Entrepreneurship and innovation: from art to technology


Phuong Tran Thi Thuy graduated with an MBA from ESMT Berlin in 2018. Before starting the MBA program, Phuong already had experience in setting up her own company My Thuat Bui in Vietnam.  

“My Thuat Bui is a unique fine art community in Vietnam engaging art teachers and “ordinary” art lovers in a common home. Our mission is to support ordinary people who love drawing and painting, to pursue their dream of becoming non-professional artists.” 

After 5 years, the company has created 50 jobs for art teachers, served 10,000 students, and organized 5 exhibitions for non-professional artists in Vietnam. 

One of the company’s proudest achievements has been “changing the mindset of ordinary people about learning art.” 

“I’m proud to have been the co-founder and CEO of My Thuat Bui before my personal study journey at ESMT. That milestone then step-by-step transformed the company from an early-stage start-up without clear orientation, to become a business with a clear development strategy, appropriate organizational structure, and strategic product portfolio.” 

After the MBA, Phuong pursued her passion for education and innovation by applying for a job at the Teky Academy in Vietnam.

“My experience and achievements at My Thuat Bui not only helped me in landing the position at Teky, but also supported my job. Both companies are private education businesses which require specific market insight, networking, personal expertise, and knowledge. Needless to say, the experience at my own start-up particularly inspired me to continue my work in education and choose Teky as the next destination of my career path.” 

Teky was founded in 2016 by Lan Huong Dao to create a technology academy for children to learn how to code. The academy aims to prepare Vietnamese children with the necessary knowledge and skills to be ready for Industry 4.0 and to encourage them to pursue future careers as techno-entrepreneurs. 

“Vietnam is hungry for an education revolution because of the poor management and obsolescence of the public education system. Vietnamese students are falling behind their counterparts in developed countries in terms of learning conditions, curriculum, study equipment, and teacher quality, etc. That’s the reason why private schools, academies, English learning centres, e-learning platforms, and EdTech, etc. are becoming so popular in my country.  

The bright vision and the social impact of Teky Academy was one of the biggest reasons calling me to go back home. I have always pursued my personal interest in the education revolution in my country, which many of my ESMT colleagues know. In October 2018 while still looking for job in Berlin, I was thrilled to learn about Teky and decided to join this start-up even though I was starting in a small role in the organization, just because I believe in its capability to drive changes in Vietnam.” 

Phuong now works as the Partnership Manager at Teky, responsible for the collaboration programs with schools throughout Vietnam, to deliver technology courses and to organize tech competitions for students on a national level.  

“Although I am still quite young, to meet and negotiate with school leaders, I use my expertise and knowledge from the MBA program, developing my own strategy to target the right group of schools who are open to advance programs and ready for change. By understanding our partner’s needs, problems, and resource constraints, I have brought the best solutions to our partners, resulting in a total of seven schools in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, implementing Teky’s Robotics and Coding Clubs for their students.  

Teky is on the road to becoming the best chain of five-star technology labs with the most modern tech equipment, professional teachers, a well-designed curriculum, and an inspiring learning environment for Vietnamese children. In the future, we will use e-learning and EdTech to deliver our programs with better prices, additional locations, and to more students from different financial backgrounds in order to create equality in education.”