• Directory of Taiwan

Taiwan keen to become Asia’s Silicon Valley of food

Taiwanese start-ups make great strides in food-tech

Food Innovation & Investment Summit in San Francisco. 

Food Innovation & Investment Summit in San Francisco.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Four start-ups from Taiwan were featured in an investment solicitation event in San Francisco as the country seeks to secure a foothold in the burgeoning food-tech market.

The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)-sponsored Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA), a tech entrepreneurship ecosystem building program, has joined business incubator Foodland Ventures in promoting Taiwanese firms at the Food Innovation & Investment Summit taking place May 18-19.

Founded by Sean Hsu (徐浩哲), Botrista has been a pioneer in the development of automated “DrinkBots” that can make up to 100 different kinds of beverages. The company secured a fund of US$10 million (NT$298 million) last year, per CNA.

Also shining in the automation technologies is Yo-Kai Express, founded by Andy Lin (林志鴻). The start-up is behind the invention of a machine that can serve a bowl of hot noodles on demand in one minute, technology which has been adopted by hospitals and airports in the U.S. as well as companies like Netflix and SpaceX.

Riding the net-zero emissions wave and a surge in interest in plant-based meat, Michelle Lee (李博婷) and Huang Jen-yu (黃仁佑) have established Lypid. The firm scored US$4 million in funding to develop vegan fat said to taste like “animal fat” using micro-encapsulation techniques.

Kabob Creative, which creates retail business management solutions, has built a clientele of 520 franchise brands globally, including McDonald’s and Ikea, tapping into the technology of artificial intelligence of things (AIoT).

Taiwan has a rich pool of top-notch talent in software, hardware, and mechanical engineering, while also boasting large food conglomerates and a connected supply chain, said Foodland Ventures CEO Victor Chen (陳瑞弦). The country has what it takes to emerge as a “Silicon Valley of Food” in Asia, he envisioned.