Taiwan Tech Arena
Source: Unsplash

Taiwan’s startup ecosystem is ranked 26th globally this year among 100 countries in the annual StartupBlink’s Global Startup Ecosystem Index Report 2021, showing integrated efforts between the Taiwanese government and private sectors had paid off, including Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA), which is central to the nation’s startup ecosystem.

The island nation falls slightly behind United Arab Emirates (25th), followed by Portugal (27th) and Austria (28th) in a close competition, and ranks 7th in the Asia-Pacific region, closing the gaps with Korea and Japan. Taipei City is the highest-ranking Taiwanese City, taking the 41st place among the 1,000 evaluated cities.

Taiwan tops in hardware and healthcare industries

Taiwan outperforms in the hardware & IoT as well as the health technology industries, ranking 12th and 13th respectively, which doesn’t come as a surprise given that Taiwan is home to many household names, such as Foxconn, TSMC, and Asus, and tops in global health care systems.

Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) plays a large role in earning this global recognition.

Launched in 2018, TTA has facilitated Taiwan startups through bridging connections with international accelerators and leading startups to showcase digitally at ten international exhibitions including VivaTech, Hello Tomorrow, MWC, TechCrunch Disrupt, and CES under the pandemic.

Attracting talents under the post-pandemic era

Taiwan and its capital city, Taipei also ranked high up in a separate Covid-19 Innovation Report from the same organization in the context of innovation in response to the pandemic, and took up the 17th and 9th place respectively. 

The Covid-19 outbreak had driven many tech talents to Taiwan where effective precautions were initially taken and shielded the nation from widespread local transmissions for over a year before a nationwide third-level lockdown was issued mid-May this year due to a sudden outbreak.

TTA had been attracting foreign talents to the island with initiatives such as the gold card visa. Big tech companies such as Microsoft and Google are also heavily investing in building large data centers on the island.

TTA positions Taiwan startups to target global markets

TTA also assists startups in adapting to global markets, such as establishing the recent TTA accelerator program with the global venture firm, 500 Startups. The fact that Taiwan lays much focus on global expansions for its startup ecosystems, is essentially because local markets are too small for startups to solely rely on for domestic solutions, in comparison to highly populated countries, such as the US, India, and China.

In addition, through networks built up by TTA Silicon Valley and TTA’s international accelerator partners, TTA offers startups connections with overseas investors, potential buyers, and business partners through virtual meetings so that the market expansion, fundraising, and business activities can continue to thrive under the pandemic.

Five new Taiwanese cities debut in the global rankings

This year, Taiwan also debuts five new cities in the rankings to join Taipei City, including Hsinchu, which hosts most of the hardware industries, ranked at 285th, along with Taoyuan, Tainan, Taichung, and Kaohsiung.

Some notable Taiwanese startups and ecosystem champions in the area include BigGo, a product search engine capable of finding and retrieving products from existing shopping websites; Appier, a Taipei-based startup providing an AI powered platform to brands and retailers to help increase customer engagement and Health2Sync, which develops systems that transform smartphones into legacy medical devices and smart health monitoring machines.


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