To provide a better understanding of the startup ecosystem in Taiwan for foreign entrepreneurs and talents, the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) held an international startup meetup. The moderator of the event is Xin-Wu Lin, Director of Research Division III, Taiwan Institute of Economic Research. He introduced the experts from various fields and potential startups. The opening remark was given by Betty Hu, the Deputy Director-General, SMEA, MOEA. She shared Startup Terrace and its ecosystem for startups. The following speaker was Sonya Liu, who shared about the 3rd G camp program. She represented the Institute for Information Industry. Coming up next was the introduction of the 2019 Health Tech Training Program, conducted by The Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI), NARLabs. Moreover, Brandon Hsu, Country Manager of Regus Taiwan spoke on the topic of the Flexible Working Trend and Leverage. For entrepreneurs interested in European and ASEAN market, there were also several topics featuring the global market. Andreas Goller, Senior Manager of Market Entry Service, German Trade Office Taipei gave an insightful talk on the Germany market. The concluding speaker was given by Uniform Lin, COO of STARTBOARD ASEAN-Indian startup incubator. During the talk, he elaborated on what venture capitalists look for in a startup.
Betty Hu, Deputy Director-General of SMEA, was delighted to see those entrepreneurs with passion and talents gather together in this meetup. Meanwhile, she announced the grand opening of Startup Terrace will be officially held in September. Besides, she talked about the top-notch startup ecosystem in Linkou area and its modern facilities which support international entrepreneurs to safely land their business in Taiwan.
Besides Startup Terrace program, there are many events and startup pitch competitions held by different organizations to strengthen the startup community. Sonya Liu from III introduced the G camp, which provides business expanding strategy, VCs pitch, business cooperation, global market, etc. The purpose of G camp is to encourage startups to expand their business internationally. In addition, the 2019 Health Tech Training Program has been launched by STPI, NARLabs. This program is specifically designed for the medical and health industry. They offer one-on-one consulting service and offer opportunities for selected teams to be trained and mentored by local experts in the Netherlands. The vision of the program is helping Taiwanese health tech startups utilize resources of the European market efficiently and effectively. In sum, the two programs are advantageous resources for startups to step into the global market and be able to survive in the harsh environment of international competition.
【Flexible Working Trend】
Brandon Hsu, Country Manager of Regus Taiwan, quoted that there are only 46% of employees working near their residencies. The commute is leashing the efficiency of work and time-consuming. Working at home creates other problems because home is not a professional working environment. Also, working at home has many disadvantages like the distractions, work-life mixups and so forth. Regus spotted the enormous demand of the flexible working space. Regus provides satellite offices for businessmen to work in their co-working space. By building co-working space all over the world, Regus does not only offer alternative office space for its members but also provides geographic-advantage and flexible working space. The new trend of co-working space is taking down the wall of conventional offices, facilitating communication among different industries and broadening the horizon of business.
【German – the center of Europe Industry】
Mr. Goller is the senior manager of Market Entry Service at German Trade Office Taipei. The mission of the office is to improve the business cooperation between Taiwan and Germany by providing professional legal services, financial consulting services, and other support for Taiwanese startups to expand their business in Germany. Mr. Goller said there are about twenty Taiwanese enterprises in Germany. Gogoro is a good example. It has noticed the automobile is the leading industry in Germany and drives the innovation of engine design and manufacture. Gogoro wanted to collaborate with the unique automotive supply chain in Germany to boost its electric scooter engine to the next level. Therefore, Gogoro decided to choose Germany as their first destination in the European market.
【Win the heart of VCs】
Uniform Lin, COO of STARTBOARD ASEAN-Indian Startup Incubator, indicated the potential of ASEAN-Indian talents in Taiwan. He mentioned that the number of South-East Asian talents in Taiwan has increased from thirty thousand to sixty thousand since 2015. Well-educated professionals are seeking for a better connection with the integrated high-tech supply chain in Taiwan. Staying in Taiwan is their first step to open the grand Chinese market. When it comes to “international markets,” many people only think about the U.S.A and Europe; however, Venture Capitals gradually shift their capitals to fast-growing markets like South-East Asia and India. Mr. Lin said, “There are three things VCs looking for in a startup. First, courage and confidence are the fuel to overcome the struggles in entrepreneurship and help you through the obstacles with agility. Secondly, the balance of bold ambition and practical strategy is important. You have to be keen on the new trend and carefully set forth your plan both financially and strategically. At last, business reputation and credibility is the baseline. There is nearly no VC would make an investment on startups which have a dishonest or unethical history.”
The first event of the series of International Startup Meetups has successfully come to an end. The series still has three more events in store. Through the brainstorming and discussion between the International talents and startups, it collects the energy for innovation and depicts the future of entrepreneurship in Taiwan. The participants including entrepreneurs, international students, and business professionals are from all over the world. This event practically offers governmental resources, alternative working space and the solutions for an early-stage business.