Wed, Mar 23, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Local culture not conducive to startups: writer

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in Washington

Forbes Magazine said in a column this week that life in Taiwan is “simply too relaxed and enjoyable” for entrepreneurs to launch risky startup companies.

“While more capital is coming into this tech-intensive market, there’s still a gap,” columnist Rebecca Fannin wrote.

Fannin said that the problem is not a lack of talent, but that it is related to culture.

She said that life in Taiwan does not “stimulate that hunger needed to break out of the mold and venture out of corporate life to do a startup.”

Fannin said there are exceptions, such as Shawn Guan, Umbo CV, Appier, Bubbleye, Pinkoi and SnapAsk, but that fear of failure still outweighs fear of missing out.

This is certainly not the case in Silicon Valley or Beijing, she said.

However, Fannin said the situation will change.

“I have faith that Taiwan’s startup engines will gain momentum,” she wrote. “A lot of folks I’ve been talking with lately care deeply about the future of Taiwan. They are putting their time and capital in to make things happen so that Taiwan has a chance to regain its leadership stance in technology.”

In a column published earlier this month in Forbes, Fannin said there were early indications of efforts to “jumpstart” Taiwan’s tech economy.

“Anyone who thinks that Taiwan lacks tech talent should keep in mind its core long-time focus on semiconductors, a field this nation has owned for decades,” she wrote.

Fannin said encouraging signs for a new breed of startups from Taiwan included major venture capital financings of promising young businesses ranging from e-commerce to 3D printing to mobile apps.

“The venture investment amounts going into Taiwanese startups are still tiny, at US$421 million in 2015,” she said.

There have also been reports in the US over the last few days that to encourage startup companies to catch up with the Internet of Things, Taiwan’s government has launched a new program to help them reach the global marketplace.

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