Taiwan Business Day 2020: Opportunities in the Age of Crisis

Taiwan Business Day (TBD) is an annual event organized by Taiwan Globalization Network (TGN) and its partners since 2012, with the aim to connect businesses opportunities and entrepreneurial ecosystems between Taiwan and the Netherlands. This year’s edition was held on October 8 2020, and for the first time in the event’s history, Taiwan Business Day 2020 took place in Utrecht and Taipei at the same time, while being broadcasted to an online audience through a livestream.

The day’s program began with the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Utrecht Region and Taipei City. Signed simultaneously in a live video conference by Vice Mayor Klaas Verschuure of Utrecht Region and Deputy Mayor Shan Shan Huang of Taipei City, the MoU will facilitate economic cooperation between the two cities. In the near future, Utrecht and Taipei will exchange teams of young entrepreneurs and support them in the mutual markets, through projects such as the Utrecht Region Health Accelerator Program (URHAP) and the Global Startup Talents @ Taipei Program.

Following the ceremony, the second segment of Taiwan Business Day included a lineup of keynote presentations given by industry experts and governance leaders in the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Netherlands and in Taiwan. The presentors drew attention to the value of having a robust collaborative relationship between the two ecosystems, especially in the context of the turbulent and dynamic environment the world finds itself in in 2020.

David JP Wang from the Taipei Representative Office in the Netherlands, as the opening speaker, provided an overview of the Taiwanese government’s action plan for strengthening the start-up landscape in Taiwan, including new regulations to facilitate investments in small-to-medium-size companies, as well as initiatives for developing and attracting talent. Following this, Jaap Breugem from ROM Utrecht highlighted the Dutch perspective on government support for young entrepreneurs, especially in the context of international business cooperation between Taiwan and the Netherlands. Further elaborating on the competitive advantages, technological strengths, and the business needs of the respective entrepreneurial ecosystems in Taiwan and Utrecht, Gordon Chen from Megabank and Freek van Muiswinkel from Utrecht University provided extensive insights on the many aspects in which the collaborative relationship between the two sides is mutually beneficial.

The final segment of Taiwan Business Day 2020 was the award ceremony for the WeScale Challenge. The WeScale challenge is an initiative sponsored by Eva Air, China Airline, TGN, Taiwan Innovation Partners, and Utrecht Region government, with the aim to promote international business expansion for young startups between Taiwan & the Netherlands. Earlier in the day, over a live conference call, 12 innovative young companies in Taiwan & the Netherlands pitched their startup businesses to a jury consisting of investors, business angels, and other senior industry leaders. After a few hours of deliberation, the winners were selected and announced in front of the Taiwan Business Day audience.

From Taiwan, the first place was awarded to MedFluid, a company specialized in developing microfluidic platforms for rapid detection tools of disease diagnosis and precision medical treatment. The second place was awarded to two companies: TargetTrust Biotech, a company working on commercializing the DxSure reagent for early, real-time, sensitive, and cost-saving monitoring of the therapy resistance of cancer, and Manysmart Therapeutics, a company focusing on researching the CD16-bispecific T cell engager to realize the full-power of T cell therapy.

From the Netherlands, the first place was awarded to Red Kubes, a company with the focus on its container platform products for managing Kubernetes infrastructures. The second place was awarded to Dialogue Trainer, a company developing interpersonal-interaction training solutions with virtual actors in simulated environments.

Taiwan Business Day 2020 is a part of Taiwan Innovation Fair & Share, a month-long on- and offline conference which highlights Taiwanese technology, innovations, and businesses opportunities. International stakeholders are welcome to sign up to connect with representatives from over 100 innovative Taiwanese firms in an online exhibition hall, and also stay updated on upcoming live events.