knowledge in how to develop the creativity of a deaf person who works in the hair and beauty salon industry.

Aaron Everhart, an American businessman who is the founder of HATCH! Ventures, has helped build a startup ecosystem for the deaf in the Vietnam. HATCH! Ventures will finance startups run by deaf people. At the training session, Aaron Everhart was glad to hear presentations on business ideas from the participants and showed strong support for their projects.

Young participants at the training introduced practical business projects such as a bakery and cafe (Trinh Hong Phuong, 23); a fast food chain and a cinema (Ngo Huy Hiep, 26); a hair and beauty salon (Nguyen Nhat Minh, 19); and a nail salon (Nguyen Thi Phuong, 23).

Receiving business advices from and inspired by CEOs at the training, the participants established teams to develop new projects. The participants presented their projects and the winning projects would receive funds for implementation.

Van Phu, head of the winning team which developed a project on a smart home for the deaf, said “It was difficult for us to finalize our idea but we did not give up and tried our best. Our efforts were rewarded as we were the winners and we secured the funds for our project. More effort is needed to bring our idea to life.”

“I was touched to see the great efforts made by deaf entrepreneurs. When a deaf person is successful, it means he or she has made 10 times the 
effort an ordinary person makes. SC Deaf’s training program offers connections through the body language of strong and determined people. In this class where Vietnamese and English and sign language are used, both trainers and trainees are happy because they have a chance to learn, and to connect with and help others,” CSIE director Truong Nam Thang said.
Story: Bich Van - Photos: Viet Cuong