RMIT Vietnam’s Business Plan Competition winners achieved a historic one-two-finish in 2014, and they plan to take their concepts to the next level.
The winner and runner-up of the $100,000 RMIT international business plan competition both address the needs of Vietnam's growing ranks of busy professional working mothers.
The winning Nutrimens team and their UChef ready to eat meals took out first place and aim at providing a healthy, convenient alternative to fast food.
Meanwhile, DreamKids, an extension of the already existing DreamHouse kindergarten chain, proposes to bring educational and affordable after-school care to children of the country's growing demographic of working women.
Using quality ingredients and with simple and fast preparation, Nutrimens' UChef kits cater to busy professional who still want to prepare a healthy and nutritious meal for themselves and their family.
Customers will also be able to sign up for a three-day meal plan, and the product is also supported by a website and mobile app to assist with cooking tips and nutrition advice. The team plans to make their meals available through major retailers and by delivery.
Bachelor of Commerce (Entrepreneurship) student and Nutrimens team leader Nguyen Thanh Tu says the meals are pre-prepared for greater convenience, and all consumers have to do is combine and cook the ingredients.
"Another problem is many people also do not know how to cook, so this makes it easy," he says.
Nguyen and the team are currently on the hunt for further financial backing, but they are hopeful they will be able to launch UChef sometime next year.
DreamKids is looking to fill a gap in the market for parents who need after-school care for their young ones. However, they are looking to provide additional benefits with a program of educational activities such as language classes, art and crafts, music and drama.
The DreamHouse kindergartens are all located in District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City, and this is where the after-school programs will be hosted. Parents will have the option of signing up for two packages of five or ten sessions per week.
The owner of DreamHouse and a member of the DreamKids team, MBA student Jacy Nguyen says the percentage of Vietnamese women in full-time work is higher than in the US and China, and that the reduction of multi-generational households has increased demand for after-school care.
"With working hours generally extending to 6 or 7pm, and schools finishing around 3pm, picking up the kids becomes more difficult for working couples," she says.
The groundwork for DreamKids is currently underway, and Nguyen says she hopes to launch the business in May 2015.