InnoVEX, the startup exhibition of COMPUTEX has successfully ended in Taipei on June 8. During the three days, InnoVEX 2018 hosted 388 startups from 21 countries & regions: Taiwan, Canada, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, United States, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Poland, Spain, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Sweden, Austria, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. In total, InnoVEX 2018 was joined by 17,867 visitors from around the world and the livestream of forums & pitches reached 696,324 views.
Significant Government Support to InnoVEX
Many government VIPs joined the opening ceremony of InnoVEX; including: the Premier of Taiwan, Mayor of Eindhoven, Mayor of Taipei, and more. The attending VIPs also signed a signboard as a show of support towards innovation and the startup ecosystem. They also toured the showgrounds, visiting booths from both local and international startups.
During the opening ceremony, Premier Lai held the opening remarks. He stated that the Taiwan government is actively developing a good environment for startups in funding, taxes, and testing by implementing new policies and laws. He believes that with a cooperation between the government and industries, InnoVEX can more easily grow and help startups to develop innovative solutions in industry 4.0, IoT, AI, cloud computing, autonomous cars, and more; to apply them in daily life.
There are also pavilions organized by government instances: the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Science and Technology, and more. There are also 13 national pavilions including: Le French Tech, Netherlands Trade & Investment Office, and more. This shows how highly they regard Taiwan as a partner in both trade and innovation.
Top Tier Global VCs Join InnoVEX Forum Together with over 60 Speakers
InnoVEX Forum lasted for 3 days. Speakers from around the world and all walks of life joined to share their insights on the industry. The main topics of the forums are: AI, Blockchain, Startup Ecosystem, Women Entrepreneurship, Gaming, and Future Mobility.
The speakers come from a variety of backgrounds and are currently in: Appier, BBC, Bitmark, Bloomberg, BMW, Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support, Fenox Venture Capital, Girls In Tech, IBM, Imec.xpand, Insilico, Intel, IOTA Foundation, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Twitch, and more. In total, the number of speakers was more than 60.
On June 7, InnoVEX co-hosted the Women Entrepreneurship Forum with Girls in Tech. In the opening keynote, the founder & CEO of Girls in Tech, Ms. Adriana Gascoigne mentioned how women's presence in the workspace can be beneficial to help companies develop a more comprehensive product as more perspectives can go into the development process. She also expressed her delight in seeing a lot of women in InnoVEX; how she enjoyed the forums brought by the other speakers; and might be able to cooperate more with InnoVEX in the future.
On June 8, 3 top tier global VCs joined the Startup Ecosystem Forum to share their insights from different regions. Tom Vanhoutte, the Founder & Managing Partner of Imec.xpand from Belgium shared with the audience that Europe is not a unified market and every country will have their own idiosyncrasies. The investors in Europe are also generally more careful in their due diligence and more risk averse.
Yuma Saito, the Founder & General Director of Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support from Japan believes that entrepreneurs should not work for money and pride, but to solve a problem in society and change it. In Japan, entrepreneurs might have a better chance to get funding from corporate investors, such as SoftBank, Sony, Panasonic, and more.
The CEO & General Partner of Fenox Venture Capital from USA, Dr. Uzzaman shared several important techniques to help startups to grow. He encouraged startups to focus on core businesses rather than patent filing, which might slow them down. He also advised startups to master a short pitch. He emphasized how effective communication can be the difference between success and failure of a startup.
All forums are livestreamed to the InnoVEX Twitch channel where it attracted nearly 700,000 views. Soon the videos will also be available in the InnoVEX YouTube channel.
BioInspira is the InnoVEX Pitch Contest Grand Prize Winner
123 startups applied for the InnoVEX Pitch Contest this year. After going through the preliminary round, only 29 startups remained for the semifinal round on June 7. The Final round was held on June 8 where the 8 finalists from Taiwan, US, Philippines, and China pitched in front of the panel of judges.
"The competition was getting better every single year." the Chief Judge, Anis Uzzaman said. "I was really excited to see so many great companies. The level of the companies was the best so far and I feel that it was a great competition overall." The Grand Prize of USD 30,000 went to BioInspira; a materials science company from United States that harnesses biology to provide low cost and highly accurate sensors for real time detection and analysis of air chemicals in industries.
In addition to the grand prize from the organizers, there are also special prizes from the sponsors. The Delta Electronics, Inc. Special Award of USD 10,000 was awarded to OneWatt Solutions. Nogle Limited & Maxceed Capital Group special prize of USD 10,000 was awarded to Kloudless. Taiwan's SMEA Startup Terrace Awards are given to A-Volute, Tempow, Origami Group Limited, Kloudless, and OneWatt Solutions. The winners of the Startup Terrace Award were awarded USD 60,000 each and are invited to enter the Linkou Startup Terrace for 1 year with a discounted rate.
InnoVEX will Return in May 2019
InnoVEX 2018 hosted 388 startups, 17,867 visitors, and over 200 global investors; many of whom gave a positive impression of InnoVEX. Aymerik Renard of Hardware Club stated that he was pleasantly surprised and very impressed by the caliber of the companies and how they did in the pitch. He would like to return to InnoVEX next year. Ryan, the CEO of BioInspira which won the InnoVEX Pitch Contest Grand Prize praised InnoVEX as a really good event, as it helps startups connect with investors and customers; and he will definitely come back next year.
After a stellar 2018, InnoVEX 2019 will be held in late May. As there will be a new exhibition hall for COMPUTEX, the scale of InnoVEX is also expected to grow even larger than this year. The registration of startups will be announced in October 2018.