NINJA, which stands for Next INnovation with JApan, is a startup support project piloted by the program sponsor, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Project NINJA is an initiative to support entrepreneurs and to create business innovation in emerging countries. JICA intends to collaborate with various stakeholders to develop entrepreneurship, identify issues experienced by entrepreneurs, make policy recommendations, strengthen corporate management capacity, promote collaboration among enterprises across industries, match up with Japanese companies, and promote investment.

Vietnam is the first ASEAN country for Project NINJA to launch it’s inaugural accelerator program, NINJA Accelerator in Ho Chi Minh City.

How it works?

NINJA Accelerator in Ho Chi Minh City is a 11-week startup acceleration program that aims to create social impact in Vietnam by focusing on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

The program is forged by a global partnership between:


  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)


  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    – NTUitive Pte Ltd


  • Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB)
  • Vietnam National University Information Technology Park (VNU ITP)
  • Saigon Hi-tech Park Incubation Centre (SHTPIC)

NINJA Accelerator in Ho Chi Minh City strives to be a driving force in Vietnam’s effort to promote and develop an entrepreneurial environment that will bring about significant economic and social impact. The end goal is to create homegrown enterprises that lead to job creations and continue to impart entrepreneurship skill sets to the like-minded community.


Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to promote international cooperation by supporting the socio-economic development, recovery or economic stability of emerging economies.

NTU Innovation Training (NTUit) is NTUitive’s regional ecosystem building training programme.

It is an evidence-based, structured and experiential learning process that focuses on the search and validation of customer needs and the discovery of viable new business models. It adopts the lean methodology and helps startups understand and focus on discovering customer problems.

NTUit also trains and certifies mentors to conduct acceleration programmes. The eventual goal is to develop a network of trained ecosystem partners and practitioners for sustainable ecosystem building in the ASEAN region.


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