More than 400 startups from 14 countries gathered in Taipei for three days of innovation, networking and fun. The event was held on Nov. 16 to 18 at the Taipei Expo Dome.
Among them was the data scanning startup TG3D Studio, which produces a 3D human body scan, and TG3D Scanatic, which is capable of generating a complete 360-degree scan of a human body in three seconds, the company claims.
During an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal, one of its co-founders, Rick Yu, revealed how they use the unique advantages of Hong Kong to thrive in the Greater China region.
Founded in 2015, TG3D Studio targets its 3D scanning technology at a wide range of industries such as bespoke fashion, medical engineering, gaming and virtual reality.
“We opened our headquarters in Hong Kong after we kick-started our service, and we set up our R&D center in Taiwan, targeting the Greater China region in our first stage,” Yu said.
“Computer hardware and equipment production have always been Taiwan’s strong suit,” he said, adding that with the huge pool of talent and an established supply chain on the island, “we can easily get any electrical components we want within 30 minutes”.
Setting his sights on markets outside Taiwan, Yu, a Taiwanese entrepreneur, said they have benefited from having their company headquartered in Hong Kong.
“There has been growing protectionism in the US and Europe in recent years. Startups from mainland China have been labeled as rivals coming in to undercut them on price and steal their market share,” he said. “But they are less hostile to companies from Hong Kong due to the city’s relationship with the UK, helping TG3D Studio access the world market.”
As the next step, Yu opened the company’s offices in Seoul and California to get ready to go global.
To Yu, the United States is still the world’s most dominant startup ecosystem. “If we can get a foothold in the US, with funding support from venture capitalists there, we can build our brand in the global market and accelerate the growth of our company.”
Yu believes there are opportunities and challenges for startups exploring the mainland market.
“Considering the enormous scale of the mainland market, successful companies can achieve a much higher return on investment, as well as a much quicker response from the market, enjoying the policy facilitation from governments and financial support from large enterprises,” he said.
However, Yu expressed concern that Chinese tech firms have been aggressively hunting talent to acquire technologies. The massive “headhunting” has also boosted the salaries of engineers and technicians in the mainland. Startups are struggling to pay more to retain high-quality teams.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 27
Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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