Special Report 4
Turning Taipei Into a Start-up Hub
Integrating Resources - Promoting Start-Up Development
Taipei City Government is committed to creating a friendly and open environment to support innovative start-up ventures. On March 31 2015, it established the one-stop service portal StartUP@Taipei to promote a series of mentoring initiatives for start-ups,enabling outstanding foreign and domestic talent to achieve their dreams in Taipei and creat value for the city. We provide start-up consultation services and a case-by-case mentoring service, providing consulting services to 8,803 start-ups and mentoring to 1,638 by the end of 2016. We established the StartUP@Taipei website that provided the information about entrepreneruial resources from government and non-government organizations, such as startup campaigns, incubation center and co-working spaces. At the end of 2016 the website averaged 9,323 visits per month, up 76.5% from 5,283 the previous year.
The Business Mentoring Council invited successful entrepreneurs, experts and scholars to serve as Taipei Entrepreneur start-up mentors, providing a friendly and specialized consultation and mentoring service from different aspects including legal issue, accounting and technology research and development, as well as informal discussions between start-up students and business experts. In addition, well-known entrepreneurs, businesspeople and investors convened for the entrepreneurial think tank conference, held seven times from 2015 to December 2016, to strategically plan for the progressive expansion of mentoring activities.
We also held the Entrepreneurial Development series of lectures help entrepreneurs to understand the basics of entrepreneurship. The Boss School lecture provides entrepreneurs with a vision of an innovative economy; and the Innovation Accelerating course helps entrepreneurs to maximize creativity, as well as enhance their operational capabilities and macro perspective.
In order to provide initial stage funding for young entrepreneurs, out of 475 loan applications, 422 were approved, totaling NT$299.54 million from 2015 to the end of December 2016. Matchmaking sessions were held, offering angel investors, venture capitalists and fundraisers an exchange platform, helping to establish Taipei's start-up fundraising network by increasing investment, creating a suitable venue for initial stage start-up teams.
Encourage Innovation - Provide Incentives and Subsidies
The Taipei City Autonomous Ordinance for Industrial Development provides investment incentives and subsidies for innovation, brand development, entrepreneurship and incubation. There is also a startup subsidy for companies registered in Taipei City within one year and their business plans are innovative, creative or value-added potential. By the end of 2016, accepted 533 applications and approved 197 applications, the total amount of approved subsidy is NT$249,615,350. Estimated to drive enterprise innovation investment up by more than NT$900 million and increase output value by approximately NT$14.4 billion, providing 1,977 job opportunities.
Healthy Business Environment - Plenty of Incubation Spaces
In order to provide entrepreneurs with all types of space for start-up, Taipei City Government is actively making use of the city's empty spaces, with a total of more than 50 start-up bases listed on the "StartUP@Taipei" website for public inquiries. In addition, a number of innovative and entrepreneurial bases are also planned, with the current operating bases being Taipei Co-Space and the Center for Innovation Taipei (CIT).
Taipei Co-Space is a cross-domain communication area for individuals or micro-entrepreneurs to work together. In 2016, in order to provide more space and services that meet the needs of entrepreneurs and industry trends, private resources and professional skills were brought in, inviting the private sectors to operate spaces like innovation center, coworking space, etc. In addition to the original coworking space on the second floor, the third floor will be expanded to house an accelerator that functions as an incubator, providing an interdisciplinary resource platform, and offering more specialized services that meet the needs of the entrepreneurial industry.
The CIT is divided into four sections: software design, smart IOT, mobile cloud, lifestyle business commerce and internet innovation. inviting entrepreneurs and makers utilize the office space, coworking space as their demostration showroom in CIT. There are now 31 foreign and domestic groups at the center.
Connect Organizations Internationally - Help New Businesses Develop
In November 2016, International Entrepreneurship Week was held to invite international incubation organizations, accelerators, venture capital institutions and members of the entrepreneurship community to participate in the promotion of international business and investment opportunities in Taipei City. In order to assist the start-ups connect with global business, the establishment of an international resource network through multinational creative exchanges will also help potential start-up to join overseas accelerators, participate in international business incubation or incubation center training programs, with the aim of promoting their products or services into the international market. In addition, through exchange and cooperation between domestic and foreign start-ups, we can help the new enterprises with international market potential to explore overseas business opportunities and to integrate international resources with international trends.
Since the establishment of StartUP@Taipei Office in 2015, the Taipei City Government has provided entrepreneurial resources such as start-up consulting, case-based mentoring,concessional loans and incentive grants to help start-up teams at different stages of their business development. In addition, through setting up start-up activities, a surge of creativity is sparked, leading to all kinds of innovative business models; and new teams of entrepreneurs attract international attention, helping to enhance the image of Taipei City. Our hope is to actively promote and strive to create a Taipei City that is not afraid of failure and can revitalize its business environment, making it the first choice for new venture in Asia.