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44 Taiwan Startups Win NT$5.5 Billion at CES 2019

Leading Taiwan's new high technology charge, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) selected 44 tech startup companies to attend CES 2019 in Las Vegas from January 8 to 11, while Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) organized a national pavilion at CES' Eureka Park to showcase the country's tech strengths to the world. At a press conference today, Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Liang-Gee Chen announced that the 44 startups had won more than NT$5.5 billion (US$179 million) in cumulative business opportunities, substantial results for the CES 2019 exhibition and post-CES Silicon Valley events. With international media coverage already at 20x that of last year, Taiwan's technology strengths and innovation capabilities were on full global display.

Innovation Capabilities with Integrated Technology to open New Markets

MoST, via TTA, selected 44 of the most promising startup teams in 6 categories: Internet of Things (IoT, 25%), CyberSecurity & Software (20%), Artificial Intelligence (AI, 18%), Healthcare (14%), wearables (14%), and Advanced Manufacturing (9%). 8 teams from among the 44 won CES 2019 Innovation Awards before the exhibition, while most of the teams attracted manufacturers and engaged with venture capitalists during CES. 15 teams participated in the post-CES Taiwan Pitch Night and matchmaking event in Silicon Valley, connecting directly with global venture capitalists.

One TTA startup, Awowo, is developer of the FreeStyle Drum. A unique patented technology which replicates a real drum, FreeStyle Drum replaces traditional drumheads with a smaller enamel film, reducing the large disc space occupied by electronic drum kits. The response of the FreeStyle Drum is 10-times faster than an electronic drum kit. Joe Liu, CEO of Awowo, said that through the CES exhibition Awowo signed a million-dollar order and will be announced at Guangzhou Music Festival in February. Liu says that it is through CES, with MoST support, that traditional industries can explore new businesses combining innovative technology applications.

Another is AgriTalk Technology, developer of the AgriTalk Management Platform to control the production of agricultural products with technology. According to Professor Wen Liang Chen, founder of AgriTalk Technology, the system integrates sensors to acquire biological and environmental data which regulates pests, diseases, soil, and fertility. With the support of National Chiao Tung University and the Taiwan Startup Institute (TSI) Accelerator, he and his team founded AgriTalk. During CES, buyers from Dubai, Chile, Canada, India, Philippines, Italy, France and Netherlands met with AgriTalk. The team won first place at Taiwan Pitch Night, the post-CES event, and foreign business opportunities are now estimated at NT$900 million.

Ganzin Technology also understands more about the global market via CES and support from the Ministry. Ganzin focuses next generation eye tracking modules that can be easily integrated into AR/VR to help unlock the potential of the eye as a seamless interface into the extended reality world. Ganzin Technology re-designed the necessary algorithms for a highly precise eye-tracking module, resulting in Aurora, a re-engineered eye-tracking solution with a small form factor and minimal power requirements. Ganzin participated in CES Unveiled and was included in Reuters' 'Best of CES', says Ganzin founder Shao-Yi Chien.

Attracting Multinational Corporations and Global Venture Capital

CES 2019 saw Taiwan's top tech startups, lead by MoST supported by TTA, featuring for a second year. The startups solid technology backgrounds and innovation capabilities attracted investors from the global venture capital community, multinational corporations from the US, Europe and East Asia, including T-Mobile, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Coca Cola and Toyota, and international media, with Taiwan coverage increasing by 20 times compared to last year. The success of Taiwan's high tech startup community and deep tech capabilities were on display for the international community.

The achievements at CES 2019 follow on Taiwan's enhanced startup ecosystem. A new co-creation platform for high-tech startups, accelerators, venture capital and corporate partners, organized by TTA with MoST funding, has introduced accelerator resources and startup funds from around the world, and plays a key role in connecting Taiwanese startup leadership to international resources, industries and markets.Via CES 2019, the TTA with MoST looks toward to connecting with global investors, having further industrial cooperation, and enhancing Taiwan's reputation in the global high-tech ecosystem.

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