A leading Taiwanese organization selected 21 Israeli tech companies for three accelerator programs aimed at easing their entry into Taiwan and other 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 $70 million program, IP² LaunchPad, last year to foster tech collaborations between Israeli companies and Taiwanese industry. The vision was to provide Israeli startups with exposure to Taiwan, a center to launch their activities, validate their technologies and expand into East Asian markets with strong strategic partners.
The first cohort was comprised of 25 early-stage Israeli startups in health tech, cybersecurity, and AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things).
Last week, i2i announced a new cohort of 10 Israeli companies in advanced stages, following a first round of funding and with initial sales, focused on healthcare digitization, renewable energy, AI, IoT, 5G, and cybersecurity. The organization also launched two additional programs: the IP² Plus program — a continuation program for veterans of the first round and for veteran Israeli companies that would like to enter new markets, and the IP² Sustainability program which runs in cooperation with Israeli NGO Start-Up Nation Central and generates progress in the sustainability area.
Of the total of 21 selected startups participating in the three programs, six have signed distribution agreements or clinical trial deals including Onvego, the developer of a speech solutions platform which signed with Syscom, one of Taiwan’s key system integration player; InCyber, a cybersecurity startup that specializes in insider threats, and that signed a deal with Lydsec, a leading security authentication solution provider; and Cellwize, a mobile network automation provider that is working with telecom company eFormula Technology.
In addition, Israeli medtech startup OutSense Diagnostics, the developer of an IoT sensor for wellness monitoring and early detection of illness signed a clinical trial agreement with Show Chwan, a major Taiwanese health system; Israeli industry 4.0 company QualityLine inked an agreement with Might Electronics; and Fairtility, which provides AI solutions to boost the efficiency of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), signed an agreement with Nuwa Healthcare, a pharmaceutical and medical group for reproductive medicine and infertility care in Asia, according to a press announcement.
The process of selecting the start began about six months through the Israeli consulting firm Healthier Globe headed by Rani Shifron. The firm, which runs the IP² program locally, specializes in helping startups and organizations set up operations in developing global markets.
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 indicated last year. At the time, Dr. Gong said he believes “integrating the Israeli innovation industry with the hardware and healthcare industry in Taiwan will fuel the industry innovation in Taiwan.”
The three programs — IP² LaunchPad, IP² Plus, and IP² Sustainability — will operate at the Startup Terrace innovation center, 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 over a dozen countries
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As part of the operation, the i2i team in Taiwan serves as the local arm of the Israeli companies and helps push forward their exposure in Taiwan. An advisory board comprised of a group of experts and key industry leaders also provides the Israeli teams with access to governmental, business, and investment offices appropriate to the Israeli companies’ operational needs.
“We are maintaining the momentum of the program’s success from last year, and we see how the Israeli and Taiwanese ecosystems complement each other to produce technological and business success stories,”said Ho Chin-Tsang, director-general of the SME Administration (SMEA), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in Taiwan.
Stanley Tzu-An TSENG, the director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv said Taiwan and Israel have been working closely for many years, pointing to agreements in agriculture, environmental protection, energy, water technologies, IT, and communications.
“Israel’s innovativeness is known all over the world, and I am happy at the expansion of our existing cooperative efforts and at the creation of cooperative efforts between Israel and Taiwan in new areas through the IP² LaunchPad program, for the second year in a row now and with new programs included that have been set up in cooperation,” he said.
Omer Caspi, the representative of Israel Economic & Trade Mission in Taipei said he believed that the IP² launchpad program “not only reflects the mutual interest of innovation and technology collaboration between Taiwan and Israel, but also a great potential for a long-term relationship and partnership between people on both sides.”
An online event announcing the selected companies and the signed agreements was held on Thursday in Tel Aviv and Taipei.
A recent report placed Taiwan as Asia’s top-performing economy in 2020, amid strong demand for the island’s tech exports, especially semiconductors. According to estimates by the Taiwanese government, the economy grew 2.98 percent in 2020, surpassing China’s 2.3 percent growth that year.