Keeping up with their western counterparts like Silicon Valley, many Asia-Pacific countries have been slowly emerging as the global startup hubs. One of these emerging startup hubs is Taiwan, which is making considerable efforts to turn into more startup-friendly.
In this article, we’ll talk about startups in Taiwan and how the country is becoming a favorite place to start a new venture for global entities.
Startups in Taiwan: An Overview of Taiwan’s Startup Sector
With a population of 23.8 million people, Taiwan has continued to be one of the manufacturing powerhouses in the world. For the past four decades, the country has taken a more lenient and dynamic approach to support the startup sector. There has been a change in consumer habits and preferences, who now look for more options for their purchases.
Software startups in Taiwan are also enjoying an attractive customer base. New-age customers are more willing to accept their products and services. The internet speeds in Taiwan, Intellectual Property Protection, and cultural familiarities with many other APAC countries also favor the country to be the launchpad for many global startups.
In recent years, there has also been an increase in venture capital investment, government initiatives, and sectoral reforms in Taiwan. These changes have reinvigorated innovation and led to more global entrepreneurs setting up their base in the country. Taiwan has also recognized the essential roles startups play in bolstering economic growth. The country has thus made numerous changes in its startup ecosystem to be more approachable.
Key Growth Factors for Startups in Taiwan
Let’s have a look at the factors that support the growth of startups in Taiwan and why new global aspirants can choose Taiwan as their hub:
Favorable Market Conditions
With high smart device penetration and more people realizing the importance of technology, startups are finding a large market base to serve globally. The situation is the same in Taiwan, where more than 87.9 percent of citizens have internet connectivity. Also, 92 percent have mobile phones, 67 percent have a desktop/notebook, and 29 percent have tablet PCs.
Being a centrally located country in Asia, Taiwan also enjoys geographical advantages. Its location allows it to form collaborations and associations with Western countries as well as many developed and developing economies in Asia.
Support from the Government to Startups in Taiwan
The government of Taiwan is also catching up to the rise in numbers of and demand for startups. The government has introduced several initiatives to support the entrepreneurial spirit and technological innovation. New ideas, startups, and small businesses are more openly accepted, especially in the technology sector. For instance, the National Development Council (NDC) launched the Startup Regulatory Adjustment Platform in October 2017.
Numerous changes also focus to attract international entrepreneurs to Taiwan such as ease of starting a business. It also includes an entrepreneurial visa that allows individuals to set up their startups in Taiwan without a large sum of investment.
Additionally, the NDC established the Taiwan Startup Stadium in 2015 to foster more local entrepreneurs and businesses, and allow them to exhibit their achievements. Taiwan Startup Stadium (TSS) has served more than 200 startups. It has also connected them with more than 120 mentors, 500 investors & 30 corporations.
AI and IoT Development in Taiwan
Hubs for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are also promoted by the Taiwanese government. The main focus behind this is to have a more open and transparent data. In 2013, the National Development Council also established the Government Open Data Platform. It is an open database of information on numerous services in open formats for free public use. These datasets allow more AI and IoT startups in Taiwan to create new applications more efficiently and accurately.
In 2017, Taiwania Capital was founded, which is Taiwan’s first venture-capital firm which is backed by the state. Taiwania Capital’s Fund I closed USD 150 million in funds for startups that focus on cloud computing, enterprise software, autonomous systems, AI, IoT, robotics & drones, information security, next-gen semiconductors, and sensors.
Industry 4.0 in Taiwan has come as a shift from the manufacturing industry to the technology sector. This has led a shift towards cloud computing, Big Data, IoT, and smart robots. Taiwan has also reinforced its IPR laws, putting it before China and Japan in terms of protection and costs respectively.
Taiwan ranked as world number 4 in innovation capability as per the World Economic Forum in 2019. The Asian island is also focusing on technology to transform itself and convert into a hub for international entrepreneurs who look for advanced manufacturing services.
Taiwan also hosts a large workforce of well-qualified and technologically skilled individuals. The wages in fields like technology are also lower as compared to China or Japan due to the country being an emerging hub. Many individuals in Taiwan are also multi-lingual, allowing overseas entities to easily hire their remote workforce in the country.
More Welcoming Conditions for International Players
Options like Entrepreneur Visa and an Employment Gold Card are attracting more international entrepreneurs to set up their startups in Taiwan. The National Immigration Agency may also grant permanent residency to foreign entities applying for investment immigration to Taiwan. This is permitted for entities who have invested more than NTD 15,000,000 in a for-profit enterprise and created five or more job opportunities for ROC nationals for over 3 years.
Future of Startups in Taiwan
Startups in Taiwan are on a continuous growth spurt. Despite facing numerous challenges in the past, the startup sector in the country has been successful in attracting venture capital firms and global interest in recent years. Technology and electronics startups are on the rise in the country.
With more government support and backing by several innovation-supportive laws, Taiwan is on the path to becoming a new startup hub in Asia.
How PEOs Help Startups
International PEOs like Horizons assist startups by acting as their employment partners. We can provide you with the right market knowledge to set up your business in Taiwan. We support all your employment needs while you leverage the business opportunities and a vast pool of talent.
NHGP also helps you to determine the market demands and hiring requirements to establish your base in Taiwan. You can connect with experienced local professionals and workforce in the country, and help you with your Taiwan recruitments, payroll management, etc. You can find end-to-end support for compliance with Taiwanese laws, HR norms, and tax regulations.
Our experts will help you with all the local requirements associated with launching a business. Contact us today to find the right growth opportunities for startups in Taiwan.