Following our Europe Fast Track events before in Barcelona and Berlin, the SBC Scale Osaka team and partners headed towards Asia, to visit Hong Kong, Taipei and Kaohsiung. Here, we had the pleasure to meet with key startup ecosystem players, local mature startups and scaleups that were also potential participants in our program that kicks off this November.
Our first stop was the UBS Innovation Hub, a stunning venue from which UBS offers a generous connecting service to the Hong Kong startup ecosystem, both locally and abroad. A huge thanks goes to Melanie Hoffman, who manages this Digital Hub and gave our partners from Hankyu Corporation, Chikara Takagishi, Hiroki Kawame, and I a great insight into the important work they are doing for the city and beyond.
We met with some brilliant smart cities startups whilst at this center, some of which we hope to see in Osaka later this year!
Next we were off to the RISE Conference, hosted at the Hong Kong Conference & Exhibition Center which took our friends from Hankyu to an exclusive Ecosystem Summit that saw leaders from various innovation hubs across the globe come together and discuss all things “startup ecosystem”. Meanwhile we were off to the Investor Zone to meet with 12 high caliber scaleup companies who had their eyes on entering our SBC Scale Osaka program.
Thank you, Hong Kong, – especially to UBS and RISE for hosting us! Now on to Taiwan!
Together with our friends from Startupbootcamp and Rainmaking Innovation teams in both Dubai and Taiwan, we learnt that Kaohsiung and Taipei have very distinct ecosystems, Kaohsiung being a university town is known for deep tech startups that are born in or spin-out of labs whilst the larger city, Taipei is more of a general tech startup hub and home to most of Taiwan’s entrepreneurs.
Lead by our Taiwan base colleagues, we were introduced to high level government officials and other senior business representatives to discuss how to further collaborate across the Osaka, Dubai and Taiwan innovation ecosystems. It was exciting to hear how similar our challenges are across different countries but at the same time learn from each other’s different approaches.
Finally, we participated in a very special event hosted by Startup Terrace in downtown Taipei, the Dubai and Osaka Smart City FastTrack, that saw 20 of the best Taiwanese smart city related startups pitch for their chance to enter our Dubai and Osaka based programs. The event was attended by high ranked officials such as the Deputy Mayor of Taipei and other senior business executives who together with SBC and Rainmaking colleagues from Dubai, Osaka and Taiwan discussed the different approaches cities are taking to truly become “smarter”.
Thank you Taiwan and all of our new colleagues and friends – we will be back!