The COVID-19 crisis emphasizes the need for companies and technologies to become more visible, and accentuates the demand for platforms that promote access to global markets. The need for an effective digital tool to find innovative solutions and create collaborations among entrepreneurs, companies, and investors worldwide, set the tone for the signing of an agreement earlier this month, between Start-Up Nation Central and Innovation to Industry (i2i), an innovation company spun off of Taiwanese research institute Institution for Information Industry (iii).
Under the agreement, i2i will launch a ‘Global Finder’ in Taiwan – an online innovation discovery and ecosystem development tracking platform modelled after the successful Start-Up Nation Finder. The platform will include a mapping of nearly 30,000 tech companies, hundreds of incubators, 200 VCs and other stakeholders active in Taiwan’s ecosystem, enabling them to expand their business opportunities with the world and make data-driven decisions.
Taiwan: a center for business and technology
i2i will operate the Global Finder platform with the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA) of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). According to Dr. Gary Gong, Chairman of i2i, launching Global Finder in Taiwan “continues our efforts to strengthen the collaboration with Israel’s tech sector, which is also evident in the recent launch of our unique incubator program that connects Israeli startups with Taiwanese companies.”
Taiwan is a global leader in hardware and manufacturing, particularly for the personal computer industry. The East-Asian country has developed strengths in hardware and software integration, built over the last three decades: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is among the world’s top 10 technology companies, according to Thomson Reuters; Taiwan’s Foxconn is among the world’s largest multinational electronics manufacturing companies, producing chips for Apple, Google and others.
The success of Taiwan’s high-tech enterprises is largely attributed to the government’s generous funding of applied scientific development. Consequently, the Industrial Technology Research Institute, the National Applied Research Laboratories and the Institute for Information Industry have all played important roles in jumpstarting the nation’s rise as a technology powerhouse. This was achieved through research, aiding the private sector with R&D, and exploring new technologies. The economy of Taiwan ranks as the seventh largest in Asia. As Taiwan’s business, financial, and technology hub, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has become one of the global cities in technology and electronics. Therefore, the city stands a good chance to develop a globally competitive startup ecosystem focusing on AI, software, and semiconductors.
Making data-driven investment decisions around the globe
Taiwan has chosen to adopt an Israeli tool in order to develop its own competitive startup ecosystem: Israel’s Start-Up Nation Finder, which offers comprehensive, up-to-date information about the different stakeholders in the Israeli innovation ecosystem.
It enables engagement with 6,500 Israeli technology companies, R&D centers, investors and technology communities across a variety of sectors, offering valuable insights into current performance, challenges, and trends. The information is based on meticulous collection of validated data adhering by methodologies developed by Start-Up Nation Central, and best practices from Israel and the world. Finder can be used by investors, multinational corporations and decisionmakers to make educated, data-driven investment decisions.
Finder’s advantages as an infrastructure for developing Israel’s innovation ecosystem has led Start-Up Nation Central to offer the model to other countries, US states and emerging innovation hubs around the world as part of an initiative called the Global Finder Network. To date, Start-Up Nation Central has helped establish this platform in Thailand, New Zealand and the US States of Michigan and Texas. In each of these locations, a leading local partner was chosen to establish a Global Finder platform showcasing its ecosystem to international markets. Taiwan will be the sixth member of the Global Finder Network.
The vision behind the Global Finder initiative is creating a worldwide network of Finders that will serve as gateways to a variety of ecosystems and expose stakeholders from all over the world to innovation. This global network will help drive cross-border connections and partnerships, as well as encourage international investments and technology-based collaborations, which are essential during this challenging time.