As the pandemic continues to spread globally, the impact has shifted the market and created new opportunities for startup innovation through digital transformation. Europe’s iconic startup and technology event Viva Tech, which is backed by French government, is being held in Paris every year since 2016 to drive French President Emmanuel Macron’s innovation initiatives forward in the European technology ecosystem. This year, VivaTech introduced a brand-new hybrid format, in-person event in Paris and online worldwide, that reached more than 230 million people in 125 countries along with 13,000 startups and 3,300 investors. During the three-day exhibition, 400 influential speakers around the world were invited including CEO Apple Tim Cook, Facebook Founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Audrey Tang, Minister without Portfolio of Taiwan, to share their insights on digital and industry trends.
Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) aims to help Taiwan startups overcome the obstacles caused by the pandemic has actively led startups to seize international business opportunity through digital connections. TTA’s VivaTech 2021 TTA delegation—composed of the top 25 startups selected by an elite panel of judges including angel investors from Silicon Valley out of the more than 100 who applied—was a huge success, with five startups—iStaging, Uniigym, Synergy Design, GliaCloud, and Team8—securing four of the world’s renowned innovation challenge awards and business negotiation deals.
With reduced operations or shut down in the global market due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TTA actively utilizes digital connections to continually seize post-pandemic business opportunity for Taiwan startups. The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), the supporter of TTA, commented, “Following the great success at CES 2021 earlier this year, Taiwan startups have since gained worldwide recognition. And this victory march continues in VivaTech 2021. For the first time in history, five Taiwan startups have brought home four winning awards. Through virtual networking platform, TTA also provides a gateway for global enterprises and investors to engage with Taiwan’s technology resources.”
iStaging is one of the 28 finalist startups for the LVMH Innovation Award. The team develops and brings together AR, VR, and AI technologies to provide multiple one-stop solutions with end-to-end service to clients in various industries, including real estate and luxury brands. Uniigym and Synergy Design, meanwhile, were both selected as the winners of the Orange Open Challenge. Uniigym provides an immersive experience to users by transforming any space into a group fitness class by using AI motion-sensing technology combined with 5G computing technology. Synergy Design, on the other hand, provides solutions for 5G base station optimization technology that has been highly recognized by the communications industry.
GliaCloud—an AI startup dedicated to empowering the media and advertising industry to turn their stories into quality videos at scale—is the first female entrepreneur in Taiwan to win The Female Founder Challenge 2021. Users can generate videos from news content, social posts, live sports events, and statistical data in minutes.
Last but not least, Team8 won Huawei’s Digital InPulse Award. The team’s smartwatches and health digital platforms are designed for children, allowing parents to use an app to track children’s activities and health.
Paving the Way for Taiwan Startups in the Post-Pandemic Era
TTA’s mission is to support startups through international accelerators not just with fundraising but more importantly, by connecting startups with international networking platforms to assist startups in adapting to the changes in the global markets, post-pandemic era. Among the accelerators are French Tech Taiwan, Canadian Technology Macerator (CTA), MOX, SparkLab, IAPS, and BE Capital. Through the integration of online and offline marketing strategy, TTA facilitates more than 400 startups to move forward towards viable and more in-depth collaborations with multinationals and overseas investors.
Aside from connecting Taiwan startups with the global ecosystem, TTA actively promotes Taiwan startup brands through the digitalisation strategy. TTA leads startups to the global stage by showcasing virtual pavilion at internationally renowned exhibitions such as CES and Viva Tech. In addition, through networks built up by TTA Silicon Valley office and TTA’s international accelerator partners, TTA can still offer startups connections with overseas investors, potential buyers, and business partners through virtual meetings so that market expansion, fundraising and business activities can continue to thrive.