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Taiwan program seeks Israeli startups in AI, big data to pave way to Asia

IP² LaunchPad, which aims to create tech tie-ups of Israeli startups and Taiwan players, will select 12 companies for second cohort of the accelerator program set up last year

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Taiwan and Israel flags (Oleksii Liskonih; iStock by Getty Images)
Taiwan and Israel flags (Oleksii Liskonih; iStock by Getty Images)

A Taiwanese innovation program, IP² LaunchPad, that aims to create tech collaborations between Israeli startups and the East Asian country’s industry and academia, will be selecting 12 companies for the second cohort of the accelerator program, to pave the way for their entry into Far East markets.

The companies will be in advanced stages of development of their products and will focus on a variety of sectors, including digitalization in healthcare, high-tech and renewable energy industries, big data, artificial intelligence, internet of things, 5G and cybersecurity, the program organizers said in a statement.

The selected companies will receive guidance from industry executives in Taiwan’s tech ecosystem and an introduction to strategic distribution partners in the Far East, Taiwanese strategic manufacturers, healthcare systems in Taiwan, research and development organizations, and investors. In addition, a local activity center will be set up as a gateway to Far East and global markets, the statement said.

The $70 million IP² LaunchPad program was set up in June by Taiwan’s innovation firm Innovation to Industry (i2i).

Rani Shifron, CEO of Israeli consulting firm Healthier Globe and manager of IP² LaunchPad’s activity in Israel (Shlomi Arbib)

“Taiwan is showing positive growth despite the global pandemic, and is offering Israeli companies an active and growing global business center. While we are seeing a slowdown in many economies around the world, the country that has succeeded in dealing with the pandemic is showing growth, thanks in part to the increasing demand for technology products. The growth trend is expected to continue due to the vaccines and recovery of the global economy,” says Rani Shifron, CEO of Israeli consulting firm Healthier Globe and manager of IP² LaunchPad’s activity in Israel.

Taiwan in 2020 became Asia’s top performing economy, outgrowing China for the first time in 30 years, as strong global demand for tech exports from the island outweighed the economic havoc wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Its economy grew almost 3% in 2020, compared to 2019, according to Taiwan’s statistics office. The figure was higher than China’s 2.3% growth last year.

“Taiwan is known as a Scale-Up Nation, and it has continued to expand its global influence, which includes sales channels and a network of business contacts which can assist Israeli start-up companies grow rapidly and infiltrate global markets,” said Ho Chin-Tsang, director general of the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan, in the statement. “The cooperation between us is strategic and significant for the growth and expansion for both sides.”

During the first cohort of the IP² LaunchPad program,  over a period of six months, in the shadow of a global pandemic, more than 150 online and physical meetings were held, and 17 cooperation agreements signed between Israeli companies selected for the program and leading organizations in Taiwan, the statement said.

i2i is a private company and one of four government-approved incubators in Taiwan, working to help support and promote startups, link them with partners and expand their operations in markets around the world.

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