The National Taiwan University (NTU) yesterday lifted the curtain on the “NTU Garage” — a unit to nurture young entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony for the unit’s new premises, NTU president Yang Pan-chyr (楊畔池) said he started the program with hope of providing students and faculty with a friendly space to realize their innovative ideas, and that he was glad to see the “garage” has grown since its founding in 2013.
The garage is a brightly lit, modern office located on the fourth floor of an old building that does not have an elevator.
NTU Garage director Yute Liu (柳育德) said that the facility accepts applications every three months.
Start-ups that qualify for programs at the garage would enjoy various kinds of training and assistance for six months, with the overlapping period between applications and the program’s course designed to promote exchanges between the last group of participants and newcomers.
Participants receive legal and accounting consulting about setting up firms, as well as learn from experienced instructors, Liu said.
One of the NTU Garage’s partners is Acer founder Stan Shih’s (施振榮) Chinese Consumer Center, whose employees visit the facility regularly to teach interview skills and provide input on market trends in Chinese-speaking communities, Liu said.
Participants also receive opportunities to demonstrate their products to other teams, he said.
NTU Garage participant Winston Huang (黃仁佑) runs a small firm named Clipo that makes Internet-based project management system for corporations.
Huang said that the garage is sending his firm to the Plug and Play Tech Center in the US, where he expects to establish connections and seek investors.
NTU vice president Chen Liang-gee (陳良基), who oversees the project, said the facility is tasked with creating job opportunities because the NTU, as a public university, should give back to society.
Chen said that since the facility’s launch, participants have raised a total of more than NT$100 million (US$2.98 million).
Chen said the nation was practically absent in the Internet-based economy ushered in about 2005, producing very few notable players — for example social networking Web site Plurk — while a list of overseas firms have a market value exceeding US$1 billion, citing as an example the US-based Uber, which he said has a net worth that can rival that of the nation’s premium chip fabricator Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.
He said that when a technology firm creates one job opportunity, it would create five more job opportunities in the broader society, and that he hoped that local technological start-ups would set their sights on expanding business overseas.
Taidah Entrepreneurship Center chief executive officer Rhonda Chen (陳如芬) said that as young entrepreneurs might not have the money to set up an office, they can go to the NTU Garage to work, which saves them the cost of renting a space.
People must have at least one NTU student or alumnus on their team to be eligible to apply for programs at the NTU Garage, Chen said.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37