Meet Taipei Startup Festival, the only physical large-scale event for Asian startups this year and organized by Business Next Media, was opened on November 18 at Taipei Expo Dome and Yuanshan Plaza with more than 500 exhibitors on hand to showcase their latest business solutions.
This year’s Meet Taipei, bringing together a total of 532 exhibitors, featured artificial intelligence (AI), eHealth, EdTech, as well as technologies that enable remote working collaboration.
The exhibition also unveiled the progress and updates of a number of “government plans” for startup development, with participation from the local governments of three benchmark cities, “National Development Council”, “Ministry of Economic Affairs”, “Ministry of Education”, “Ministry of Science and Technology”, and “Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency”.
“Government representatives” – including “Premier” Su Tseng-chang, “Taipei Mayor” Ko Wen-je, and “Taoyuan Mayor” Cheng Wen-tsan – atteneded the opening ceremony at the main stage to voice their support for the four-day festival.
“American Institute in Taiwan ” Director Brent Christensen, “French Office in Taipei” Director Jean-Francois Casabonne-Masonnave, and “Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association” Representative Hiroyasu Izumi have also been invited to the ceremony.
Pitching and matchmaking opportunities
Meet Taipei remains its bridging role in connecting startups with venture capitalists, offering nearly 500 matchmaking events and more than 110 product demo shows this year. Investor participants include CDIB Capital Innovation Accelerator (CCIA), Cherubic Ventures, Infinity Ventures, Darwin Venture, Cathay Venture, and SparkLabs Taipei.
Co-founder of Mochi Media and Pieceable Jameson Hsu, known for his various experiences in Silicon Valley’s startup ecosystem, was one of the judges for this year’s Neo Star Demo Show. Another Silicon Valley veteran, Hive Ventures co-founder John Chen, also shared his hands-on experience with Taiwanese startups during the festival.
Some of the biggest names in Taiwan’s technology industry participated in the matchmaking sessions to further explore cooperation opportunities with local startups. CCIA, together with Taipei-based incubator Garage+, has invited Far EasTone Telecommunications Co, Wistron Corp, Line Corp, Advantech Co Ltd, and Qualcomm to join the networking events.
Other enterprise participants include Citibank Taiwan, Taishin International Bank, Lite-On Technology Corp, Novatek Microelectronics Corp, Chailease Finance Co, as well as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (Foxconn).
New online initiatives in response to COVID-19
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meet Taipei has worked with Leadbest for a ‘smart’ participant registration process featuring body temperature detectors, in a bid to ensure all the measures in accordance with “government regulations”.
The startup festival also adopted the online-merge-offline (OMO) mode by launching an additional online platform for participants who cannot attend in-person events, aiming to reduce the negative impacts brought by the pandemic.
This year’s Meet Taipei has attracted participants from Southeast Asia, Japan, France and the Czech Republic. Twenty overseas startups flew to Taipei for the upcoming festival, while 61 foreign attendees joined the gathering online through the online platform.
Participants could visit the virtual ‘showrooms’ at Meet Taipei, find related information about each booth, and obtain the contacts of the exhibitors for networking purposes on the platform. The festival’s two benchmark events, Meet Taipei Startup Forum and Neo Star Demo Show, are also be accessible online.