Advance Awards Alumni Category Finalist
Thanh Van Dang grew up in a small rural village in the north of Vietnam. As a peanut seller on the street, she dreamed of more than having one new tee-shirt per year and travelling beyond the 18km radius from her home. Today, Ms Van Dang is an internationally acclaimed technology entrepreneur and an inspirational figure for women in Viet Nam. Ms Van came to Australia on a scholarship and completed her Bachelor of Computer Science at The University of Sydney in 2004. Her father had bought a computer to hire out to the villagers and a young Ms Van Dang had taken the opportunity to teach herself coding. Since that moment, Ms Van Dang has believed deeply in ‘a beautiful life enabled by technology’. Her own journey is proof of the transformative power of innovation. From her platform as founder and CEO of Savvycom, Ms Van Dang is promoting the future of Vietnam as a digital economy, and a digital nation, evinced by a high growth IT industry already supporting a flourishing wave of local tech startups and investment from foreign giant tech companies.
Ms Van Dang built Savvycom into one of Vietnam’s top 30 leading tech companies in software services and IT outsourcing. The company started with just 4 engineers, and now has a team of over 100, known as Vietnam’s most trusted Tech / Solution Provider. Ms Van Dang has been named by Forbes magazine as one of 15 Global Leaders to Watch in 2017, was the ASEAN Female Entrepreneur of the Year, and is currently the next Asia Society-Victoria Distinguished Fellow. As one of Vietnam’s most influential leaders in STEMM, Ms Van Dang is keen to strengthen the growing relationship between Australia and Vietnam by facilitating strong business connections in tech, innovation, and entrepreneurship, through outreach and people-to-people engagement. A passion topic for Ms Van Dang is the empowerment of women through tech. Her involvement in the Hanoi Women Entrepreneur Association, Cherie Blair mentoring foundation, and Fortune US Department of State partnership mark her as a challenger to the social status quo. Ms Van Dang has great hope for the next generation and a desire to see ‘more and more women who are brave enough to become future leaders alongside men’.
“I have a strong belief in a beautiful life enabled by technology. I also love developing people. Having the opportunity to bring innovation into life by leveraging engineering workforce in Vietnam is what drives me forward every single day.”