The rapid growth of the digital economy of "Greater Southeast Asia" has made the region up for grabs for businesses globally, and Taiwan is no exception. In recent years, Taiwan's startup ecosystem has successively emerged in Southeast Asia with the lead of the "Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency (ASVDA)"!
Cheng, Cheng-Mount, Deputy Minister of the National Development Council doubling as CEO of ASVDA, talked to the Ministry of Science and Technology Center for Global Affairs and Science Engagement (MOST GASE) by sharing how ASVDA help guided Taiwan's startups deploy business investment in the Southeast Asia.
ASVDA boosts partnership for startups on business deployment in Southeast Asia market
Over the years, Southeast Asia is no longer just a base for skilled labor and manufacturing. Cheng explains that due to the rise of young consumer groups and sufficient middle-class population, Southeast Asia is currently the world’s fastest-growing consumer market. Under the influence of the prevalence of mobile phones, new brands and new products are highly accepted by local young people, which has made this region the best testbeds for Taiwan's startups. Moreover, as Taiwan and Southeast Asia share similar geographic location and lifestyle, with "right time" and "right place", ASVDA’s mission is to establish partnership by matching local compatriot community and government resources in Southeast Asia to help Taiwan’s startups further expand into the market.
ASVDA was established in 2016 with two main missions of promoting innovation and R&D of Internet of Things (IoT) industry, and improving startups and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Its goal is to support the growth of startups in terms of funding, talents, regulations, and markets. In the last 4 years, ASVDA has successfully assisted 78 startups by raising more than US$2 million, and had led Taiwan’s startups in participating foreign trade shows to enter the international market. Some of the successful cases include assisting iKara Interactive Media Inc. and IP-guard obtain business opportunities from companies in Southeast Asia in 2019 through collaborating with IDC, the international consulting company. The Agency also played a role as a matchmaker to facilitate the cooperation between OSENSE Technology and Thailand's largest air railway BTS in 2018. OSENSE Technology was listed on "In Search of a Next Google, 100 Companies will change the world" by Nikkei Business. And helped Aeroprobing Inc. penetrate the market in Thailand and launched drone spraying operations, aerial delivery and drone training services.
Exporting integrated system to Southeast Asia to enhance Taiwan’s role in global market
One of the most important goals of Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan is to hatch establish three international-level system integration companies (SI) by 2023. At present, potential industry players have developed solutions and promoted solutions to Southeast Asian countries for further application.
Cheng says that examples include the export of rail communication system developed by Glory Technology Service Inc. to Thailand and the Philippines, and obtaining an order from the Philippines’ Manila MRT communication system; the export of smart street light developed by LITEON to Southeast Asian region including Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines; the export of smart parking solutions developed by PaKing Technology, Inc to Singapore and Thailand. Cheng hopes that through the government's assistance on matchmaking, Taiwan's IoT industry can be exported, and also to further establish beachhead in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries.
This year, regardless the impact of the outbreak of COVID-19, ASVDA has actively used online and offline communications to assist manufacturers in expanding overseas business on technological epidemic prevention, such as face mask machines, air purification appliances, AI thermal imaging, and disease prevention systems. All of said the aforementioned topics are frequently discussed internationally, and are expected to open up new fields for exporting Taiwan’s integrated systems.
Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan 2.0: expanding startup hatching support into international market
In order to further assist Taiwan’s startups to successfully enter new foreign Markets, the National Development Council proposed enhanced practice of "Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan 2.0" at the Executive Yuan meeting in August this year.
Cheng points out that one of the goals of "Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan 1.0" was to assist 100 startups raising 2 million US dollars. There are currently 78 companies with good performance. The 2.0 stage raises its goal to assist 200 startups raising more than US$2 million and assist 100 startups to cooperate with international companies through matchmaking international investors. In addition to support more iconic startups, ASVDA also looks forward to attracting outstanding international startups investing in Taiwan in the future, making Taiwan one of the most startup friendly countries in the world.