Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) yesterday presented VIP membership cards for start-up incubator Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) to 11 entrepreneurs returning from overseas, including YouTube cofounder Steve Chen (陳士駿).
Based at the Taipei Arena, the TTA has offered counseling to more than 400 start-ups since its establishment in June 2018, the Ministry of Science and Technology said.
Taiwan is the world’s safest place amid the COVID-19 pandemic to establish a company, find cofounders or employers and have meetings in person, said Chen, a 42-year-old Taiwanese-American who founded the video-sharing platform with Jawed Karim and Chad Hurley in 2005.
Returning to Taiwan in August last year, Chen said that a common question for him is why there are not more globally successful start-ups in Taiwan if many famous start-ups in Silicon Valley were created by Taiwanese-Americans.
“It is possible to create something here that is on par with the Silicon Valley” and the key is to bring people together, he said.
Physical meetings are important for starting a company, as some innovative ideas were produced from casual get-togethers, he said.
By the end of this year, he and his partners would announce a start-up created in Taiwan, he added.
The government would foster the local start-up industry from four facets: creating talent pools, offering spaces, improving regulations to facilitate talent flow, and bridging international investors and start-ups, Wu said, reiterating the pledges of Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who visited the TTA last week.
Wu presented VIP membership cards to Chen, Guitar Hero codeveloper Kai Huang (黃中凱), Mochi Media cofounder Jameson Hsu (徐旭明), Race Capital partner Phil Chen (陳信生) and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment executive vice president Steve Chiang (江詞源).
The other recipients were social networking app Grindr chief technology officer Scott Chen (陳俊仰), photograph rating site Hot or Not cofounder James Hong (洪啟中), blockchain platform ThunderCore chief executive officer Chris Wang (王正文), children’s shoe supplier SpeedSmith cofounder Joseph Hei (黑立行), BE Accelerator executive director Arthur Chen (陳彥諭) and SparkLabs Taipei cofounder Edgar Chiu (邱彥錡).
The cards come with privileges, such as a 50 percent discount on rents, Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs Director-General Chiou Chyou-huey (邱求慧) said, adding that rents at the TTA are similar to those of other spaces in the arena’s vicinity.
In addition to Silicon Valley, the ministry also maintains partnerships with start-up ecosystems in France and the Netherlands, and would continue to expand the TTA’s ties with other European nations, as well as the countries covered by the government’s New Southbound Policy, he added.