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Taiwan firm sets up USD 70 million program to invest in Israeli startups

Israeli companies benefit from reduced tax payments in Taiwan, as well as grants and other meaningful assets.

Photo by Nati Levi. Courtesy of i2i via NoCamels.

A Taiwanese firm has set up a new USD 70 million program to collaborate and invest in Israeli startups focused on digital health, cybersecurity, and AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things), and help them launch and expand into East Asian markets.

Innovation to Industry (i2i), a Taipei-based innovation and tech company that grew out of government-run incubators in Taiwan, launched the IP² LaunchPad, which it said will provide Israeli startups with exposure, a center to launch their activities, validate their technologies, and expand into East Asian markets with strong strategic partners.

Twenty-five Israeli startups were selected for the program, the company said at the launch event held simultaneously in Israel and Taiwan last week. The participating companies will have access to investments starting at USD 200,000 in the first phase and up to USD 3 million at the end of the program, which will run for a year.

The IP² program is run locally by the Israeli consulting firm Healthier Globe headed by Rani Shifron. The firm helps startups and organizations set up operations in developing global markets.

The IP2 program selected 25 Israeli startups for its first annual cycle. Photo by Nati Levi. Courtesy of i2i via NoCamels.

Healthier Globe said it scoured the Israeli tech ecosystem for relevant startups and an industry panel selected firms working in in digital healthcare (60% of the picks), cybersecurity (about 24%), and AIOT (about 16%).

The Israeli companies selected are all in their early stage and have completed initial investment rounds, according to the announcement. With the launch of the program, eight strategic cooperation agreements were announced and signed between the Israeli startups and the partners in the program. The agreements include piloting, feasibility studies, and clinical validation studies.

Some of the participating startups include Serenno Medical, a medical device company that monitors kidney health; Biop Medical, which developed a point-of-care device that helps in the early detection of cervical cancer; Resymmetry, the developer of a smart exoskeleton robotic wheelchair; Cybord, a cybersecurity startup that developed tech to detect counterfeit and malicious cyber hardware; and ShieldIOT, which provides end-to-end security for IoT networks.

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i2i chairman Gary Gong initiated the program following his visits to Israel in recent years to become familiar with the Israeli innovation industry and form a vision for strategic cooperation, the firm said in a statement. Gong said he believes “integrating the Israeli innovation industry with the hardware and healthcare industry in Taiwan will fuel the industry innovation in Taiwan.”

Healthier Globe CEO Rani Shifron said Taiwan has one of the best health care systems in the world and has successfully coped with the coronavirus pandemic, while maintaining a vibrant economy and business center. “In addition to the ecosystem exposure and the guidance, Israeli companies benefit from reduced tax payments in Taiwan for their income, grants, an office center, and living quarters,” he said.

The program will be based at the Startup Terrace in Taipei, a USD 2.5 billion complex that provides co-working spaces, an exhibition center, offices, and housing, and is supported by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA), Ministry of Economy (MOEA) in Taiwan. The complex is home to 106 entrepreneurs from 11 countries, according to the announcement.

Ho Chin-Tsang, director general of the SMEA in Taiwan said, “I am pleased of the strengthening of the business ties with the Israeli innovation industry. I believe that the integration of the leading Israeli industry in software solutions with the huge hardware industry in Taiwan, a world leader in personal computers, LCDs, semiconductors, and mobile phones, as well as Taiwan’s leading healthcare system, will advance the development of each of the parties.”

The program is expected to run for three cycles.

This article first appeared in NoCamels, which covers innovations from Israel for a global audience.