《RESULTS FROM MAPPING THE TECH-ENABLED ENTREPRENEURSHIP COMMUNITY IN TAIPEI》
What is the current state of the entrepreneurship community for tech-enabled companies in Taipei?
Seventy-four percent of interviewed founders considered networks to be essential to becoming a successful entrepreneur in Taipei, more than intelligence or hard work.
1. Taipei has become a global center of excellence for tech education over recent decades.
According to the QS World University Rankings, Taipei was the world’s 17th best student city in 2019, and its position in world rankings keeps improving. Seven of the world’s top universities are in Taipei, and together, they graduate approximately 10,000 computer scientists a year. 14 It also ranks high (30th) in the employability of its university graduates, while tuition fees are comparatively affordable. As a result, the high quality of local talent was the
top-rated advantage for starting a company in Taipei among interviewed entrepreneurs.
The talent pool has also attracted foreign companies to the community, in part because engineer salaries are significantly lower there than in developed markets. According to Glassdoor, the average engineer salary is TWD 800,000, or about USD 26,000. In 2018, Amazon established a new innovation center in Taipei, and Google announced plans to train 5,000 machine learning experts.
2. The majority of tech entrepreneursare “boomerang” entrepreneurs whohave worked or studied abroad.
The prevalence of returnees among tech entrepreneurs in Taipei is higher than in any other tech ecosystem Endeavor Insight has previously researched. Over 52 percent of the entrepreneursand over 67 percent of supportorganization leaders and investors are“boomerangs”who had work or studyexperience abroad and returned toTaipei.
Taipei is often cited as an example of beneficial “brain circulation,” wheretalented individuals leave to gain global experience and later return, as opposed to the better known brain drain that emerging economies often struggle with, where individuals leave and don’t come back. Taiwanese graduates often pursue opportunities at U.S. schools and universities, especially in California. When they are ready to return, Taiwan has clear advantages over the United States for tech founders. There is an abundance of government-sponsored capital for startups, and highly trained engineers available at lower wages than the global average.
The most common career path among boomerang founders included a STEM degree, often from a Taipei institution, followed by work experience at a tech company in Taipei, and a graduate
degree in the United States. Over 75 percent of boomerang entrepreneurs had experience in STEM and about 60 percent graduated from a Taiwanese university. About a third had experience at a Fortune 500 company.
3. There is a high prevalence of high tech innovation.
Specific policies to encourage high-tech innovation like artificial intelligence, and the consistent investments in engineering talent have helped foster an unusually high proportion of high-tech companies in Taipei. Nearly half (118 of 250) of tech-enabled companies fell in the category of high-tech companies, meaning that they used advanced technologies in their production or services versus consumer-facing or e-commerce solutions, which tend to represent the majority of new tech companies in other ecosystems.
High-tech firms are operating in 3D printing, augmented reality, virtual reality, biotech, biometrics, cybersecurity, electronic hardware, internet of things, machine learning, microwave technologies, and other fields that require teams of scientists or other talent with advanced degrees.
全球頂尖大學中,有七所位於台北。台北更在大學畢業生就業力排行榜中名列前茅 (第 30 名),學費也相對便宜許多。因此,受訪創業家認為在台北創業的關鍵優勢之一是高素質的在地人才。
優質人才庫吸引了許多外籍公司來到台北,尤其因為工程師薪資相較其他成熟市場低了許多。根據職缺評價網 Glassfoor,工程師平均薪資為 800,000 台幣,約當 26,000 美元。2018年,亞馬遜在台北成立新創新中心,Google 也宣布要在台灣培育 5,000 名機器學習專家。
台北科技創業家中自海外歸國的比例高於 Endeavor Insight 先前研究過的任何科技生態圈。超過 52% 的創業家與超過 67% 的創育組織領導者及投資人都是曾在海外就業或求學後,再回到台北的「回流型」人才。
台北常被引用為有價值「人才流動」的典範。人才赴外累積國際經驗後回國,而不是一去不復返,造成新興經濟體常面臨的人才外流困境。台灣畢業生通常會在美國 (尤其是加州) 大專院校繼續深造、尋覓機會。這些準科技創業家準備歸國時,台灣相較於美國有幾個明顯的優勢。除了政府提供豐沛的新創資金,還能以低於全球平均的薪資水準聘用高素質工程師。
這類回流型創業家通常會在台北的學校取得理工科學位,之後在台北的科技公司任職,並赴美取得碩士學位。超過 75% 的回流型創業家都有理工科學經歷,且約 60% 都自台灣的大學畢業。大約三分之一曾在《財星》(Fortune) 雜誌全球 500 大企業任職。
鼓勵 AI 等高科技創新的特定政策,以及對於工程人才的穩定投資,讓今日台北高科技公司的比
例意外地高。近半數 (250 家中118 家) 科技驅動型公司屬於高科技公司,亦即其將先進科技用於製造或服務,而非打造消費者端或電商解決方案,後者是其他生態圈多數的新科技公司型態。
高科技公司的主要領域為 3D 列印、AR/VR、生物科技、生物辨識、資安、電子產品、物聯網、機器學習、微波技術,以及其他需要科學家團隊或其他高等學歷人才的領域。