Entrepreneur receives international alumni award

Ms Belinda Howell, UTS Insearch’s Chief Market Development Officer, presents Hoang Dao with the UTS International Alumni Award for 2018.
Ms Belinda Howell, UTS Insearch’s Chief Market Development Officer, presents Hoang Dao with the UTS International Alumni Award for 2018.

UTS has named Vietnamese tech entrepreneur Hoang Dao Xuan from Hanoi as its International Alumni of the Year 2018 in recognition of his achievements as the founder of Early Start, the leading early-education company in Vietnam.  

UTS International Alumni Award honours the university’s growing International alumni community and their impact on the world.  

Announcing the 2018 winner in Sydney, UTS Insearch’s Chief Market Development Officer, Ms Belinda Howell congratulated Hoang Dao for being a remarkable member of the UTS and UTS Insearch alumni community. 

Hoang Dao studied English at UTS Insearch before completing his Bachelor of Engineering in 2006 at UTS. While studying he worked part-time for a software company, and later followed his aspirations to be an entrepreneur in Vietnam. He co-founded BH Media in 2007, a leading provider in video, mobile and web services with millions of daily users.  In 2014 he was ready to leave BH Media, to create the Monkey Junior App to bring language learning technology to millions of children. 

“Hoang Dao wanted to pursue his own ideas, have an impact in society and eventually start his own company,” said Ms Howell.

“Becoming a parent inspired him to want to become an entrepreneur in early childhood education – and he set himself a new goal - he wanted parents around the world to give their children a head start - demonstrating the innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship that UTS fosters in their students,” said Ms Howell.

Hoang Dao said he was both honoured and humbled to receive the award, noting that after 13 years he could see many impressive changes that have occurred across the university.  

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank UTS and everyone who made success possible during my time here. It not only laid the foundation for me to gain skills and knowledge, but it is also the place I found love and passion for technology and creating software.  

“With the birth of my children I also found love and passion in another area – early education. This was reason four years ago I started the new company Early Start – our ambition is to help millions of kids all over the world to learn in a fun an effective way with technology.

“Our journey has in many ways just begun, and this award is very important encouragement that I am on the right track,” said Hoang Dao.

Monkey Junior has become the number one downloaded learn-to-read app in the App Store and Google Play and Hoang Dao was also recognised in 2016, winning the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I-Pitch Competition in the US.

Hoang Dao has many ambitions ahead - he will launch maths and phonics apps in the next few months and has plans to increase his international reach. 

“We’re the leading early-education company in Vietnam,” he says. “But we want to be world leaders.” 

Hoang Dao’s achievement was widely reported by news.com.au.