The COVID-19 crisis has triggered a surge in global demand for breakthrough technologies to combat the pandemic, reinvigorate the economy and address other societal challenges. It also reiterated the need for an effective global digital tool to find innovative solutions and create collaborations among entrepreneurs, companies, and investors.
This was the setting for the signing on July 7 of an agreement between Start-Up Nation Central (SNC), an independent nonprofit organization that builds bridges to Israeli innovation, and Innovation to Industry (i2i), a tech ecosystem builder that supports and connects innovation stakeholders in Taiwan.
Under the agreement, i2i will launch a "Global Finder" in Taiwan - an online innovation discovery and ecosystem development tracking platform modelled after the successful Start-Up Nation Finder. The platform will include a mapping of nearly 30,000 tech companies, hundreds of incubators, over 200 VCs and other stakeholders active in Taiwan’s ecosystem, enabling them to expand their business opportunities with the world. Taiwan’s ecosystem is a global leader in hardware and manufacturing, particularly for the personal computer industry. "Global Finder" in Taiwan is sponsored by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs Taiwan under the Startup Terrace project which is a complete environment setup for startups.
Israel’s Start-Up Nation Finder offers the most comprehensive, up-to-date information about the different stakeholders in the Israeli innovation ecosystem. It enables direct and meaningful engagement with over 6,500 Israeli technology companies, R&D centers, investors and technology communities across a variety of sectors, offering valuable insights into current performance, challenges, and trends. The information is based on meticulous collection of validated data adhering by methodologies developed by Start-Up Nation Central, and best practices from Israel and the world. The finder can be used by investors, multinational corporations and decisionmakers to make educated, data-driven investment decisions.
The finder’s many advantages as an infrastructure for developing Israel’s innovation ecosystem has led SNC to offer the model to other countries, states and emerging innovation hubs around the world as part of an initiative called the Global Finder Network. To date, SNC has helped establish this platform in Thailand, New Zealand and the US states of Michigan and Texas. In each of these locations, a leading local partner was chosen to establish a Global Finder platform showcasing its ecosystem to international markets. Taiwan will be the fifth partner in the Global Finder Network.
The vision behind this initiative is creating a global network of Finders that will serve as gateways to a variety of ecosystems and expose stakeholders from all over the world to innovation. This global network will help drive cross-border connections and partnerships, encourage international investments and technology-based collaborations.
Dr. Gary Gong, Chairman of i2i, said: “With almost 30,000 tech companies in Taiwan, we believe that Global Finder will help us expand Taiwan’s innovation and open our ecosystem to global collaboration and investments. We look forward to exploring how we can further collaborate by connecting corporations, startups and investors through the Global Finder Network. Launching Global Finder in Taiwan continues our efforts to strengthen the collaboration with Israel’s tech sector, which is also evident in the recent launch of our unique IP² LaunchPad innovation program that connects Israeli startups with Taiwanese ecosystem."
The CEO of Start-Up Nation Central, Prof. Eugene Kandel, said: “We have developed the Start-Up Nation Finder to help Israeli technological innovators establish stronger connections with the global large-scale technology users and investors. We believe that any growing ecosystem requires such a platform, which is why we have established Global Finder Network that elevates the visibility of growing innovative tech ecosystems around the world, and helps them expand their business opportunities."