TSS is taking Taiwanese startups to global stage

August 23, 2018 13:34
Leroy Yau, co-founder of Taiwan Startup Stadium, said the startup cluster acts as a hub for early-stage tech companies, offering programs such as bootcamps, workshops and pre-conference training. Photo: TSS

Taiwan’s startup ecosystem has entered a boom cycle, with a growing number of companies getting funded and joining incubators. Known for its advanced manufacturing sector, Taiwan is looking to become a major player in the startup game.

Among those facilitating this major trend is Taiwan Startup Stadium (TSS), a startup cluster focused on coaching startups on the island to go global.

Located in downtown Taipei, TSS is funded by the National Development Council. It offers mentorship, expert talks, boot camps, workshops and overseas immersion programs. 

It also sponsors local startups to join international tech conferences, including TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco and NYC Media Lab Summit in New York, allowing local entrepreneurs to promote their expertise and gain media exposure worldwide.

“We rarely screen startups from an investor perspective, and instead, we focus on what TSS can offer them,” Leroy Yau, co-founder and industry development lead of TSS, told the Hong Kong Economic Journal in an interview.

Under its Starting Lineup program, TSS gives its members access to a community of founders, mentors, investors, media, and partners, along with a host of resources specifically tailored to startups going global.

As a hub for early-stage tech companies, TSS specializes in teaching startups about marketing and fundraising, and serving as a matchmaker between startups and investors. Last year alone, it said it was able to help startups under its wing raise almost US$50 million in funding.

For startups seeking funding, Yau has this advice: "Startups [seeking financial backing] can look for investors who have invested in related projects, and then contact the investor.”

“Warm pitching is quite effective," he added.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug 23

Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal