Before orange caps were thrown into the air at the “Holland Startup Lounge” at InnoVEX 2018 to close the very first media pitch competition in Taiwan, 17 startups from the Netherlands showed their best in front of a jury consisting of international media to compete for a free booth to exhibit in the coming year.
“We think Taiwan is really a nice hub into Asia, but the Taiwanese market itself is also very interesting for us,” said Rick Scholte, the founder and CEO of Sorama, a Dutch startup that visualizes sounds for various applications from noise detection to crime prevention.
Scholte was part of the biggest national delegation at InnoVEX 2018, as the Dutch government views this trade show parallel to COMPUTEX TAIPEI as one of their global strategic fairs alongside CES and Hannover Messe. This year, Scholte is coming back to exhibit at the Holland Startup Lounge, which is again the biggest national pavilion at InnoVEX 2019.
“We were one of the best-performing exhibitors last year, directly or indirectly earning commercial opportunities worth 4.1 million euros,” said Diederik van der Toorn, an economic advisor at the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office (NTIO), the official representation of the Dutch government in Taiwan.
The economic ties between the Netherlands and Taiwan are stronger than ever. According to statistics from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2018, bilateral trade reached US$9.767 billion, and the Netherlands remained for the third year the biggest foreign direct investor in Taiwan at US$3.5 billion, more than 30% of the total FDI into Taiwan of US$11.42 billion.
“Most of the investment happened in manufacturing, especially electronic parts and components,” said Guy Wittich, the head of the NTIO. “Because many of the global players in the hardware and chip manufacturing businesses are based in Taiwan, the InnoVEX has also become an important platform for Dutch startups with innovative technologies to find potential partners.”
The Netherlands is the second-most innovative country in the world according to the Global Innovation Index and also the No. 3 biggest contributor to the Deloitte Tech Fast 500. With more than 5,000 startups and scaleups in a country of 17 million, it is also a land of innovation and entrepreneurship with Eindhoven as its capital, dubbed the “Brainport” of the Netherlands, after the seaport of Rotterdam and the airport of Amsterdam.
The High-Tech Campus, a high-tech center in Eindhoven, is the smartest square kilometer in Europe, accommodating more than 140 companies and institutions, including Philips, Signify, NXP and ASML. Over 10,000 researchers, developers and entrepreneurs of more than 80 different nationalities cooperate every day to develop and shape the future.
“Eindhoven is home to disruptive startups and a vibrant ecosystem,” said its mayor, John Jorritsma. “According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Eindhoven is the most inventive city in the world with 22.6 patents for every 10,000 residents.”
This year, Jorritsma is leading 12 startups and accelerators from the Netherlands to InnoVEX with solutions in the areas of AI, blockchain, computing, e-commerce, 5G, manufacturing and semiconductors.
“Brainport Eindhoven aims to provide solutions for global challenges, such as energy, mobility and healthcare. I am extremely proud of the Dutch startups I am bringing over to Taiwan, and I cordially invite everyone to the Holland Startup Lounge to experience our energy and new ideas,” said Jorritsma.
Visitors to the Holland Startup Lounge are in for a treat, with free Dutch beer and snacks offered an hour before closing every day at InnoVEX. Partnering with NTIO, New Taipei City has selected six Taiwanese startups from its accelerator InnoSquare to match with six counterparts from the Netherlands as part of an upgraded media pitch competition, where they can win flight tickets to the opposite country with corresponding bootcamp programs.
In addition to international media, the jury comprises Jorritsma; Chen Chwen-jing, the deputy mayor of New Taipei City; Joseph Huang, a partner at the world-renowned private equity firm Infinity Ventures; and Yvonne Chen, the founder and a partner at Ceres Capital.
This year’s InnoVEX is taking place at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1 from May 29 until May 31. The Holland Startup Lounge is located at booth No. A0614, and its media pitch competition starts at 16:00 on the first day of the exhibition.
BOOTH NO. A0614
Participating Dutch startups
A VR service platform for healthcare practitioners.
Laser-based communication system (free-space optics) to connect cell towers, as part of 5G.
Providing state-of-the-art integrated cooling solutions for high-performance computing.
Frontrunner in the global human interface market with touch and haptic feedback controllers.
A brand-new e-commerce platform that connects social influencers, businesses and consumers to create new opportunities.
Royal Blue & Orange Trading
Approved global supplier within the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry that sources ethical, social, environmental and circular economy products/packaging.
Sound camera that can determine the location, type and behavior of sounds in a quick and precise manner.
Strategic design and innovation consultancy specialized in product development from concept to production.
World top 20 leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) that creates trust in customers’ products, services, processes, (management) systems and employees.
One of the very few successful European-owned manufacturers in China making innovative products and devices for startups and industrial leaders.
Aims to strengthen the Rotterdam economy by city marketing, acquisition marketing and helping with the development of a better business climate
A two-year venture builder program that in addition to providing seed funding, actively supports entrepreneurs with a hands-on approach.