Secretary-General Stephen Lai, director of the Taipei Computer Association and secretary-general of the Chinese Business Incubation Association, started some vivid and incisive speeches on “Funding sources for enterprises and tips for fundraising.”
“Biotechnology and Medicine Innovation Enterprise Lecture” Co-Hosted by Yang-Ming GLORIA and the Innovation and Incubation Center – Fundraising Preparation in Detail
Fundraising is an essential topic for startup companies. What is important above all is how to communicate with investors to effectively lower the investment threshold and the cost? Will investors make special requests and cause trouble for business operations after becoming a shareholder? How does a team calibrate cooperation appropriately? In the light of these issues, Yang-Ming GLORIA and the Innovation and Incubation Center have specially invited “Secretary-General Stephen Lai of the Chinese Business Incubation Association” and “General Manager Shu-Hui Huang of Aplus Management Consulting Company Ltd.” to share their views regarding fundraising on the 15th of May, 2020. With rich experiences and insightful opinions, they have mentioned concepts that were different from the past. These phenomenal views have brought about more innovative inspirations to the attendees.
Shu-Hui Huang, general manager of Aplus Management Consulting Company Ltd. and committee member of the Innovation and Incubation Center of the Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration, Ministry of Science and Technology, explained: “How to Dance with Investors – Insights and Dancing Together.” The attendees found the speech refreshing.
“Innovation is not necessarily the same as startups.” Stephen Lai gave the attendees a heads up right at the start of the lecture: Taiwan possesses high innovative capabilities, yet innovation does not necessarily lead to entrepreneurial success. The service supply chain for industrial services in Taiwan is intact, reasonably suitable for new products to undergo quick verification testing. Besides, the diverse information provided in Taiwan and the ease of gaining professional knowledge and experiences through the process are in favor of youth entrepreneurship. However, it is a real shame that youths in Taiwan are less aware of the market demands failing to merchandise good innovations in the end. Stephen Lai suggested, “We would rather pick a problem and solve it than innovate for innovation’s sake.”
Stephen Lai claimed that he has been observing the reasons behind startup companies starting businesses in Taiwan, which are mainly “discovery of favorable market opportunities” and “development of good products or services.” And startup companies reckon that the biggest challenge they encounter at the initial stage is funding accessibility. Stephen Lai shared with the attendees four advantages that venture capital values most – stability, long-lastingness, quantifiability, and difficulty duplicating. Startup companies will naturally attract venture capital’s attention once achieving these four goals.
Chief Executive Officer Hsien-Chih Pei of the Center for Academia and Industry Collaboration, National Yang-Ming University, and the Global Research and Industry Alliance was the session chair. She highly approved of Secretary-General Stephen Lai’s and General Manager Shu-Hui Huang’s professional experiences and raised the curtain on the brilliant lecture.
From the perspective of gaining resources, Stephen Lai explained that most people often find innovations hard to understand at the initial stage, which makes fundraising relatively hard, especially for those innovations focusing on technology research and development that takes up almost all of the resources. However, when the product is mature and can be launched onto the market, resources are pretty much spent. Also, startup companies always overlook the importance of business management. He made an example; a dean for research and development who is in charge of technology research and development and a chief executive officer who is responsible for business operations face hugely different challenges and difficulties. However, the same person plays both roles in some startup companies, which will naturally encounter a bottleneck. From the perspective of market development ability, some startup companies do not grasp the market opportunities in full and carry out product research and development at full strength. This situation is the same as divorcing themselves from the reality of the market, and the products developed are not necessarily what the market needs. Stephen Lai has approved Taiwan’s research and development ability. However, it is not enough to rely on research and development ability to become successful entrepreneurs. We must understand the market opportunities in advance and focus more on business management.
Attendees and Secretary-General Stephen Lai had heated discussions during the break.
Shu-Hui Huang claimed that Taiwan has a wealth of resources for a startup, as confirmed by the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Taiwan. However, further improvements can be made to internationalizing the regulatory environment, redistributing resources, and simplifying application procedures, and enhancing their effectiveness. She has also explained further that investors favor those startup companies with “three qualities.” The first quality is self (possessing strong motives and will, and core teams displaying diverse expertise.) The second quality is the ability (core technologies have competitive advantages, and the chosen industries have potential for growth.) The third quality is capital (execution ability, business operating and management, and financial capability.)
In the end, Stephen Lai encouraged the attendees: staring a business is challenging and bumpy, and the more people help you on the road, the better. Entrepreneurs will have more chances of success as long as they have been prepared and got the resources, even if the road is still bumpy. And there will be more chances of industrial innovation and transformation success in Taiwan.
From left: Dr. Hong-Yu Lin expertized in GLORIA industry liaison; Secretary-General Stephen Lai; Chief Executive Officer Hsien-Chih Pei of the Center for Academia and Industry Collaboration, National Yang-Ming University, and the Global Research and Industry Alliance; and Manager Mei-Ling Zheng of the Yang-Ming Innovation and Incubation Center were photographed together after the lecture.