Taiwan has the funds companies need to grow
Government Grants and Subsidies
Taiwan government at both the national and local levels offer many incentives for International companies and entrepreneurs to set up a company or branch in Taiwan.
There are grants to support R&D and innovation. Grant amounts can be as large as NTD100 million, but grants in the 3-5 million range are more common. Most grants are matching grants, allowing you to leverage the amount you are investing yourself.
There are also subsidies to help pay for rent or employees.
There are also tax incentives for certain investments.
If you are setting up your company in Taipei, their Department of Economic Development is now accepting preliminary applications in English, lowering the barrier for an International team to apply.
To find out more about Taiwanese grants and subsidies elsewhere on our site.
If your company is in a growth phase and need a bigger cash injection, Venture Capital might be for you. Taiwan has about 200 Venture Capital Funds investing in all industries.
The VCs are organized in the Taiwan Venture Capital Association (TVCA). TVCA can help you get in touch with suitable members and they also organize a number of events where you can get exposure to their members and perhaps get the invitation for a private meeting.
Taiwan’s National Development Council has invested US$83 million in four different venture capital firms for them to invest in Taiwanese startups.
Angels/Early stage investors
Taiwan does not have many early stage investors but there are a few great ones. Some of them are also running co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators:
If you need to find investments, a pitch event can be a great place to catch the attention of investors.
The typical pitch event features representatives from 4-10 start-ups. Each representative gets 5-10 minutes to introduce their company, team and investment opportunity. After each presentation, the panel made up of 2-6 investors have a few minutes to ask questions.
After all start-ups have had their say, the judges goes off to deliberate and eventually comes back to announce one winner.
The great thing from the perspective of a foreign entrepreneur is that most of these events are held in English. Professional investors do not want to invest in small local companies so being able to present in English is a minimum requirement.
The winner might get money, services or products from the sponsors, or as in the case of Echelon and TechInAsia they get the ticket to attend a much bigger pitch event in Singapore.
There is of course also an audience made up of other start-up teams, investors, media and people from other supporters like government, business centers etc.
If you are lucky, some of the people with money will come up to you afterwards and ask you for a meeting.
Where to find more events?
One great way to stay on top of events is to subscribe to the Startup Digest, a free newsletter full of events. If you would organize an event of your own you can submit it as well.