COMPUTEX 2016’s debut exhibit, InnoVEX, attracted 217 exhibiting startups from 22 countries. Thirty-five percent were global companies and 25 were award-winning teams recognized by international startup competitions. A packed schedule of keynotes, panels, forums, and demos provided a rare opportunity for startups to connect with international VCs, angel investors, potential partners, and future customers in a single venue.
InnoVEX, the global tech-startup ecosystem, created by COMPUTEX this year, reflected a hub of innovation and provided a vital international platform matching buyers and resources with global startups to achieve endless opportunities and cross border cooperation.
In addition to individual startup exhibitors, prominent U.S. companies were among the show’s panelists, and several American startups and high-profile venture capital firms and accelerators participated. Korea, France, Denmark, Israel and India sent delegations as national innovation ambassadors. TRIPLE, Taiwan Rapid Innovation Prototyping League for Entrepreneurs, a match center to help startup teams find flexible manufacturers in Taiwan for better software and hardware integration, had a visible presence assisting startups in rapid prototyping and manufacturing—ensuring IP protection and helping startups speed their time to market—key factors in startup success.
“This year’s InnoVEX exhibit completely surpassed our expectations,” commented TAITRA Executive Vice President Walter Yeh. “We expect next year to be an even bigger opportunity for global startups to participate and welcome more investors and partners, large and small, to participate and meet with these highly promising emerging companies and their technologies.”
According to Gartner, by 2017, 50 percent of IoT solutions (typically a product combined with a service) will originate in startups that are less than three years old. InnoVEX was created to showcase and assist startups that are driving the creation and adoption of IoT solutions. A theme noted across several COMPUTEX keynotes and panels, speakers stressed the importance for IoT companies to tap into the ICT ecosystem and create partnerships in a spirit of cooperation versus competition—a critical factor in the success of IoT companies and applications who must harness and utilize a complex web of technologies to create a final end product.
The culminating event of InnoVEX, the “Startup Pitch Competition” at Center Stage on June 2, was a highlight of InnoVEX at COMPUTEX 2016. Twenty-six startup teams from 102 participants around the world competed for the four categories of award prizes plus the InnoVEX Grand Prize of 30K USD. Startups elaborated on their innovative solutions in smart healthcare, mobile payment, financial innovation, and energy technology, etc. demonstrating their ability to meet social demands with technology and creativity.
International juries from Japan and France provided insightful questions and practical comments before an enthusiastic and engaged audience. Thirteen startups received awards provided by companies and organizers Acer, LINE, Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology, IDEAS Shows and InnoVEX. The InnoVEX Grand Prize of 30K USD was awarded to Taiwan-Silicon Valley startup MoBagel.
The pitching teams all agreed this year’s InnoVEX was a wonderful platform providing exposure to potential buyers, investors, and media. To follow are a few takeaways:
Taiwan and Silicon Valley-based Adms Chung, CEO and co-founder of MoBagel, when asked about winning the InnoVEX Grand Prize and attending InnoVEX, commented, “It’s very exciting and we’re surprised to win. There were many outstanding teams that came together here. This is our first InnoVEX and it’s pretty awesome. Since we did the pitch, many ambassadors and customers came to our booth regarding investment and partnership opportunities—that is the exciting part. We are optimistic these meetings will come to fruition.” When asked what he will do with the 30KUSD, he replied in true startup fashion, “We will put the money into sustaining and growing our business faster.”
Allen Yu, Team Leader at Toii, based in New York City, who designs and produces virtual tokens and toys integrated with augmented reality (AR), near field communication (NFC), digital gaming, and gamification, had this to say, “It’s been very positive for us to join InnoVEX. We’ve made a lot of potential partners here because InnoVEX is part of COMPUTEX, so there are many high-tech companies looking for strategic partners. We’ve spoken with a lot of companies who, while they have a lot of money and technology, need a flexible team like ours. I believe we’re the right fit and will have follow-up meetings. InnoVEX is a great opportunity for all startups.”
Josephine Chao, Vice President of Epoch Foundation, led a delegation of 15 startup teams from Garage+ to InnoVEX. She reflected, “Our presence at InnoVEX generated unexpected results, as by just the second day of the event, we had hosted more than 65 table turns of buyer meetings, including TSMC, MediaTek, Delta Electronics, Winstron, EMC, etc.”
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