Taiwan Investor Panel at RESI San Francisco, January 8th, 2019

24 Jan

By Jessica Yang, Investor Research Analyst, LSN

Taiwan has been an important player and a pioneer in the world’s IT industry. Nowadays, through government support, Taiwan is also trying to establish its presence in life science industry, particularly in the Medical Device sector.

At RESI San Francisco during JPM week, LSN and BioMed TW cooperated to launch a new Taiwan Investor panel. The main purpose of this panel is to inform international startups’ on why Taiwan matters. We had the pleasure of inviting 6 panelists from Taiwan – all with a unique background related to Taiwan and working with early-stage innovations – to speak about their work and their perspectives on why international startups should approach Taiwan investors.

Our panelists included:

  • Michel Chu, General Partner, Acorn Campus Taiwan (Moderator)
  • Shaoyu Chang, Vice President, FC Capital
  • IC Jan, Director of Corporate Development, Taiwania Capital
  • Yi-Yen Chen, Investment Professional, WI Harper Group
  • Yuh-Geng Tsay, Venture Partner, Vivo Capital
  • William Tai, Managing Partner, Amed Ventures

Michel Chu, moderator of this panel, addressed the main question: How can Taiwan be a partner to an early-stage startup?

First, Taiwan can be seen as a manufacturing partner – medtech startups can look at Taiwan as a potential OEM/ODM partner. Taiwan is home to many global manufactures in the IT and semiconductor industry. Many of these highly-experienced IT manufacturers in Taiwan are also building medical devices. Thus, working with experienced manufacturers greatly reduces production and quality control risks. The panelists talked about “Design for Manufacturing” as something that is often overlooked by medtech startups – there is often a huge gap from prototype to final product, and the engineering work involved cannot be overlooked. Experienced manufacturers can help to re-engineer the product from a manufacturing perspective. Michel also mentioned that medical device manufacturing is all about quality control, and quality control should be built into the design from day one. Medtech startups should think of Design for Manufacturability (DFM), Design for Inspection (DFI) and Design for Assembly (DFA). In addition, Michel noted that it is becoming increasingly common for manufacturers to also invest in the medtech startups that contract them for their manufacturing needs.

The panel also discussed the fact that Taiwan recently passed legislation to allow people to collect fees from patients for experimental Phase II and Phase III cell therapies on a cost recovery basis. The panelists believe this will be attractive for companies that are planning clinical trials for cell therapies. Since clinical trials for cell therapies cost a fortune, placing some of the study centers in Taiwan may potentially save the company tens of millions of dollars. Also, Taiwan has some of the world’s most renowned hospitals and medical centers with modern facilities including GTP labs. The new regulation has already created a surge in clinical study plans by local and Japanese companies. Overall, the panelists mentioned that even though Taiwan itself is not a very sizable market, it may serve as an excellent strategic partner for global startups.

You can watch the full panel by clicking on this link!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: