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Action plan for improving the environment for investing in startups


I. Background

Encouraging startup development is a key component of the government's plan to accelerate the transformation of industry in Taiwan, as well as a global trend. In order to optimize the environment for startup companies, the government is promoting both the "five plus two" innovative industries program and a new action plan for improving the environment for investment in startups. The action plan lays out 40 specific action items reflecting five broad policy approaches to achieve the plan's two main objectives. This active assistance will energize the development of startup firms in Taiwan and enable expansion into markets abroad.

II. Two primary objectives

♦ Every two years, foster at least one "unicorn," or a startup with a valuation of at least US$1 billion.

♦ For the next five years, expand investment in startups by NT$5 billion (US$170.6 million) annually.

III. Five policy approaches

♦ Ensuring plentiful capital for newly established startups: This approach includes such efforts as promoting preferential tax treatment for angel investors under the Statute for Industrial Innovation, enhancing cooperation with top international venture capitalists, and simplifying review procedures for overseas investors.

♦ Fostering talent and fine-tuning laws and regulations: The government will continue to relax rules and regulations governing visa requirements, employment and residency for foreign professionals, as well as improve the functionality of the National Development Council's Startup Regulatory Adjustment Platform to provide clarification when startups encounter legal gray areas.

♦ Making government a good partner for startups: Through a wide variety of channels—including government procurement, business proposal and product competitions, and open data—the government will encourage cooperation among startups.

♦ Providing exits for investors in successful startups: Greater flexibility for stock exchange listings and more corporate acquisitions of startups will provide channels for investors and owners to cash in on success.

♦ Helping startups to conquer overseas markets: The government will attract international startup accelerators to Taiwan as well as invite foreign startup professionals and overseas Taiwanese businesspeople to invest in local startup firms.

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