Like many countries after the 2008 financial crisis, Taiwan’s unemployment rate rose with no signs of stopping. Coupled with the country’s deep rooted values in academic excellence and career advancement, stability became paramount.
In a time when stability was paramount, risk was out of the question and so were start-ups.
However, in recent years, Taiwan has been gearing to become the epicentre of innovation
in Asia Pacific for a multitude of reasons. It ranks 15th in global competitiveness, 10th in innovation
and has one of the largest populations of software and hardware engineers in the world.
This workforce is responsible for parts of Tesla’s original design as well as the production of flagship products by global electronics leaders like Apple, Sony, and Microsoft. The country has also dominated the semiconductor industry for over three decades.
Technological centres and innovation
clusters are also growing organically throughout major cities.
These characteristics give Taiwan a unique regional and international advantage. However, there are institutional and cultural barriers limiting growth.
A decade ago, many of the top talent joined established companies
such as Foxconn and TSMC. While these major companies
held their market positions, they deprived start-ups of great talent. Larry Wang, CEO of Taiwan Innovation
Entrepreneurship Center, shares his unique perspective.
“The most difficult hurdle to overcome is the mindset,” he says. “Now, the mindset of entrepreneurship has changed and the awareness of start-ups has been revived. Top talents want to start start-ups. This community is now collaborating to grow new markets.”
Aside from the organic shift in mentality, Taiwan is also taking active measures to cultivate an environment for innovation.
This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here