Happy New Year MGSN viewers!
What better way to start the new year then to jumpstart that killer idea into a Concept Generation and onto that Startup you have been thinking about every morning, when you are either logging on the first Virtual Meeting of a daylong trip down virtual imprisonment or waiting for that monotonous metro to arrive in your monotonous metro station, to take you to your monotonous job.
The first question is, where you go to nurture your Startup? Although certain headlines screamed Silicon Valley is in a decline and specifically San Francisco is not the city of innovators and creators that it once was, the facts are that young entrepreneurs view San Francisco as the city of their dreams. The issue of affordable housing is presenting barriers to attracting talent. Google knows that the millennial and Gen Z innovators are not traditional followers and that prior to the pandemic, their love of travel and living abroad could translate into a loss of the next ground- breaking tech or a string of innovation. As such, they have committed a pledge of one billion dollars into new and affordable housing.
If you are attracted to the intense electricity of New York City, there are incubators galore and a public transportation system that will lead to housing options that are bearable. There are also great workspace options that are complemented by a diverse cafe culture that adds to a young entrepreneur’s arsenal to create the ideas that will drive your business.
Paris has the world’s largest Startup Campus in Station F, and it also offers you, Paris.
However, Asia is part of that South- South market that is home to the globe’s largest Millennial and Gen Z population, the future long-term consumers of the products and services your Startup will offer.
There are so many exciting cities to live in and work across on the Asian Continent, it may be difficult to choose. Jakarta is a dynamic city and the fact that the Startup Goto raised $1.3 billion USD in a last round of financing before the expected IPO, is tempting. The fact that Goto is a Startup that was formed by the merger of two startups, Gojek and Tokopedia, really underscores the potential for startups in Jakarta.
Then there is Pune, India. Pune is a city teeming with youthful opportunity. It is often voted the most livable city in India. The city is a hotbed of IT, top- flight restaurants and plenty of nice housing options.
However, there is another city you might want to live in and work in to develop your startup, Taipei. This city will allow you Startup access to the potential of South and Southeast Asia. Taipei’s Startup Ecosystem is ready to bloom. There is one huge market condition that will drive the startup ecosystem and your Startup will be well placed to gain from this energy.
Taiwan’s startup ecosystem is needed to diversify the economy. The vibrant economy of Taiwan is dependent on the semiconductor industry. As the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) grows within mainstream applications, the United States government is pushing to control the market on AI development, manufacturing, and deployment
To provide the Due Diligence to commence this process the United States Government established the National Security Commission (NSC) on Artificial Intelligence. The NSC recently issued a Final Report on its Due Diligence Investigation into AI and National Security. The Final Report provides expert investigation and analysis of the relationship between the generational interface of semiconductors and AI. The report is readily available on the NSC site. There is one conclusion that should provide Taiwan with the motivation to accelerate the diversification of its economy;
“Build a resilient domestic base for designing and fabricating microelectronics. After decades leading the microelectronics industry, the United States is now almost entirely reliant on foreign sources for production of the cutting-edge semiconductors that power all the AI algorithms critical for defense systems and everything else. Put simply: the U.S. supply chain for advanced chips is at risk without concerted government action. Rebuilding domestic chip manufacturing will be expensive, but the time to act is now. The United States should commit to a strategy to stay at least two generations ahead of China in state-of-the-art microelectronics and commit the funding and incentives to maintain multiple sources of cutting-edge microelectronics fabrication in the United States.”
The good news is, Taiwan already has a brilliant Startup Ecosystem. The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research and PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of largest professional services network firms in the world, have been conducting research into the Taiwan’s Startup Ecosystem. They have issued a significant report which is available on both entities’ websites. One gigantic advantage that Taipei has over many other global cities is that the young Entrepreneurs recognize that there is no need to wait until tomorrow to develop ethical business practices, the gender gap in the diversity of industry and funding. According to research of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research and PricewaterhouseCoopers the Startups in Taiwan are well positioned to capture the solution to diversify the economy. The currently Startup profile of Taiwan covers a diverse industry profile, biotech, MedTech, AI/IoT, corporate services, consumer products (a crucial industry for the South-South Trading Platform), and another potentially explosive market in the South-South Platform, Agri-Tech.
The fact that the gender gap in the Taiwan Startup ecosystem is closer than most ecosystems is key because of it’s development potential. It is crucial for Taiwan to facilitate woman owned business and the maximization of women in the work force. The talent, insight and resilience that the full integration of women in the economic structures offers its society will help Taiwan, or frankly any society grow. The evidence is overwhelming, economic diversity is good business.
A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute(MGI) Report indicated that the global economy would experience double growth margins in annual GDP by 2025 if government, corporations, SMEs and Startups made the effort to enhance the development and delivery of products and services by eliminating the gender GAP. Such a commitment would add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025.
The MGI Report offered interesting metrics that identified a base means to facilitate the growth through the diversification of the economy are” equality in work, essential services and enablers of economic opportunity, legal protection and political voice, physical security and autonomy”.
Taiwan has solid building blocks that an entrepreneur can utilized to build out a Startup who would be in a position to capture several points of market segmentation. One of the most attractive aspects of Taiwan is its New Southbound Policy. The goals of this government policy are to provide the platform for Taiwan based companies to expand into the rich potential of the Southeast Asia and South Asia countries.
Taiwan also offers sound networking opportunities that will allow the Startup to develop products and services. One such networking group is Taiwan’s “Impact Entrepreneurs”. It is a good site to commence the process of networking virtually from any city, town or village, while you are working the 9-5 or studying in school and exploring Concept Generation for a Gig that can be built into a solid Startup.
Another site you should examine in conducting the Due Diligence into the Taiwan Ecosystem is International Entrepreneur Initiative Taiwan (“IEIT”). This portal is hosted by Taiwan’s Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs (“SMEA”). It provides a significant resource base for you to understand the feasibility of building your Startup in Taipei. The portal covers visa, legal and regulatory, along with networking, incubator and accelerator options.
There is another Networking Group that Social Entrepreneurs and SME’s looking to capture the opportunities in Southeast and South Asia can examine. The Women’s Entrepreneur Program provides mentoring and networking with Women involved in Startups across Southeast and Southwest Asia. The SMEA also provides a particular mentoring platform for Social Entrepreneurs.
The intense opportunities that exist in these Asian Markets has caught the attention of several government entities in European and North America. Several countries have programs that will assist your Startup to enter these markets. If you reside in Germany for example, look into the German Accelerator web site. This site created by Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs. It is an excellent tool, if you already are operating a SME in Germany. However, it is also a great tool for a young entrepreneur in the Concept Generation stage. It will provide you the needed source for Due Diligence, if you want to experience the opportunity to live abroad and work abroad to bring your ideas into a Startup in Taiwan.
Another example of a government entity that can help you at any stage of the development of your business plan, is the US State Department of State. It issues yearly Investment Climate Statements. The 2020 Statement on Taiwan is posted on its site. It contains significant information you can use to jumpstart your due diligence and bring your ideas or expanding your business into Taiwan.
A little insight into life in Taipei might be helpful before you commence your Due Diligence into the Startup Ecosystem. Taipei is one of the safest cities in the world to live and work. Taipei has a robust coffee cafe culture that features many popular roast and beans, as well as Taiwan’s own coffee from plantations located on the western part of the Island. These fantastic coffee cafes are complemented by innovative -inspiring co-workspaces.
Public transportation is economical and efficient. The Taipei Metro can take you from home to work to play and back home in a clean, efficient, and safe ride.
Housing tends to be expensive. Although the government of Taiwan has taken steps to increase affordable housing, there is a pressing need to develop enough affordable housing to support the young entrepreneurs diversify its economy.
What are you waiting for! Start the year off right and next year you can be living and working on your Startup in Taipei.