2021-2 FITI Final Competition and Award Ceremony 2022.01.18

To promote an innovative economy, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has been devoted to supporting young students in starting tech businesses and providing comprehensive entrepreneurship training. One of its endeavors is From IP to IPO (FITI) program implemented by the Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) of National Applied Research Labs (NARLabs). The second round of the 2021 FITI Final Competition and Awards Ceremony was held this afternoon on December 10 at the Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA), where the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award was granted to three teams: Astron Medtech Ltd. Co., Soft Light Technology, and MicroGas Technology, along with a NT$ 1 million prize startup funds from sponsoring companies. This award not only serves as a recognition of the entrepreneurial teams’ advanced technologies but also provides them with a solid entry into the marketplace.

The FITI program mainly targets young talents from academia and research institutes and has been held for 17 rounds so far. It not only continues to cultivate potential young entrepreneurs but also creates a stage for them to showcase Taiwan’s innovative technologies. The program also fosters professional mentors across various fields, and assists in mobilizing experts from science parks as well as industry advisors from home and abroad to guide the teams through topics from patent portfolios, fundraising pitches, precise business model development, to in-depth business training. In addition, the FITI organized public matchmaking to connect the teams with venture capitals and angel investors from home and abroad, which presented itself to be the best facilitator for talents to venture into entrepreneurship.

The academic research teams of this round demonstrated excellent innovative research and development capabilities and engaged in various R&D activities with great enthusiasm, determined to solve the market’s pain points with scientific technologies while boldly stepping into entrepreneurship. The first round of FITI had selected 40 excellent academic research teams. After six months of business model adjustment, in-depth training, and two rounds of team evaluations, the seven most potential startup teams entered the final competition. The judges assessed the teams based on their market trends, the level of technologies involved, and their entrepreneurial determination, and finally narrowed the teams down to three finalists to receive the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award.

In a pre-recorded remark, the honorary director of academic affairs of FITI and the chairman of StanShih Foundation, Stan Shih, encouraged young students to join innovative entrepreneurship and shared the idea of “Wangdao [king] spirit”, emphasizing that innovation is to create value and put it into practice. Effective implementation requires continuous exploration and endurance, said Shih, as well as the courage to overcome difficulties and bottlenecks to respond to market demand and create more value for the global society.

MOST has been committed to promoting the development of Taiwan’s tech startup industry. The FITI was established with that goal in mind, which equips young entrepreneurs by providing comprehensive entrepreneurship training and facilitating the development of new technologies and products. The program also supports research teams from academia in developing innovative technologies, encouraging both practical application and academic innovation. Since the program took off in 2013, it has trained 720 startup teams and 3,565 young entrepreneurs and helped establish 337 companies. It has also attracted private investment of more than NT$ 5.53 billion in startup funding, effectively creating a virtuous circle of industrial innovation in Taiwan and boosting the domestic market. MOST encouraged the teams to develop scalable technologies for global deployment at the beginning of their businesses, address global issues by leveraging prospecting science, technologies, and cross-domain resources, and lead sustainable growth in the global environment with a positive mindset.

(Picture above) A group photo at the event