Action plan aims to increase investments in startups over next 5 years

  • Date: 2018-02-22
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan
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Premier Lai Ching-te held a press conference on Thursday to present the National Development Council’s (NDC) action plan for improving the environment for investing in startups, an initiative that he said demonstrates the government’s full commitment to promoting and supporting the startup industry.

The plan’s objectives are to nurture at least one “unicorn”—startup company valued at more than US$1 billion—every two years, and to make Taiwan a startup capital pooling center in Asia by increasing the growth of investment capital in startups by NT$5 billion (US$170.6 million) each year over the coming five years, the premier said.

The plan consists of five strategies: providing startups with early-stage funding, developing talent and adjusting regulations, creating partnerships between startups and the government, providing a variety of exit channels for startups, and helping startups tap into global markets.

Taiwan’s startups must create a global presence to catch the attention of world-class venture capital funds. The greater Southeast Asia region currently is a hot spot for investors around the world and the focus of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy. If Taiwan can systematically and strategically attract top students and professionals from Southeast Asia to study, work, even start businesses in Taiwan, it would provide a significant boost for startups making inroads into Southeast Asian markets, he said.

Executive Yuan Minister without Portfolio and NDC Minister Chen Mei-ling said the action plan’s primary missions are to build a sound investment environment, take down barriers, ease regulations, broaden the horizon for new businesses and help them overcome initial financing problems.

Under the strategy for providing early-stage funding, for instance, the NDC and Ministry of Economic Affairs have relaxed a number of pertinent regulations.

As for the talent development and regulatory adjustment strategy, the NDC has established a startup regulations adjustment platform that has received more than 10 requests since last year, aiding budding entrepreneurs in building successful businesses. In terms of talent development, the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals was approved at the Legislature’s previous session before officially taking effect February 8. The NDC will also begin issuing Employment Gold Cards in March. The government hopes to draw more Southeast Asian students and professionals as well as Taiwanese businesspeople into Taiwan’s startup industry, Minister Chen said.

The government is also building a cooperation platform between large corporations and startups to bring in corporate resources, create growth opportunities, and provide more exit channels. All of these measures will demonstrate to entrepreneurs the government’s efforts to make the startup investment environment more flexible and adaptable, she added.