A Taiwanese firm has set up a new $70 million program to collaborate and invest in Israeli startups focused on digital health, cybersecurity, and AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) and help them launch and expand into East Asian markets.
Innovation to Industry (i2i), a Taipei-based innovation and tech company that grew out of government-run incubators in Taiwan, launched the IP² LaunchPad which it said will provide Israeli startups with exposure, a center to launch their activities, validate their technologies and expand into East Asian markets with strong strategic partners.
Twenty five Israeli startups were selected for the program, the company said at the launch event held simultaneously in Israel and Taiwan last week. The participating companies will have access to investments starting at $200,000 in the first phase and up to $3 million at the end of the program, which will run for a year.
The IP² program is run locally by the Israeli consulting firm Healthier Globe headed by Rani Shifron. The firm helps startups and organizations set up operations in developing global markets.
Healthier Globe said it scoured the Israeli tech ecosystem for relevant startup and an industry panel selected startups in digital healthcare (60 percent of the companies), cybersecurity (about 24 percent of the companies) and AIOT (about 16 percent).
The Israeli companies selected are all early stage and have completed initial investment rounds, according to the announcement. With the launch of the program, eight strategic cooperation agreements were announced and signed between the Israeli startups and the partners in the program. The agreements include piloting, feasibility studies, and clinical validation studies.
Some of the participating startups include Serenno Medical, a medical device company that monitors kidney health; Biop Medical, which developed a point-of-care device that helps in the early detection of cervical cancer; Resymmetry, the developer of a smart exoskeleton robotic wheelchair; Cybord, a cybersecurity startups that developed tech to detect counterfeit and malicious cyber hardware; and ShieldIOT, which provides end-to-end security for IoT networks.
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i2i chairman Dr. Gary Gong initiated the program following his visits to Israel in recent years, his familiarity with the Israeli innovation industry and the vision for strategic cooperation, the firm said in a statement. Dr. Gong said he beleives “integrating the Israeli innovation industry with the hardware and healthcare industry in Taiwan will fuel the industry innovation in Taiwan.”
Healthier Globe CEO Rani Shifron said Taiwan has one of the best health care systems in the world and has successfully coped with the coronavirus pandemic, while maintaining a vibrant economy and business center. “In addition to the ecosystem exposure and the guidance, Israeli companies benefit from reduced tax payments in Taiwan for their income, grants, an office center and living quarters,” he said.
The program will be based at the Startup Terrace in Taipei, a $2.5 billion complex that provides co-working spaces, an exhibition center, offices, and housing, and is supported by the SME Administration, Ministry of Economy (MOEA) in Taiwan. The complex is home to 106 entrepreneurs from 11 countries, according to the announcement.
Mr. Ho Chin-Tsang, Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA) Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in Taiwan said: “I am pleased of the strengthening of the business ties with the Israeli innovation industry. I believe that the integration of the leading Israeli industry in software solutions with the huge hardware industry in Taiwan, a world leader in personal computers, LCDs, semiconductors and mobile phones as well as Taiwan’s leading healthcare system, will advance the development of each of the parties.”
The program is expected to run for three cycles.