Startups in Taiwan should find footing in niche markets: ITRI President

Entrepreneurship is more a matter of innovation than competition, said Edwin Liu

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ITRI President Edwin Liu (left) at new book launch (Image/wikipedia and Books.com)

ITRI President Edwin Liu (left) at new book launch (Image/wikipedia and Books.com)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Describing short-term market as a pageant and long-term market as a weightlifting competition, President Edwin Liu (劉文雄) of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) urged startups in Taiwan to strive to win both and secure their footing in a niche market rather than vying for top places in an already mature market.

Liu made the remarks at a book launch for “Start-up Stars – the 14 Unicorns of the Future” (創業超新星-看見未來十四家獨角獸) on Sept. 13, reported Liberty Times.

Sharing his insight of the term “unicorn” from the description by an investor from San Francisco Bay Area, Liu noted the word denotes a company which has the potential to drive industrial restructuring and upgrading, the online hospitality service provider Airbnb being one of them.

He called on the government of Taiwan to nurture more unicorn companies through the “five plus two” initiative spearheaded by the Executive Yuan, which aims to spur industrial growth in the next era.

Entrepreneurship is more a matter of innovation than competition, said Liu, adding that it is always his belief that businesses should adopt the approach of a “blue ocean strategy” which centers on value innovation instead of skill innovation, wrote the report.  

The fourteen companies mentioned in the book may have won a pageant, but it requires more effort to “keep fit” in order to win a weightlifting competition, Liu stressed, making a case for ridding old thinking of what competition entails, especially for enterprises in the small country of Taiwan.

The Industrial Technology Research Institute has successfully cultivated over 270 companies with a solid technological foundation by providing sufficient incubation resources, according to Liu.