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Taiwan Government Launches Program to Help Startups Get Business Overseas

Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology launched an incubator program this month to help domestic startups find business overseas.

The ministry formally created Taiwan Tech Arena, the government’s first incubator, to foster “a vibrant international tech startup ecosystem in Taiwan,” Minister Chen Liang-gee told a news conference June 5.

“The purpose of launching Taiwan Tech Arena is to help Taiwanese startups gain more visibility in global markets,” he told reporters. “One of Taiwan Tech Arena’s goals is to build an international tech startup environment in Taiwan by building a strong network.”

Taiwan Tech Arena will spawn 100 startups per year and expedite the overseas expansion of 300 over the next three years, the minister added.

The incubator is inside the Taipei Arena, a 13-year-old former baseball stadium in the Taiwan capital city. Arena funding of NT$1.5 billion (about $50 million USD) comes from the ministry and the Taiwan government’s Industrial Technology Research Institute will manage it.

Specific programs at Taiwan Tech Arena will encourage growth of domestic high-tech companies and link them to markets overseas.

Taiwanese entrepreneurs have an edge over their peers in hardware and has great AI talents to build the next-generation products, Chen said. To supplement that, he said, the ministry has invested in software development and artificial intelligence over the past few years.

To that end, the arena’s initial programs will cover talent development, software technology, cloud computing and ways to turn their ideas quickly into realistic proofs of concept.

Tech Arena programs will bring in talent from companies, academic research, international accelerators and capital markets.

Startups will find mentors, workshops and face-to-face consultation. Among its foreign partners are the startup accelerators 500 Startups, Sparklabs and Techstars from the United States and Startupsbootcamp from the United Kingdom.

“We have a strong network of global mentors, investors, and resources that will help elevate startups teams’ work to global audiences,” the minister said.

Taiwan Tech Arena will work with with corporate partners such as Acer, Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Trend Micro in multiple areas. No details on the nature of their cooperation were available. French Tech Taiwan, a tech startup accelerator accredited by the French government, already signed on.

Initial events at the arena include pitch session for venture capital-seeking startups and a networking event co-sponsored by French and Dutch government agencies in Taiwan.