Dec 19, 2018
Taipei International Startup Week - Leap Up! Opening Up New Horizons
By Lin Tong-An/TIER
Industrial transformations driven by development of emerging technologies have sparked a wave of startups in metropolitan areas all over the world. Taipei City is a conglomerate of industries, resources, and talent with a vibrant climate of entrepreneurship. Taipei City Government has been organizing “Taipei International Startup Week” since 2016 to assist startup teams in the linkage to international entrepreneurial resources and opening up of new markets. The goal lies in the creation of a sound startup ecosystem to provide the best environment for startups and entrepreneurship in Asia. The 2018 Taipei International Startup Week was held with great fanfare from November 13-18, 2018. This year’s activities were centered around the core theme of “Leap Up! Opening Up New Horizons”. The following five main events formed the backbone of the 2018 International Startup Week: StartUP@Taipei Global Linkage Forum, StartUP@Taipei Demo Day, StartUP@Taipei XR Summit, StartUP@Taipei Pavilion and Pop Up Asia. The goal of these events and activities was to demonstrate the rich innovative potential in diverse areas, catapult local entrepreneurs onto an international stage, and help create new economic models for the future.
About the Author：Lin Tong-An
Editor of Taipeiecon
Startup Taipei Linkage to International Entrepreneurship Trends
The StartUP@Taipei Global Linkage Forum was unveiled in a grand fashion on November 13, 2018 and raised the curtain on the 2018 Taipei International Startup Week. Three renowned entrepreneurship facilitators - Mr. Bruno Naulais, founder of ESA Business Incubation Centre Netherlands, Ms. Katrina Rausa Chan, Executive Director of QBO Innovation Hub in the Philippines, and Mr. Eddie Thai, Vietnamese partner of the venture fund and seed accelerator “500 Startups” - were invited as speakers and panelists to share exclusive experiences and trends in the incubation of startups in different regions. The event was concluded with a panel discussion and in-depth analysis by the three invited speakers and Mr. Qing-Cheng Zhang, Executive Director of Vertex Venture Group of international market expansion strategies for Taiwanese startups. Taipei City has a large number of promising and outstanding startup teams. A dynamic startup ecosystem has been gradually developed with the guidance and support of Taipei City Government. However, the identification of competitive advantages and integration of international resources has turned into the key prerequisite for gaining a foothold in global markets. In recent years, Taipei City Government has visited numerous startup teams all over the world and has actively promoted Industrial exchange by holding international conferences and exhibitions. Taipei conducts exchanges and maintains cooperative relationships in the field of entrepreneurship with 44 cities all over the world. It provides guidance for startup teams in their expansion into international markets and attracts enterprises and talent from all over the world to invest venture capital and create startups in Taiwan.
Entrepreneurship requires the injection of resources from many sources. Taipei City Government has organized the StartUP@Taipei Demo Day since 2016 to accelerate the development of startup teams. 206 angel investors have been matched with 212 teams to continue to nurture the entrepreneurship momentum in Taiwan. The highly anticipated StartUP@Taipei Demo Day was inaugurated on November 13, inviting international angel investors and venture capitalists from the Netherlands, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hong Kong as well as representatives from major domestic venture capital institutions including Harbinger Venture Capital, Cathay Financial Holdings, Chunghwa Telecom, Xianju Investment Consultants, Kelti Group, Top Taiwan Venture Capital, Cloudeep Innovation, and Trinity Investment Corporation. 8 outstanding teams from the StartUP@Taipei were presented and appraised to increase their public exposure and give them an opportunity to attract further investments and strengthen their competitive edge. After a process of exciting presentations and lively discussions, Instant NanoBiosensors Corp. was honored with the Gold Award, while SIMPower Corp. and GranDen Corp. earned the Silver and Bronze Award, respectively.
The vigorous development of VR/AR/MR interactive and immersive technology in recent years have made conventional models of various industries obsolete and led to the emergence of cross-industry business opportunities. XR (Extended Reality) fused with VR/AR/MR technologies has turned into a major future trend. Taipei City Government actively promotes the development of the XR industry ecosystem and boosts exchanges and cooperation between domestic and foreign XR startup teams. StartUP@Taipei XR Summit was organized on November 14 in cooperation with Taiwan Association for Virtual and Augmented Reality (TAVAR). Mr. Takehisa Ito, founder of Hololab, Japan, Mr. Doede Holtkamp, manager of the Dutch accelerator XRBase, and Mr. Faust Chou, CEO of CJS Consulting were invited to analyze development trends and entry barriers of the XR industry by relying on their rich industry experience. The goal was to encourage Taiwanese teams to step into the international limelight. It is worth mentioning that this summit was held in digiBlock Taipei, which had been inaugurated in June 2018. Taipei City Government activated existing space by creating a digital technology park with a focus on the development and incubation of the VR/AR/MR industry. The park area not only provides relevant hard-and software and technical support but has also turned into a hub for resources provided by the government, academic units, local industries, and international talent.
2018 Meet Taipei Startup Pavilion Show Innovation and Explore the Global Market
Taipei City Government is firmly committed to creating an atmosphere conducive to entrepreneurship. The StartUP@Taipei Office, which was established in 2015 adopts measures conducive to startups through integration of available resources including the provision of one-stop counseling services, youth entrepreneurship and SME loans, and the implementation of Project of Subsidies & Incentives For Taipei Industry. Accumulated incentives, subsidies, and loans since 2015 exceed NT$ 1.1 billion and the office has turned into an ideal partner for startups on their road to success.
The Department of Economic Development and Business Next jointly organized the 2018 Meet Taipei Startup Festival which was held with great fanfare in the Taipei Expo Park-Expo Dome from November 15-17, 2018 to give entrepreneurs in Taipei more opportunities for international exchanges and cooperation. 100 startup teams from 27 cities all over the world were enlisted to assemble with 300 local startup teams for the largest startup festival and expo in Asia. On occasion of this grand event, the Department of Economic Development set up a StartUP@Taipei Pavilion featuring displays from 40 outstanding startup teams that receive guidance in the context of various programs offered by Taipei City Government. These displays were presented in form of showcased products and looping video sequences to give visitors an in-depth understanding of the entrepreneurship environment in Taipei City. The highly innovative and creative products and services presented by the startup teams also offered visitors a vision of new business opportunities in the future.
The StartUP@Taipei Pavilion display area is divided into four major sections titled “Lifestyle & Commerce”, “Innovation & Technology”, “Digital”, and “Biotechnology & Medical”. Quite a few startup teams have optimized the quality of their products and services and achieved significant growth due to the guidance and support of Department of Economic Development, Taipei City Government. In addition to various awards and listing on the Go Incubation Board for Startup and Acceleration Firms (GISA), some startups have even expanded into overseas markets and achieved outstanding results:
In the “Lifestyle & Commerce” section, Blueseeds Co., Ltd. showcases its completely natural cleansing and skincare products with extracts from vanilla grown with natural farming methods in Taitung. The company’s products have gained a firm foothold in overseas markets. Blueseeds has even established a branch in Canada and was selected to be listed among the Echelon TOP 100 startups. The company was also honored with a Startup Elite Award in the context of the 2018 Variety Show of Project of Subsidies & Incentives For Taipei Industry organized by Department of Economic Development, Taipei City Government. It was selected as one of the cooperating manufacturers for the gifts and souvenirs provided for the 2018 Asia Pacific Film Festival. Its exceptional achievements have drawn wide attention.
In the “Innovation & Technology” section, Airtree Inc. displays its Airtree which is the first planting machine worldwide for both outdoor and indoor use. It can cultivate non-toxic and non-pesticide produce in a water- and soil-free environment. The product is currently exported to China, the USA, the Middle East, and Singapore. It is currently planning to set up an operating base in New York.
In the “Digital” section, Buho Interactive Entertainment Co., Ltd., an mobile game independent developer in Taiwan, presents its flagship game titled “Click Chronicles” which is attracting attention from gamers and has been recognized with numerous domestic awards. The company has also showcased its products at large-scale national and international gaming trade show and convention such as Taipei Game Show, Game Connection Europe (Paris), and Tokyo Game Show, the largest of its kind in Asia. Upon experiencing the preferences and needs of local gamers, the company actively expands into international markets.
In the “Biotechnology & Medical” section, Instant NanoBiosensors Co., Ltd., which specializes in smart medicalappliances for precision medicine, presents its INB-D200 Biosensor Point-of-Care Testing Device (POCT) which focuses on the diagnosis and detection of diseases that tend to affect seniors including osteoarthritis and cardiovascular diseases. The company has been awarded 30 international patents for its core technologies and has earned numerous major awards presented for inventions in foreign countries. It cooperates with domestic and international manufacturers which are exchange and otc-listed and has established a presence in global markets.
“POP UP ASIA” Fully Linked Handicraft Startup Ecosystem
Entrepreneurship in Taipei City is characterized by great diversity and the cultural and creative design industry represents a key link. 2018 Taipei International Startup Week cooperated with POP UP ASIA in the organization of an exciting exposition in Warehouse II, III, and IV of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park from November 15-18, 2018. This grand event which was centered around the core theme of “Turn your passion into living” assembled 300 brands from 20 Asian cities in 13 countries. The three exhibition areas were titled “Material/ Experiential Zone”, “Theme Zone”, and “Brands Zone”. A multi-faceted and fully linked handicraft startup ecosystem characterized by the spirit of crossover cooperation between handicraft artists has been formed.
POP UP ASIA is the first event of its kind that focuses on interactions between handicraft artists from cities all over Asia. POP stands for “Personal Style”, “Original Ideas” (communication between hands and heart), and “Partnership” (crossover cooperation). These three concepts fully represent the core values of the handicraft ecosystem. Handicraft artists utilize their mind (design) and hands (fabrication) to demonstrate their originality and brand value. Crossover cooperation is a key prerequisite for transformation of handicraft creations into startup brands and thereby achieve brand marketing and sustainability.
This exhibition encompasses many dimensions in the fields of culture & creativity, art, and environmental protection. The “Material/ Experiential Zone” provides a large variety of handiwork and craft materials and over 200 hands-on experience workshops for visitors. The “Theme Zone” features handicraft organizations and unique themes of 10 Asian cities in Japan, Korea, Thailand, India, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and India. The “Brands Zone” showcases over 300 top original brands engaged in the fields of handcrafted production, individualized mass production, local manufacturing, and customization services. Visitor numbers were estimated to reach 35,000 and generated business opportunities were expected to exceed NT$ 50 million.
Taipei City Government strives to create an environment conducive to entrepreneurship to stimulate technological innovation with a simultaneous focus on cultural and creative design. In 2018, POP UP ASIA was subsidized through Project of Subsidies & Incentives For Taipei Industry to ensure continued growth of the exhibition and thereby contribute to the robust growth of relevant industries with the goal of turning Taipei City into a center of the handicraft industry in Asia.
Taipei City Government Joins Hands with Startups in the Opening up of New Horizons
Entrepreneurs embark on a dream journey with an unknown destination and a multitude of creative perspectives and variations. Taipei City boldly embraces innovation. Its government provides diversified guidance services and linkage to international innovation resources in an effort to create a sound ecosystem for startups. The seedlings of innovation exhibit sturdy growth due to the implementation of various policies. 2018 Taipei International Startup Week presents the vigor and vitality of local startups as well as their impressive achievements. Taipei City Government will continue to support a large number of promising new startups to boost industry transformations and upgrades, stimulate international exchanges in the field of entrepreneurship, and give the city a more international outlook.
Taipei City innovative startups: http://www.ieorc.gov.taipei/