TAIPEI (Taiwan News) —After a two-year break, the annual U.S. tech gathering, the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), came to a close in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Billed as the biggest consumer electronics show, drawing 100,000 people, it is an important meeting ground for top-tier electronics companies from Taiwan like Asus and Acer. CES has also become an important venue for Taiwan’s most promising startups.
“I would say that we had a wonderful harvest this year. We had about double or triple the number of visitors when compared to past years. And there were lots of customers and investors excited to learn about Taiwan companies,” said Andrea Hsu (許增如) Director General, Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs, National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
Hsu’s organization, NSTC, is a branch of Taiwan central government and also supervises three main science parks which host more than 1,000 companies dedicated to everything from semiconductors to biotechnology.
“We have a strong semiconductor industry here which leads to lots of revenue. We also provide a solid foundation and nurture other industries such as all kinds of smart applications and startups,” said Hsu.
In particular, the Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) was founded and sponsored by NTSC in 2018 to specifically pair young startups with the resources they need. “Right now, TTA works with nine international accelerators to help these young companies develop,” said Hsu.
Big crowds turn out for TTA Pavilion at CES 2023. (NTSC photo)
Taiwanese startups attending CES were given the opportunity to exhibit at the TTA Pavilion at Eureka Park, though each startup had to pay their own travel expenses and be accepted by CES event organizers. A similar arrangement has been made for other international exhibitions later in the year, like Vivatech in Paris and London Tech Week.
“It is not easy to be accepted to CES as some 235 different companies applied and only 96 were accepted. We are fortunate to have a good location in Eureka Park, which is the heart of CES,” said Hsu.
The TTA pavilion this year was divided into four distinct sections: digital health, sport and climate tech, AI & cybersecurity, and digital transformation. Aside from showcasing these major startup fields, particular care was given to the location of the TTA Pavilion, positioned adjacent to other technologically advanced countries such as Japan and the Netherlands, allowing for joint demonstrations.
“We held many events together, especially pitches which involved the same topic as other countries. I observed there are a lot of startups' presence at Eureka Park focused on smart health solutions to make life better,” said Hsu.
One highlight of this year’s exhibition was 10 Taiwanese startups specially selected for the CES Innovation Award. The list of winners included: Artificial Intelligence Co., CytoAurora Biotechnologies, DeClock Intelligences Co., ible Technology Inc., Mbran Filtra Co., Ltd., Mindtronic AI, NeuinX, Neurobit Technologies Co., Ltd., PanelSemi, and Quantum Music Co., Ltd.
CES Innovation Award winners cover the gamut of tech innovation ranging from digital twins for health IoT to products and services such as cancer tests to sports analysis and observation.
“We had a startup from Tsinghua University that used AI to observe an athlete's performance in sports like basketball. They can analyze basketballs going into the hoop to make analysis more entertaining and useful for player training,” said Hsu.
She added that given the size of the U.S. sports industry, there are lots of investment opportunities should companies develop real-time sports analysis.
Another firm which attracted investor attention was CytoAurora, which was attempting to create a “Liquid Biopsy” that could integrate biomedicine and technology.
Medicine has been on the mind of many given the three years of the pandemic. “After COVID we realized that keeping our medical operations normal is important. Many are asking how to apply IT to medical use as there are lots of mature products that can help doctors better diagnose patients and do better treatment,” said Hsu.