Accelerator community SparkLabs launches its latest application today in Taipei. Headed by using managing partner Edgar Chiu (pictured above), SparkLabs Taipei will focus on getting ready Taiwanese startups to enter other nations.
Chiu turned into COO of Taipei-primarily based app developer Gogolook when it was got with the aid of Naver, certainly one of Korea’s biggest cyber web groups, in 2013. Afterwards, Chiu grew to become the founding regularly occurring supervisor of Camp mobile Taiwan, a branch of Naver’s mobile app construction subsidiary.
“We have already got lots of accelerators in Taipei, but I feel there remains a niche for Taiwanese startups that wish to go international and i want to see extra prevail. I feel there’s an absence of experience on the way to enter the world market and we want to fix that,” says Chiu.
SparkLabs launched its first accelerator in Seoul 5 years ago and now has courses in Beijing and Songdo (a new “smart metropolis” developed south of Seoul and funded via the Korean govt). it’s going to additionally open a monetary tech accelerator in Hong Kong next year. SparkLabs claims that seventy nine% of its seventy four graduates have bought followup funding and over $ 195 million in undertaking capital up to now. Success studies from its accelerator encompass cosmetics business Memebox and online math-researching platform Knowre, each of which extended into the U.S. with SparkLabs’ support.
SparkLabs Taipei goals to hang its first Demo Day through early subsequent year. each and every 12 months it’s going to host two batches of eight to 12 companies for 3 months. Startups get funding of as much as $ 40,000 in capital in exchange for up to 6 percent in fairness, workplace area and entry to SparkLabs’ network of a hundred and fifty mentors in Silicon Valley, Korea, China and Hong Kong. Chiu says founders should be matched with four to six mentors and inspired to check with them weekly.
The small measurement of Taiwan (complete population 24 million) means that startups focused on rapid growth always should go overseas, however Taiwan nonetheless makes a good check market as a result of its excessive smartphone penetration price and the willingness of clients to be early adopters of apps and on-line features. whereas Taiwan’s startup ecosystem is generally in comparison with other Asian nations, Chiu believes its gold standard role model might really be Israel.
“Korea turned into able to improve unicorns within its own markets, but Taiwanese startups should still be extra like Israeli startups where they had to are searching for to move world from the outset,” he says.
Chiu cites image-modifying app PicCollage as an instance of a Taiwanese startup that found success abroad with 150 million users worldwide. PicCollage’s founders labored and studied within the U.S. before launching the company, however founders who don’t have that type of adventure can find out how to adapt for international audiences, Chiu says.
as an instance, he notes that Gogolook’s founders have been born and informed in Taiwan, but decided early on to launch their main product, caller identification app Whoscall, overseas and are trying to find foreign buyers once they realized undesirable phonecalls are a near-frequent issue. At Gogolook, Chiu turned into answerable for securing international partnerships in Japan, Korea, the core East and Southeast Asia for Whoscall, which has been downloaded greater than 50 million times.
“in case you can discover foreign co-founders or partners, then take advantage of that, but if which you can’t, you should be greater aggressive to consider clients from world markets and additionally do more product trying out to understand what they basically want,” he says.
Taiwan’s tech industry is known for its hardware prowess; one in all its most notable hardware startups is electric scooter business Gogoro. Chiu believes Taiwan’s hardware manufacturing supplies has the abilities to translate into startups that cannot most effective build infrastructure for smart cities, but also integrate software it is frequently up to date and adaptable to different markets.
Chiu will work with SparkLabs Taipei’s two assignment companions Alex Wu and Tony Ling. Wu is currently vice chairman of advertising and communications at Newsela and in the past worked at Quora, fb and Obama for the united states. Ling turned into up to now managing director at Silver Lake companions, where he sat on the boards of GoDaddy and IPC systems. SparkLabs Taipei’s advisory board contains YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Kabam co-founder Kevin Chou and Charles and Kai Huang, the founders of Guitar Hero’s first writer RedOctane.
Featured picture: SparkLabs
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