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8/13-14 APEC Start-up Accelerator Leadership Summit Sparks Entrepreneurial Spirit

World-renowned entrepreneurs gather to ignite global entrepreneurial development

Start-ups and SMEs are regarded as the driving force for sustainable economic growth and prosperity, especially in terms of facilitation of job creation and next generation trade and investment. Recognizing the significance of start-ups and entrepreneurship, the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs teamed up with Intel Corporation to host the APEC Start-Up Accelerator Leadership Summit and Intel APEC Challenge in Taipei on Aug. 13 and 14, 2013, serving as a platform to offer mentoring, funding and networking resources to startups in the region. The two-day event attracted the participation of more than 600 people across the 20 APEC member economies, including top global entrepreneurship experts, business executives, policymakers and venture capitalists.

Bringing the Synergy of Global Top CEO/VCs to Speed up Connections in the Incubation Network

      The APEC Start-Up Accelerator Leadership Summit on the first day featured several international high-profile speakers, including Ms. Lorraine Hariton, U.S. State Department special representative for Commercial & Business Affairs; Ms. Rui Ma, venture partner of 500 Startups; Mr. Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline; Mr. Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week; Mr. Mohan Belani, co-founder & CEO of e27; and Mr. Y.K. Chu, managing director of WI Harper Group. The noted speakers shared their experience and insights on a range of issues, including innovative thinking, global industrial trends and venture development.

      In his opening remarks, Minister of Economic Affairs Chia-Juch Chang noted that global innovation and entrepreneurship development are in full swing and that start-up momentum in the Asia-Pacific region has been blossoming. According to Minister Chang, the purpose of the summit is to strengthen this entrepreneurial momentum and promote regional economic development through in-depth discussions on entrepreneurship, innovation and fundraising topics, as well as enhanced public-private sector dialogue and cooperation, and the holding of an international entrepreneurship competition. Next year, the minister pointed out, Taiwan will launch the APEC Accelerator Network, with the aim of establishing “a stronger backup of regional resources, from which start-ups can benefit more in terms of cross-border incubation, mentorship, early-stage investment and business matching.”

Intel APEC Challenge Demonstrates Asia’s Innovation Power

      The Intel APEC Challenge held on the second day included speeches by a number of globally renowned entrepreneurs, such as Mr. Stan Shih, founder of Acer Group; Mr. Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline; Mr. John Danner, senior fellow of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship Innovation, UC Berkeley and Mr. Anjan Ghosh, Intel’s regional director of corporate affairs for the Asia-Pacific region. Topics touched on in the insightful presentations included encouraging young entrepreneurs and the development of innovation.

      In his welcome remarks, Director General of SMEA, Johnny Yun-Lung Yeh emphasized the need for interaction and coordination among international incubators and accelerators in order to enhance cross-border cooperation. Yeh noted that the winning teams in the Intel APEC Challenge would have the opportunity to showcase their business models this coming October at a partner competition, namely the Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley, and in the process demonstrate the Asia-Pacific region’s entrepreneurial vitality.

      Acer founder Stan Shih, who has long been dedicated to cultivating entrepreneurial talent, pointed in his speech to the concept of“Wangdao,”which integrates the spirit of culture, strategic thinking and executive ability, urging young entrepreneurs to adopt this way of thinking in order to implement the “three core beliefs of sustainable management, value creation and balance of interests.” He further stressed the need to encourage more innovative development in the Asia-Pacific region in order to spur greater regional advancement and prosperity.

Gearing up to Shine at the Intel Global Challenge

      A total of 31 selected start-up teams from the region took part in the Intel APEC Challenge, being divided into two categories, namely “Early Stage” and “Growth Stage” groups. Prior to the competition, each of the teams received professional mentorship and had the opportunity to interact with investors and potential partners. On the day of the competition, the teams vied for glory by showcasing their respective business and technology commercialization plans.

      Following intensive evaluation of each of the entries, the panel of judges composed of experts, investors, advisors and business elites selected the six winning teams. “Roan & Wander”from Hong Kong and“Cinepapaya” from Peru won in the “Growth Stage” category, being awarded Intel Ultrabooks as well as access to SMEA incubation resources. “IDT International” from Vietnam garnered the People’s Choice Award, and was awarded mobile marketing resources sponsored by Vpon Inc. Meanwhile,“Connexx System Corporation” and “ShuR Co., Ltd.”from Japan won in the “Early Stage” grouping, and “Golface”won the Host Economy Award. The latter three earned the right to compete in the upcoming Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley with other regional competition winners, and as a result the chance to meet with Silicon Valley venture capitalists, gain international publicity, and compete for prize money totaling US$100,000.
For further information, please visit http://www.apecaccelerator.org or our official Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/asaleadershipsummit)

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Picture 1: Minister Chia-Juch Chang delivers the opening remarks at the summit.

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Picture 2: SMEA Director General Johnny Yun-Lung Yeh speaks at the opening of the Intel APEC Challenge.

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Picture 3: Intel APEC Challenge keynote speakers and judges pose for a group photo.

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Picture 4: Members of the winning teams pose together for a photograph.

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Picture 5: 31 Members of the start-up teams introduce their products to potential investors.