From November 15th to the 30th of this year, the Taipei City Government hosted a 15-day program for international startups to create business opportunities and grow their business in Taipei.
This program is designed for startups who want to internationalize their business and target Chinese countries such as Taiwan, China, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Startups got the opportunity to familiarize themselves Taiwan and was assigned a personal mentor who helped with perfecting their business model.。
This year’s program attracted 20 international teams from a total of 9 countries; France, Brazil, Israel, Lithuania, USA, China, Canada, South Korea, and Poland. FutureWard was responsible for hosting and aiding these teams in their search for resources, talents, funding, investor meetings, and more. We also had the honor of hosting the Mayor of Taipei City, here at FutureWard Central, as he sat down with each of the teams to discuss the startup ecosystem in Taiwan and what can be done to better help them in their entrepreneurship journey.
The international startups worked at FutureWard’s coworking space, and were able to choose where they wished to work. Many chose to work in the hot desk area while others preferred the natural light in the Atrium. This arrangement allowed teams to better network and get to know each other. During their stay, FutureWard also held discussions about technology, marketing, management strategy, law, and financial accounting. Our goal is to help them not only expand their businesss in Taiwan but also in Asia.
Please see below for more detailed photos and introductions of the events of this program.
11/15 Orientation Networking Dinner
FutureWard held an Orientation Dinner for the international teams, introducing the FutureWard space and the schedule of events to follow. The teams were also prepped for the 3-day Meet Taipei Exhibition. The teams were very excited for the Meet Taipei exhibition, one-on-one meetings, and cultural activities.
11/16-18 2017 Meet Taipei Startup Festival @ EXPO Dome
A great event for GST teams to gain more exposure in the Taiwan market, and an opportunity for the teams to network and exchange experiences with local Taiwanese startup teams.
11/20 Office Hours with Might Electronics
These office hours are for teams who are interested in learning more about hardware manufacturing in Taiwan. Teams were able to have 1-on-1 time with an expert at Might Electronics to discuss their products and receive advice. Participants of this times office hours included Floatti and WeavAir.
11/20 Office Hours with Xiri Attorneys
Office hours with Xiri Attorneys is designed to help foreign startup teams understand the basics of starting a business in Taiwan, other related laws and challenges that they might face.
11/20 PicCollage Taiwan Office Tour
The PicCollage Taipei Office Tour enabled international startup teams to connect with the successful startup from the Silicon Valley. The teams learned more about the advantages and disadvantages of setting up a company in Taiwan, the various obstacles that they faced, market promotion, and other experiences. The international startups raised many questions, hoping to take advantage of this short period of time to gain more valuable knowledge. Some teams even took this opportunity to schedule a meeting with PicCollage to further discuss how to test the market in Taiwan.
11/21 LiteOn Taiwan Office Tour
The main purpose of the LiteOn Taiwan Office Tour was for the internationsl teams to learn how to create a market in Taiwan from LiteOn’s 40 years of manufacturing experience. The CTO of LiteOn also joined the teams for lunch and discussed with them the new policy of Lite-On support. After the tour, some international startups arranged follow-up meetings with Lite-On, hoping to introduce their products and form a partnership with them.
11/21 CPA Office Hours
These CPA office hours are meant to help foreign startup teams better understand the tax laws of Taiwan and other related information.
11/22 Hardware Massive Event
Hardware Massive is a global platform for hardware startups to meet locally, connect globally with the hardware startup ecosystem and access insider information and resources. Every few months they have a speaker event on a hardware related topic.
11/23 Pitch Day
The purpose of the Startup Pitch Event was to allow the international teams to mingle and exchange experiences with the local Taiwanese teams.
This event was the perfect opportunity for both sides to learn more about each other’s products, promote mutual exchange, and create more possibilities for cooperation. At the end of the event, the teams had the opportunity to exchange business cards and some even made plans to expand market applications together.
11/23 Friendsgiving Dinner
In the evening after the Startup Pitch event, FutureWard prepared a fancy Friendsgiving dinner for all of the participants to commemorate a successful event and to celebrate Thanksgiving day. In order to make the international teams feel more at home on this special holiday, FutureWard prepared a traditional Thanksgiving meal, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and more. After a long day, the teams were able to relax and enjoy a nice meal while continuing to network with each other.
11/23 Fireside Chat with Mayor Ko
The goal of the Fireside Chat with Mayor Ko was to increase communication between the international startups and the Taipei City Government. Through the Fireside Chat, the Taipei City Government was able to better understand the needs of the international startups and what kind of resources and help they need in order to start a business in Taiwan.
11/27-11/29 Meeting with VC, manufacturers, potential customers
FutureWard provided the VC companies with all the international startup team introductions. QuestVenture and MeshVenture both wanted to meet with the teams and help them raise funds and possibly become financial partners.
Arrange a meeting with Quest Ventures and international team
Arrange a meeting with Mesh Venture and international team
OSARO is a San Francisco based AI company building the brains to power industrial robotics. Its deep reinforcement learning software works with existing industrial robots and allows them to learn complex actions from video demonstrations without hand-coding. Perobot, a subsidiary of Foxconn, is also focused on developing robotics, and so FutureWard arranged a meeting with the GM of Perobot and Osaro to discuss about the possibilities for cooperation in the future.
Wistron is a very important OEM manufacturer in Taiwan, and has been assisting startup teams with hardware manufacturing needs in the recent years. Because of their abundant experience, FutureWard invited Wistron to meet with the international startups with hardware manufacturing needs.
The FLOATTI team is dedicated to developing women-oriented smart luggages. In order to assist, FutureWard arranged for FLOATTI to meet with SlingX. SlingX has had experience with developing smart luggages and can help FLOATTI with manufacturing and developing in Taiwan.
The international startups met many clients and vendors at the Meet Taipei Exhibition, so FutureWard rented a room at the Mandarin Oriental for them to meet with potential clients. In these three days, the teams were able to meet and discuss with customers, vendors, and VCs to talk about funding, technology, talent scouting, and more.
11/29 Farewell Party
As the 15 day GST Program came to a close, FutureWard decided to hold a Farewell Party for the international startup teams to celebrate a successful program. FutureWard prepared some food and drinks and also a special gift for each of the teams so that they could remember Taiwan. Each gift included Taiwan themed postcards and famous Taiwanese pineapple cakes. The teams were very appreciative of this thoughtful gift and thankful for this chance to truly get to experience Taiwan and its beautiful culture. We look forward to their next visit, and wish them the best of luck with their plans to expand into the Taiwanese market.
GST Teams all expressed that they were very grateful for the chance to participate in this program, to visit Taiwan, to get plugged into the startup ecosystem, to meet new friends, and of course to pose with Taipei City’s Mayor Ko. They are also very thankful for the opportunity to work at FutureWard’s coworking space and for all the meetings and events. This was a great experience for the teams and a great chance for them to experience the international culture and creative atmosphere of FutureWard.
The Global Startup Talents @ Taipei Program is a 15 day program for international startups teams to come to Taiwan. Co-organized by FutureWard and ITRI, this program conducted a series of events, 1 on 1 meetings with manufacturers and VCs, and tours based on the needs and requests of the startup teams. Attending these events and meetings enabled the international startups to understand Taiwan’s industrial environment, market conditions, fundraising abilities, manufacturing advantages, and other aspects. FutureWard is dedicated to building an international platform by creating a new way to connect the global startup ecosystem. They hope to globalize Taiwan and help startup teams discover their strengths, values, and ultimately helping them achieve their goals.