This May, Taiwan Startup Stadium (TSS) headed to the United States with the winners of the Rock the Mic competition that was held back in February. From the 40 teams that participated, 12 were chosen for an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco and New York City. From May 8 to 19, these teams showed an international audience what Taiwanese startups can do.
The TaiwanRocks 2017 Tour not only gave winners a chance to present their innovations on a global scale, but also provide them with plenty of chances to link up with investors. Winning startups focus on a wide variety of business models and technologies, with both hardware and software products being represented.
Coaching startups to go global: Taiwan Startup Stadium
TSS has dedicated itself to assist startups in Taiwan in their efforts to go global ever since their launch in 2015, when they received generous backing from the National Development Council. True to its name, TSS espouses the zeal of a professional sports team when it comes to coaching new companies and entrepreneurs.
Part of this entails a stadium-like atmosphere at their office on top of the Syntrend building in Taiwan City. More importantly, however, is that TSS not only provides coaching on how to better build small businesses, but also works hard that these local teams can go global.
To achieve this ambitious goal, they offer a wide array of international contacts and use their networks to promote Taiwan.
This also entails numerous events organized by TSS with partners such as BNext/Meet. For instance, the Visiting Entrepreneur Program invites international industry leaders to present a keynote address and breakout sessions to TSS members. This March, Ville Mickelsson from Cyberlightning gave Taiwanese IoT startups advice on how to overcome challenges and find success with their enterprises.
Showcasing Taiwanese talent to US investors
The TaiwanRocks 2017 Tour is another great example of how TSS supports Taiwanese startups. The current roster was chosen at the Rock the Mic competition in February, where startups had two minutes to pitch their products to an audience of industry insiders and investors. Now, those who successfully persuaded the judges in Taiwan got a chance to win over potential investors in the USA.
Hardware products were also represented with some truly innovative gadgets. For example, LyraVR uses virtual reality to help artists create more amazing music and art. U-GYM’s product is a smartphone-controlled massager that can be used for athletic and medical purposes.
Launching startups into the world
The first stop of the two-week trip was San Francisco, where the participants and TSS showcased their portfolio at the Silicon Valley Forum. TSS also introduced participants to their network of investors in California, visiting Airbnb, Facebook, as well as Google Launchpad as part of the program.
The second big stop of the TaiwanRocks 2017 Tour was New York, where the teams attended Techcrunch Disrupt and participated in the Propelify Innovation Festival.
Additionally, they also received coaching from numerous startup experts, along with a day spent getting to know the official Taiwanese representatives at the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in NY.
For the participating startups, TaiwanRocks was a great reward for their hard work. At the same time, it also allowed them to introduce Taiwan’s vibrant startup scene to a broader audience. As TSS General Manager Holly Harrington put it, this event helped to “shine a brighter light on Taiwan,” allowing the world to see that the island nation makes ideas just as well as it makes computer chips.