GenAI: the next frontier for startups and tech giants alike

Chloe Liao, Taipei, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Generative AI (GenAI) is emerging as a significant business opportunity for startups venturing into AI. According to Garage+, a leading startup incubator and accelerator, this new wave of large models marks a departure from previous generations of AI, particularly in its ability to assist engineers lacking a computer science background.

By automating code generation, GenAI accelerates product development and iteration, drawing substantial investment from global tech giants. Garage+ continues to collaborate with Nvidia, leveraging its AI platform, extensive libraries, and SDKs to speed up the development of AI product applications for startup teams.

Companies and startups are increasingly turning to GenAI to swiftly conceive and develop new products, thus shortening their time to market. For instance, Garage+ highlighted a foreign startup that utilized a no-code platform and GenAI to create a medical diagnostic model, aiding doctors during consultations. Historically, AI development has been hindered by a shortage of talent skilled in computer science and data science. However, this talent gap may soon narrow.

Garage+ asserts that GenAI accelerates product development cycles and enhances the startup ecosystem. Multimodal AI, in particular, offers advanced generative capabilities, processing images, videos, and text, thereby fostering more imaginative entrepreneurial ventures.

Global tech behemoths like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are ramping up their investments in GenAI. Google has introduced the Gemini model, launching a suite of GenAI-embedded services on Google Cloud. Microsoft, in addition to rolling out the GPT-4-based Office intelligent assistant M365 Copilot, has unveiled the Large Multimodal Model (LMM) GPT-4 Turbo with Vision, developed by OpenAI. This model integrates natural language processing with visual comprehension, enabling it to analyze uploaded images and provide textual responses.

Since 2024, Garage+ has collaborated thrice with Nvidia, focusing on deep tech projects within its incubator. Discussions have centered around integrating development tools and product services. Deep tech, defined as technology solving substantial problems, includes AI, Machine Learning (ML), quantum computing, and blockchain. Its applications span renewable energy, semiconductors, quantum information science, and materials science.

The global startup investment climate had entered a downturn, with fundraising and deal numbers plummeting. Despite the AI-driven boom in Taiwan's industry, it remains uncertain whether this prosperity will extend to the startup sector. Garage+ maintains a cautious outlook, noting that the capital market has yet to show significant improvement. Although recent industry activity has been vigorous, global and Taiwanese investment behavior remains conservative.

As the investment environment cools, Garage+ sees an opportunity to separate the wheat from the chaff among startups. The downturn allows for a sharper focus on evaluating the true market demand and capabilities of entrepreneurs, weeding out those relying solely on speculative investment hype.

InnoVEX 2024 features nearly 400 startups from over 30 countries. AI companies make up the largest cohort reflecting the white-hot field. From a pool of 294 applications across 47 nations, Garage+ handpicked 36 exhibitors spanning AI, data analytics, digital solutions, energy tech, healthcare, and IoT manufacturing.