Supply chain
Microsoft accelerator links Taiwan startups to enterprises
Chloe Liao, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES

Microsoft for Startup-Taiwan focuses on the role of matching startups with enterprises for the latter to help the former promote products and services, according to Peter Hu, CEO of the software giant's accelerator in Taiwan.

The accelerator does not undertake incubation, for the development of incubation centers in Taiwan has been mature enough, Hu said. Instead, the accelerator functions as an engine to push startups into the market by helping them seek optimal cooperative enterprises and vice versa, enabling startups to realize commercialization of their products and services, said Hu, who is also technology general manger for Microsoft Taiwan.

Startups usually experience three stages in development: Development of innovations in the initial stage; materialization of innovative concepts in the second stage; and commercialization of products and services in the third stage, which poses the most challenge to startups, Hu indicated.

Hu noted that enterprises mostly begin by examining startups' proof of concept, which may take six months.

During the examination, startups face high risks in terms of survivability and the accelerator is intended to overcome the challenge, Hu noted. The accelerator screens startups mainly based on maturity of their technology and business models, and recommends qualified ones to enterprises, with Microsoft's endorsement equivalent to shortening enterprises' examination time, Hu explained.

Enterprises seek startups for cooperation based on three main factors: Whether the products and services are reliable and whether there are information security issues; whether the technology framework is mature; and whether the technologies involved violate intellectual property rights, Hu indicated.

The accelerator selected 14 startups in 2019 and another 18 during May-September 2020. The 32 startups have attracted total investment of NT$380 million (US$12.9 million) from cooperative enterprises and there have been 61 collaboration projects with business opportunities worth over NT$530 million.

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Microsoft for Startup-Taiwan CEO Peter Hu (left) and Microsoft Taiwan general manager Ken Sun (second left)

Microsoft for Startup-Taiwan CEO Peter Hu (left)
Photo: Shihmin Fu, Digitimes, October 2020

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