David Weng, CEO of Taiwania Capital. 1 credit: Taiwan
Taiwania mainly functions as a national executive team for the Taiwanese government’s international venture capital investment, with “5+2 target industries” proposed by the National Development Council as target areas for investment: intelligent machinery, the Silicon Valley in Asia, green energy technology, biotechnology and biomedicine, national defense plus new agriculture and circular economy. Besides venture capital investment, Taiwania has strengthened its ties with the entrepreneurship sphere by establishing the Taiwania Young Entrepreneurs Academy and other channels to act as a partner for startups and help local businesses in the transformation digital, according to Taiwan Capital Management Corporation CEO David Weng.
With strong technological capability, Taiwan-based startups must be global market-oriented
Benefiting from Taiwan’s science education and well-developed ICT industries, most Taiwan-based startups have strong technological capability, which makes them advantageous in international competition. If innovative technologies and new ideas from startups are integrated with ICT supply chain manufacturers and their experience, for example, integration of medical care with ICT hardware solutions for use in telemedicine and smart medical care, startups will see many development opportunities.
Since the Taiwanese market is relatively small, Taiwan-based startups should think about the global market for future business operations, with team members familiar and experienced in international marketing, and develop workable business models to internationalize business operations. .
Taiwan-based startups also need to keep an eye on international development trends. Prior to the US-China trade disputes, the US and China had each attracted a lot of international venture capital investment in local startups due to the importance of domestic markets. Following the trade disputes, there has been almost no venture capital investment in Chinese startups based in Silicon Valley and the United States has gradually curbed such investments in China-based startups. The trend is still ongoing, and Taiwan-based startups need to take it into account in fundraising planning, including choosing countries from which funds will originate.
While the coronavirus pandemic has led to a sharp reduction in person-to-person contact, videoconferencing resulting from the pandemic has greatly helped Taiwan-based startups reach the world, having attracted the attention of international venture capital firms. and fund managers on the development of startups in Taiwan. Therefore, they are motivated to look for tech-based startups in Taiwan, especially those specializing in semiconductors. In addition to offering advisory services and investing in Taiwan-based startups, Taiwania will help international venture capital firms invest in Taiwan-based startups to strengthen international ties for Taiwan’s entrepreneurial sphere.
Software/hardware integration to make Taiwan-based startups unique and internationally competitive
As software/hardware integration becomes a trend along with the development of 5G and AI, Taiwan has a comprehensive ICT supply chain that is globally advantageous and unique in semiconductor technology, bundling production, high efficiency and good quality. Taiwan needs to capitalize and reinforce the advantages to make startup development internationalized and even a global hub for such development. Considering the uniqueness of Taiwan, Taiwania has encouraged startups invested in the United States to establish R&D centers in Taiwan to strengthen exchanges with local startups.
Taiwan-based venture capital firms have paid a lot of attention to biomedical fields, including digital health startups, in recent years. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, they have focused on remote medical care whose development must be combined with telecommunications and ICT technologies. The combination of biomedicine and biotechnology with ICT can be seen as a trend for the development of digital health, and therefore, Taiwan should promote the combination of biomedicine and medical care with the supply chain of ICT , AI and other innovative technologies to drive the development of smart medical care such as predictive medicine.
With venture capital geared towards investing in future technologies, Taiwania is currently focusing on investing in startups specializing in the four areas: cybersecurity, smart enterprise, electric vehicles, next-generation semiconductor.
Cybersecurity investment focuses on next-generation network security technologies, including SASE (secure access to the service edge), SOAR (security orchestration, automation and response); that in the intelligent enterprise on AI, big data and other technologies to help companies in digital transformation; that in electric vehicles on sensing used in autonomous driving, new materials and digital twin technology; that in next-generation semiconductors on new compound semiconductor materials, miniaturization of sensors and hybrid computing.
Improving international marketing to make Taiwan a Southeast Asian entrepreneurship hub
The development of startups characteristically varies between different countries, for example, the United States can attract talent and startup teams as well as venture capital investments thanks to an excellent framework for the development of startups and the entrepreneurial culture. Taiwan should leverage the advantages of ICT technologies and competitiveness to strengthen its international presence. Especially in the wake of the US-China trade wars and the pandemic, Taiwan’s technological capability, high-quality talent, rule-of-law democracy and open society will become more attractive to international venture capital firms and start-up teams.
For internationalization, the Taiwan government can support Taiwan-based startup teams to attend international exhibitions and conventions as well as tap into the international market, and furthermore, improve its international publicity of Taiwan to attract mentors and international incubation accelerators in Taiwan to create an entrepreneurship ecosystem. marked by internationalization.
Additionally, startups are growing rapidly in Southeast Asia, especially in software and application services. Taiwan can provide relevant ICT technologies and supply chains through cooperation with startups in the region and thus will become the hub of entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia and a globally significant service base for entrepreneurs. .
David Weng, CEO of Taiwania Capital
(Editor’s note: eades can download “2021 Taiwan Startup Ecosystem Survey” conducted jointly by PwC Taiwan, TIER and DIGITIMES: https://www.pwc.tw/en/publications/taiwan-startup-ecosystem-survey.html)