Under the stewardship of Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) took a delegation of 82 startups to CES 2020, winning 13 innovation awards.

As the third largest delegation in attendance at Eureka Park, Dr Chiou Chyou-Huey, the Director General of MOST’s Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs, expressed the importance of putting Taiwanese startups on the world stage. “People are already aware of Taiwan’s larger companies such as TSMC, but smaller companies are often over-looked. CES is a great opportunity for us to display the breadth of talent we have”.

Taiwan remains a small market and many startups believe they must find opportunities overseas if they are to succeed. Working towards strengthening Taiwan’s proposition, TTA has been participating in CES for the last three years.

On the opening day of the show, a delegation from MOST held discussions with officials from important startup nations. MOST’s Deputy Minister Dr Yu-Chin Hsu met with Minister Graham Stuart from the UK’s Ministry of Investment and made a consensus to enhance bilateral tech-startup cooperation. Additionally, the MOST delegation also visited the Japanese and French pavilions, further interacting with Eiko Okuya, Vice President from JETRO and Bertrand Velon, Vice Director of Business France.

MOST has reported that startups sent to CES 2020 by TTA have won more than $226M (USD) in potential business revenue, a 27% increase on CES 2019. When asked, Dr Chiou wasn’t able to confirm what percentage of last years potential business revenue had been converted but was buoyed by TTA’s increasing success.

Minister Dr Chen Liang-Gee says, “In the first year, TTA startups were unfamiliar with CES. In the second year, the startups had understood the exhibition and made preparations to develop opportunities in the international market. This year, the startups have successfully linked with global industries, sought business opportunities and enhanced the quality of their products and services. This has enabled our teams to receive global industry recognition and increased the importance of Taiwan in the global startup ecosystem”.

Nitin CES TTA

Nitin Dahad, EE Times European correspondent at the TTA pavilion with Dr. Yu-Chin Hsu, the Deputy Minister of MOST

Among the high achievers at CES 2020 was Yallvend, a mobile payment platform which has won a contract to deploy its smart vending machine solution at the Tokyo Olympics. In addition, AI startup FaceHeart has been invited by SONY to jointly develop new healthcare products. Minister Chen said that it is international connections such as these which deepen Taiwan’s strength in technology but also allows Taiwan to really compete in the international market.

The team at Yallvend emphatically supported the approach implemented by MOST and TTA to spread awareness of Taiwanese startups. "The market, orders and exposure required for a startup can be obtained in a short period of time," said Helen Huang, business development manager of Yallvend. Yallvend recently developed the function of digital identification combined with a vending machine, so that products such as tobacco and alcohol that require age confirmation can also be purchased on vending machines.

Through TTA’s international brand and marketing strategy, Taiwan's startups have attracted the attention of global industries and investors, strengthened connections with the international ecosystem, and voiced for Taiwan with technology.