The TITAN Program is a 1 + 4 month program. The goal of the first month is for teams to get to know Taiwan and what it has to offer. During this month, teams are able to familiarize themselves with Taiwan’s environment, resources, and market. The following 4 months is when teams really started to develop their business and look for vendors. During this time, TITAN helped them find suitable suppliers and vendors, assisted them in applying for the Entrepreneur Visa, and helped their business grow in Taiwan.
The first month of the program started on July 19th. Part of the TITAN program itinerary was for each accelerator to hold an event for the participating teams to attend and engage with each other. On July 19th FutureWard held their monthly FutureWard Forum event. For this event, Jay, CTO of WeMo Scooters, shared about his startup experiences, both failures and successes. Jays talk was followed by a short sharing session by the Hong Kong based startup Pakpobox.
On July 20th, StarFab held a Startup Meetup event at Taipei 101. They invited Noa Lifshitz, a marketing consultant from Israel to share her experiences in marketing and to help startups come up with their own marketing strategy. Also invited was Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Quest Venture Partners, who gave insight about how startups should approach VCs and how to pitch their ideas.
The TITAN Program Welcome Party was organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology and took place at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park on July 26th. The main goal of the event was to officially welcome the teams to Taiwan and for all of the participating teams to network and get to know each other. In addition to the 10 international teams, 11 local Taiwanese startup teams and the 4 host accelerators were also in attendance. The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Chen LiangJi, was also present and took the time to network with each of the international, local teams, and accelerators. Aside from networking, there were also several games played between the teams that allowed them to get to know each other. The Ministry of Science and Technology even prepared a small gift for each of the startup teams; a customized EasyCard for the teams to travel around Taiwan. Each card has a photo of the startup team member and TITAN’s logo on it.
On July 27th, TITAN planned a Cultural Tour of Taipei for the 10 international startups to go sightseeing and learn more about Taiwan. They visited all of Taipei’s most famous attractions, including Longshan Temple, National Palace Museum, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Taipei 101, and Shilin Night Market. Every attraction on this tour was carefully selected in hopes that the teams wouldn’t feel like they are just here for business, but can also fall in love with Taiwan and share that love with their friends and family back home.
On July 31st the National Chiao Tung University held a customized training course for the teams. This course took into account each teams respective industry and product and determined the best mode of distribution and marketing strategy for the team. The course also introduced the Entrepreneur Visa and other possible institutes that can aid international startups in their development in Taiwan and other markets in Asia.
The August 1st CXO Workshop invited CEOs, CTOs, and COOs from all different industries to come and share their wisdom and experiences with the startup teams. They also coached the teams about how to manage their business with the right mindset.
On August 2nd, FutureWard held their monthly FutureWard Forum event and invited UX Specialist Karen Lin to talk about the right way to talk to users, and how to get the obtain feedback from users in order to help product improvement. A good product will draw the attention of consumers, but customer service is also a crucial part of the product. Understanding the users experience is vital, therefore, learning how to communicate with users is a very important skill to learn. Good communication with consumers will help expand the product’s market because a good review from a loyal customer is automatic advertising for the product. Understanding consumer needs is also a great way to better your product and will aid in the design of your products next generation.
On August 3rd and 14th, TXA held a Private Board Meeting, hoping to achieve both horizontal (peer learning and empathy) and vertical learning (learning from your predecessors and their experiences) through role play. Many industry leaders were invited to appear on the private board and share their life experiences and advice with the startup teams.
On August 9th, FutureWard held their Hardware Massive event and invited, Machina, one of the TITAN teams, to come and share about their products. Machina produces wearable technology and was founded on the belief that wearable technology will enhance our lives by being functional, intuitive and aesthetic. Linda, CEO of Machina, and Antonio, Co-Founder of Machina, are both from design backgrounds and are the masterminds behind the companies design and tech. Their wearable technology brilliantly integrates fashion and technology. Linda shared about her successes and failures, and hoped that her experiences could encourage and inspire other startup teams in their entrepreneurial journey.
On August 15th, IAPS organized a Pitch Day for the startup teams to showcase what they have learned through the mentoring, courses, and events. IAPS invited both international and local startup teams to participate in this Pitch Day so that they can network and learn from each other. This will also give the teams the opportunity to gain an accurate vision of their company direction, help them train their pitch skills, and prepare them for future fundraising events.
On August 16th, 8 TITAN teams were invited to participate in a private meeting with 6 potential venture capitalist firms. The VC firms that attended were Cherubic, TVG, Mesh, WI Harper, CDIB, and Quest Ventures. For this meeting, teams gave a brief presentation about their companies and the VCs responded with questions, advice, and commented on their company’s investment value and how the teams can improve. After the presentation, each team had set up a demo table with their products. This gave them the opportunity to display their products and explain in detail not only their product, but also their vision, business model, and operating objective to interested audiences.
Launched in 2011 by Business Next, Meet Startup is a startup community platform created for networking between the startup community and the sharing of information between entrepreneurs. From startup news to monthly entrepreneur gatherings, networking events and the sharing of resources, this platform has it all. On August 16th, Meet Startup held their 80th gathering at Your Space. For this meetup, they invited Taiwanese startups awoo and Famicloud to come and share their experiences. Awoo has specialized in search engine optimization (SEO) technology since 2008, and has since helped big names such as Chunghwa Telecom, Taishin Bank, Lion Travel, and Chinatrust Bank with their web ranking and keyword marketing. As of now, they have over 9,000 registered customers using their software. The final lecture of the event was a discussion on How to Have a Successful Co-Founder Relationship. The goal of the lecture was for startup teams to gain new knowledge, be able to share their own entrepreneurial experiences, and connect with the global startup community.
August 16th was the last day of the first phase of TITAN. The Ministry of Science and Technology held a farewell party for the teams to celebrate the ending to a great month. They prepared a delicious feast with many Taiwanese delicacies, and even prepared a small farewell gift for the teams. Each team was given a bag of Taiwanese coffee beans as a souvenir to not only remember TITAN, but to remember Taiwan.