Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 10 May 2018
Organized by the Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA and TAITRA, the seminar on ‘Eye on Investment Trends in Israel, the US & Taiwan’ was held at the Taipei International Convention Center on April 27, 2018.
The seminar was addressed by Mr. Gilad Carni, an active angel investor from Israel, and by Ms. Jackey Wang, a venture partner at 500 Startups, one of the most active seed stage venture capital firms in the world. Also participating was Mr. Mike Hsieh, Assistant VP of CDIB Capital Innovation Accelerator (CCIA) and Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund I (Ali Fund).
The investors addressed the question of how startups attract venture capitalists’ attention, and also surveyed the current trends in the world’s leading technology hubs. The audience received much valuable information concerning these three particular startup ecosystems. They also enjoyed networking and talking with the speakers regarding their own investment situations.
Fundraising is one of the most difficult challenges for startups, but it is also the key to survival. Mr. Carni observed that Israel attracts more venture capital per capita than any other country; and that 20% of Israeli tech startup funding was directed towards AI companies. AI innovation was occurring in Technology, Industrial, Automotive, Enterprise, Healthcare, Fintech, and Marketing businesses. One example: AI was integral to a new tiny wearable artificial vision product which enables blind, visually impaired, and partially sighted people to read text, recognize faces, distinguish between currency denominations, and identify products.
Driven by high-quality human resources with the right talent and relevant experience, Israel is quick in identifying and adapting to new technological trends. This leads Israel to be a hub for the international IoT industry, covering Predictive Maintenance, Operations Optimization, Cyber Security, Logistics Optimization, Robotics. Most applications at present focus on Smart Home.
Ms. Wang noted that in addition to offering innovative solutions and developing prototypes, the targeting of a vertical market can be even more important. Mr. Hsieh observed that VCs evaluate the composition of the team as well as product value dimensions including market size, margin, high repeat purchase and global expansion possibility.
Speakers frequently mentioned that in Israeli and American culture, risk taking is encouraged and it is “OK to fail”. Businesses can learn from failure and improve their models and practices through the experience. This entrepreneurial attitude makes startups more widely accepted and have better ultimate success in Israel and the US.