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Taiwan Accelerator Offers Opportunity to Seed Companies in a Long-Forgotten Region

Taiwan Accelerator is the first seed accelerator in the country.

An injection of funding into a seed business has the power to propel a unique idea into a viable emerging growth company. In many cases, entrepreneurs could just be one investor away from reaching the next stage of their business. While startup investing has become immensely popular here in the US, it isn’t necessarily the case internationally, where funding can be even harder to secure. This is why the recent formation of Taiwan Accelerator was so important for innovators abroad.

Taiwan is a country that boasts impressive inventors, but few seed investors. Now, that stands to change. Launched in October 2016, Taiwan Accelerator is the first seed accelerator in the country, and has worked diligently to select eight exceptional startups out of 153 applications. The startups represent budding and important aspects of the business world: big data, e-commerce, agricultural technology and other vital sectors. These startups have already received funding and mentorship as part of the program.

Taiwan Accelerator enables these startups to gain access to the U.S. capital market and media, building awareness on the global stage. Next week, Taiwan Accelerator will be showcasing these promising startups at two upcoming investor roadshows. The events will take place in Silicon Valley and in New York.

The Taiwan Accelerator Demo Day in Silicon Valley will be hosted at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) office in San Jose, CA on April 18, 2017.

The Taiwan Accelerator Demo Day in New York will be held at Thomson Reuters headquarters in Times Square on April 21, 2017.

The Best of the Best

Last October, Taiwan Accelerator started accepting applications for startups that would receive $30,000 (USD) in funding, courses on professional entrepreneurial mentorship, finance, legal counsel, media relations, integrated marketing, branding, investor relations and much more. In addition, each chosen company would be appointed a public company’s CFO or IRO to offer both mentorship and partnership.

The chance to work with Taiwan Accelerator was extremely competitive. Demographics provided by the company demonstrate a very diverse applicant pools:

The 153 startups that applied came from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, India and Israel. The largest age group was 25-34 years old accounting for 41%, followed by 35-44 years old with 30%. In terms of industry, the five largest were: creative & culture (14%), sharing economy (12%), e-Commerce, social platform (7%), consumer goods, agricultural technology, and green energy (6%). In addition, teams that already had existing product prototypes accounted for 21%, while those who have officially released their product or service accounted for 22%.”

These eight startups are the first seed companies under the wing of Taiwan Accelerator. The company plans to host two cohorts each year of around 15 to 30 companies. With the unique support system in place, each startup will conclude its boot camp experience at Demo Days held in Taipei, Silicon Valley and New York City. The Demo Days will offer each startup the chance to secure additional funding from angel investors or venture capital firms.

Building Bridges Abroad

Taiwan Accelerator has the support of many local corporations, because each startup represents the opportunity to bring more attention to Taiwan. This is not just a matter of national pride, but a chance to show future potential investors that Taiwan is a hub for innovation and global collaboration. These first groups were launched under the guidance of the SME Administration of Ministry of Economic Affairs, and in association with InnoSquare, NCTU Industry Accelerator, Feng Chia University and Chaoyang University of Technology.

The companies presenting at the Silicon Valley and New York events, include:

  • DaddysRoad is a social platform for automobile owners, connecting people with their vehicles and other users in the community. It also brings excitement and value to driving.
  • Gogoout is a car rental platform, having the largest number of locations and vehicle models in Taiwan. Just a few steps to make renting a car as simple as booking a hotel room online.
  • KDTech is a leading manufacturer of gyro-stabilized camera gimbal for commercial grade drones (UAV), providing state-of-the-art software and hardware technology integration.
  • Mean Yu International is committed to creating a youth hostel hotel chain in Taiwan and Asia. It currently operates on three product lines: star hotel, creativity & art inn, B&B hostel.
  • MediU is Asia’s first big-data-driven healthcare commerce platform, providing customers with tailor-made nutritional packages and a new way of pursuing a healthy life.
  • ProudPet is Asia’s first pet medical commerce platform, enabling owners to find the most suitable animal hospital and veterinarian quickly and conveniently.
  • SistaCloset is Asia’s first model clothing rental platform, giving women access to an unprecedented dressing experience at affordable prices by leveraging the power of the sharing economy.
  • TSSE is the world’s leading specialist in biological inducible pesticide substitutes, replacing artificial interference with natural approaches thereby creating a toxic-free food supply chain.

Startups like these illustrate the range of companies that Taiwan Accelerator is supporting and nurturing. At the same time, through its very existence, Taiwan Accelerator sends a message to many other entrepreneurs in the region that there is a place to find funding and guidance.

For more information on the Taiwan Accelerator Demo Days, visit here for the Silicon Valley event, and here for the New York event.

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