Dragons’ Chamber Taiwan: Venture Capital and Angel Investor Workshop

Dragons’ Chamber Taiwan

Venture Capital and Angel Investor Workshop:

How to Secure Funding for your Business in Taiwan

www.dragonschambertaiwan.com

Wed March 8, 2017 7:30pm


UPDATE: SOLD OUT as of FEB 21st at 2:50pm.

**Contact info@canchamtw.com if you’d like to be involved in our next Dragons’ Chamber Taiwan workshop.


Location: Enspyre Headquarters, 12F, #181 Fuxing North Road, Taipei City

Tickets: Free

RSVP: Required

Are you interested in learning how to find and land venture capital or angel investor money for your business? Dragons’ Chamber Taiwan, which is hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, is an annual start-up competition focusing on foreign entrepreneurs in Taiwan.

The CCCT and its Dragons’ Chamber Taiwan Committee is teaming up with Elias Ek of Enspyre, to present a series of workshops this year that are aimed at helping entrepreneurs navigate the maze of securing funding for their ventures.

For the first workshop in the series, we have invited actual venture capital investors, angel investors, and foreign entrepreneurs who have successfully secured funding from these sources, to come in and discuss the real-world nuts and bolts of finding and securing funding for a business. If you currently have a new business or are planning to start one, you will definitely want to take advantage of this rare opportunity to hear from industry experts and people who have successful landed funding.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan's Dragons' Chamber Taiwan

Dragons’ Chamber Taiwan Speakers:

Kelvin Sun – Senior Associate at WI Harper Group

WI Harper Group focuses on early- and expansion-stage investments in companies with significant operations in China. The firm invests primarily in information technology, medical technology, healthcare services and clean technology. They seek to invest in technology-driven companies at early, early growth and expansion stages. WI Harper has invested in several companies founded by foreign entrepreneurs in Taiwan.

Nick Budden – Co-Founder of Vectr

Vectr is a free, collaborative, vector graphics editor, for both web & desktop. After traveling the world as a freelancer for 3 years, Nick decided that Taiwan was the right place to create his own company. Armed with funding from US investors, Vectr began building a team in Taiwan. Vectr is a free, collaborative, vector graphics editor, for both web and desktop.

Sean Moss-Pultz – CEO of Bitmark  

Enabling digital ownership of every type of data Moss Pultz has lived in Taiwan for over a decade and is now the CEO of Bitmark. In 2016, Bitmark raised USD1.7 Million from various investors, including WI Harper. The company enables ownership of every type of digital data, be it digital art, personal health location data, or a digital trust of your digital wealth.

Tero Aalltonen – Founder and CEO of Augmenta 

Augmenta develops AR solutions for smart-glasses. Originally from Finland, now based in Taipei, Tero is a serial entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the high tech industry, having worked in various capacities over the years, from engineering to sales, and from startups to industry heavyweights. Augmenta has already secured two rounds of venture capital funding, and is currently working on a third round of funding.

 

SBN – Common Business Mistakes To Avoid in Taiwan

The CCCT’s Small Business Committee (SBC) invites you to attend our next presentation and discussion night on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at Vinyl Decision.

We will have two foreign speakers, each with extensive business experience in Taiwan, who will talk about the most common pitfalls and mistakes that foreign entrepreneurs encounter when trying to do business in Taiwan.

If you currently have a business in Taiwan, or are thinking about establishing one, you won’t want to miss these valuable insights from these successful foreign entrepreneurs who have already been through it all! There will also be some time for Q&A after their talks.

And, of course, there will be time for everyone to mingle and network.

Our guest panel is:

Solomon Temowo
Founder and CEO of Playerium
Video Game Development Studio
http://www.playerium.com/

Solomon has been credited in key production roles on some of the most celebrated AAA game franchises during the past 12 years. Killzone, Bloodborne, Uncharted, The Last of Us, and Lego Star Wars 2 are among a list of more than 30 production titles that relied on his technical and artistic expertise, combining a total of more than 140 million copies sold/downloaded worldwide.

The results of his work can be found on a wide range of gaming platforms – such as VR, PlayStation, PSP, Xbox, 3DS, Wii, GameCube, Arcade, and Mobile.

Jim Edstein
Founder and Owner of Sports Traders TV
A sports media and sports betting company
http://www.sportstraders.tv/
Founder and Owner of Taiwan Satellite TV
http://www.taiwansatellite.tv/

Jim is a long-term resident of Taiwan with over 30 years of business experience in Taiwan. Having served in the Australian Foreign Service for many years, before working as an education and immigration consultant in Taiwan, Jim is now an expert in satellite and telecommunications businesses in Taiwan and operates a successful satellite-based sports media and sports betting businesses that provides live sports in real time to sports media, sports betting companies, and media rights holders around the globe.

He also own a teleport, hosting content for broadcasters and IPTV source hosting for clients in the USA, UK, Australia, and India


Date & Time: January 6, 2017; 7:30 – 10:00pm
Venue: Vinyl Decision; No.6, Lane 38, Chongde St., Taipei 台北市信義區崇德街38巷6號
Topic: Common Business Mistakes To Avoid in Taiwan

Admission: Members FREE, Non-members $NT100

There will be special prices on local and imported draught and bottled beers, ciders, and red and white wines for CCCT members, who will receive a stamp at the front door to show staff for special drink prices.

Seating is limited to 35, with standing room only beyond that.

We expect this event to be very popular and to fill up quickly, so be sure to RSVP early to reserve a seat! (Note that people who have not reserved via the Google Form will be asked to leave their seats for those who have reserved.)

You must RSVP at: https://goo.gl/forms/7kLhblE4oI7XMCo72

 

Dragons’ Chamber Taiwan

The CCCT’s Small Business Committee (SBC) invites you to attend our Dragons’ Chamber Taiwan event.

Date & Time: Saturday, November 19th 2:30pm – 4:30pm

The event will be part of the Meet Taipei Start-up Convention at Taipei Expo Dome.

This event will take place on the Pink Stage from 2:30 to 4:30 pm.

Venue: No. 1 Yumen St., Zhongshan District, Taipei City
台北市中山區玉門街1號

Admission: $500 NT – Please sign up at: http://www.accupass.com/go/dragonschambertaiwan OR purchase tickets directly from CCCT Dragons’ Chamber committee members: John Kellenberger, Elias Ek, Josh Yang, Sean M. King, Carrie Kellenberger and Alex Chen-Long.

Contact info@cancham.tw to find out how to reach our committee members for tickets.

Note that tickets are normally NT$1,000. Your ticket gets you into all of the events and presentations on Saturday, November 19th, including Dragons’ Chamber.

Taiwan has a vibrant and growing startup scene. However, it is still hard for entrepreneurs to raise the seed money they need to get started. It is even harder if you are a foreign entrepreneur with fewer family around and basically no chance to borrow from the bank.

Dragons’ Chamber will work to bridge the fundraising gap for entrepreneurs who need to raise up to NTD5 million. The initiative takers to this event are experienced foreign entrepreneurs who have lived in Taiwan for many years and who understand the challenges of fundraising.

Are you an entrepreneur ready to enter the Dragon’s Chamber, and make that big pitch for your idea? Then this is for you!

At Dragon’s Chamber Taiwan, the aim is to provide a forum for entrepreneurs to share their business ideas in the hopes of connecting with the right people to help them turn their ideas into a reality. The event is open to a diverse range of business models, from low-cost technology start-ups, to restaurants, consulting companies, professional services, design, import/export, light manufacturing, or anything else at all – as long as there is a legitimate business plan.

Our Application Submission Deadline to pitch your idea and present to our Dragons is now closed, but you can still join us by coming to watch how the event unfolds.

We have five excellent teams that have been coached, prepped, and are ready to present!

Organized by:

Canadian Chamber of Commerce of Taiwan
CCCT’s Small Business Committee
Elias Ek of Enspyre
Reach To Teach Recruiting
Business Next Magazine

Event Sponsors:

Our event sponsors have kindly donated the following prizes to the three best teams.

  • JusRegal – 50% of business registration for a new company
  • FutureWard – 3 months of co-working space membership (Futureward)
  • Enspyre – 3 months of phone answering service for B2C or $30,000NT gift card for B2B to reach Taiwanese customers

 

Branding and Consulting with Mark Stocker and Richard deVries

Date & Time: Friday, October 21st 8:00-10:00 pm

Venue: DV8 – No. 385 Fuxing South Road Section 2, Taipei, Taiwan / 台北市大安區復興南路二段385號

Topic: Branding and Consulting in Taiwan

Admission: Members FREE, Non-members $NT 100

CCCT members will receive happy hour prices on drinks.

You must RSVP at: https://goo.gl/Q0AUgL

The CCCT’s Small Business Committee (SBC) invites you to attend our next presentation and discussion night on Friday, October 21st 2016 at 8:00pm at DV8. Mark Stocker and Richard deVries will be talking about doing Branding and Consulting in Taiwan.

There will be few presentations for individuals interested in learning more about branding and consulting in Taiwan. Please join us, learn something, contribute something, and meet some cool people.

After presentations from our guest speakers, who are all knowledgeable and successful expat entrepreneurs in their field, there will be a Q&A and open discussion.

Our guest panel is:

Richard deVries, Managing Directorgeber

Geber Brand Consulting

Geber is an international brand consultancy headquartered in Taipei. We put as much emphasis on business strategy as we do on design and visual identity. Our core competencies and specializations are in the areas of brand consulting, digital marketing strategy, production of marketing communication tools, corporate films as well as PR/events and CIS design.

 

ddg

Mark Stocker, Managing & Strategic Director
ddg

Mark is a consultant and strategist with 20 years of experience in brand development, specializing in corporate branding and transitioning OEMs to Branded Business models. He has assisted more than a hundred Taiwan corporations in building global brands, working with clients such as Giant Bicycles, BenQ, Adata, and Cyberlink. In addition to leading his own projects, Mark also oversees all of DDG’s work. He graduated from UCLA with a BS in Economics.

Please note that most of the recent Small Business Committee events have been packed. Please RSVP at: https://goo.gl/Q0AUgL

Business Lunch – Developing And Implementing E-Commerce Into Your Business

Date: Wednesday, 25th of May, 2016

Time: 12pm to 2pm

Topic: Developing and Implementing E-Commerce into Your Business 

Speaker: Jake Morrison, Cogini

Location: Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) / 6F, No.1  Sungzhi Road, Taipei

Cost: Members NT$600, Non-Members NT$900

Click here to register!

Our guest speaker this month is Mr. Jake Morrison, Owner of Cogini.

For the past 10 years, Mr. Jake Morrison has been running Cogini, a consulting company that helps entrepreneurs and startups build products. He works them to define the product strategy and features, then builds the product, serving as their long term technical partner. Over the years, he has built dozens of custom e-commerce websites and mobile applications.

Cogini develops mobile business applications, combining mobile, web and personal communications to make your business run better.

Mr. Morrison is fluent in Chinese, and more than most, he possesses a unique understanding of the challenges faced by foreigners in starting a business in Taiwan. He will be providing a teaser to his full presentation on E-commerce at the CCCT’s Small Business Event on Friday, May 6th, but if you’d like to learn more, Mr. Morrison will be expanding his presentation on how to build an E-commerce business in Taiwan, how to leverage social media to your advantage, and the ins and outs of Taiwan foreign entrepreneur issues.

 

Note: No walk-ins. Advance registration is required. No-shows and late cancellations (less than 24 hours) will be billed for the full amount.

Working in the Education Industry in Taiwan (Event Recap)

A few weeks ago, the CCCT Small Business Committee had another Taiwan Small Business Network event, aimed at presenting some deep background and top tips for expats interested in starting an education based business.Tribeca Taipei

It was a really successful event, thanks, of course, to our enlightened speakers, and to enthusiastic participation by the attendees. Many thanks to TRIBECA for hosting their second small business event with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. We truly appreciate your support and patronage!

Our first speaker was Brian Hockertz, CEO of Oh! Study Education Group. Brian is a very long-term Taiwan expat, having worked for the Canadian Trade Office in Taiwan even before Taipei 101 existed! Going from heading the education department at the CTOT, Brian went on to open his own successful educational consultancy for Taiwanese students bound for overseas study, first in Canada, then also in the USA, and now worldwide.Oh Study-2016

Brian shared with us the distillation of his business experience in Taiwan, presented as points of advice:

  1. Respect your core competency. Stay focused and committed to the thing you do best;
  2. Go local, that’s where your market is;
  3. Keep clean books, because your business competitors will try and get you audited, if you actually start making any money;
  4. Standardize your operations as if it were a franchise. That’s called efficiency and it’s much easier to train staff in this kind of system;
  5. Be one of the top 5 companies in Taiwan the world at what you do. Be world class, and you will get customers;
  6. You might very well be copied, so keep innovating.

Thanks Brian for your business bushido!

Carleen's English SchoolNext Carleen Emma, founder and owner of Carleen’s English School, a mid-sized children’s cram school in Neihu, told us about her experiences starting and growing her now-successful business. And, wow! What a story!

Carleen talked about the financial tightrope she walked, the constant struggle with surprise costs and revenue slumps, and the big risk she took when she bought out a larger location. But running her business wasn’t just about money: She also very frankly told us about the tough times when she was teaching classes with her infant daughter strapped to her body, and about the deep connection she had with the local community achieved by protecting and educating their children, listening to their concerns, and being a positive part of the scene day by day, month by month, year by year.

A great origin story with a happy ending!

Thanks Carleen!

Our next presentation was from Bob MacLeod. Bob became a partner with Rick France, who is the founder of ACES. For those of you unfamiliar with the brand, ACES is the top franchise in Taiwan of a business model that was formerly called “hardcore foreign-run buxiban”.Aces English School

The model is of an expat-owned cram school hires (reasonably) bilingual foreign teachers to do very focused and disciplined classes where words and sentence patterns in English are directly translated into Mandarin. Each class has an aggressive pace, and the students’ mothers are often seated at the back of the room, helping to motivate both student and teacher. ACES teachers get quite decent pay if they build up their skills and class size, and stay with the school for many years. There are now 13 branches in Taiwan.

Bob’s talk was mainly about how he came to Taiwan with a strong background in education, looking for an education-based business opportunity. He found out about ACES, and partnered on a new school in Hsintien, which has become a success. Opportunities are out there if you are sharp enough to see them!

Brief takeaway from his starting a business in Taiwan experience: Always overestimate your expenses.

Cheers Bob!

Last but not least, Joel Laughrin, owner of Guidelines International English Academy, and Professional Support Leader, Asia Pacific Cambridge English, gave a great talk. Joel explained the benefits to all stakeholders – parents, teachers, students and schools – of having a professional third-party independent language ability assessment. Especially, of course, when that system comes from Cambridge University, a global leader in EFL.

Takeaway: if you can be involved at an ownership level in a respected global EFL brand in Taiwan, your business will likely have decent growth potential over time. Quality pays off.

Thank you Joel!

We look forward to seeing you at our next event at CODA. We have guest speakers that will be talking about their experience operating your own sporting business in Taiwan. Come and check it out!

Operating Your Own Sporting Business in Taiwan (Recap)

Our event at CODA on April 8th, Operating Your Own Sporting Business in Taiwan, was another success. Thanks very much to our expert speakers!

First, Kathleen Batchelor talked about her journey that took her to being a successful Taipei instructor of Zumba, a globally-popular aerobic dance exercise program that incorporates Latino dance styles and hip hop.Kathleen Batchelor

After dabbling in ballet and burlesque, she says she was hooked after her first Zumba class. After her Zumba instructor left Taiwan, she stepped in and took over the class, soon thereafter receiving her official certification as an instructor. She now has hundreds of students, and is well on her way to leaving ESL teaching completely behind.

Persistence and skill were part of it, but she claims her success is mainly based on Free Electrifying Joy! Anyone can succeed if they follow their true passion.

Thanks for the inspiration Kathleen!

nigelandersonSecond, we heard from Nigel Anderson, owner of the Scubar in Fulong Beach, where in addition to providing food and beer, he takes divers out to sites on the North East Coast. He starts his trainees at the Taipei Songshan Sports Center pool, a step he says is essential for safety.

A licensed PADI instructor, Nigel says that it was always his dream to be a business owner. So when he had an opportunity to buy the Fubar (a popular foreign-owned restaurant in Fulong), he jumped at the chance.

Nigel had gone diving in Canada’s Vancouver Island, Okinawa, Australia and Thailand. But when he first started diving in Taiwan, in Longdong, he was taken aback by the limited number of dive sites that led to massive overcrowding. So he and his crew went exploring and found lots of good coral – 32 new sites, to be exact.

Now business is good, and he has signed on with the big new Fullon hotel in Fulong. But problems remain: he still gets flack from fishermen who think that scuba divers scare away all the fish. And his relationship with his landlord went south when he asked for an upgraded electrical connection. However, his drive to explore has helped him bring his business dream to life. Thumbs up, mate!

Next, Shawn McClelland gave a talk. Shawn is a successful serial entrepreneur whose startup credits include Luxy, OMNI nightclub, the Green Room, and MIT English Schools. One of his big current projects is 03 Fitness Taipei, which has top-quality modern equipment and innovative fitness programs that incorporate boxing, kicking, yoga, interval training and more. o3-logo

One of Shawn’s main points was that selecting business partners is of the utmost importance. Not only is it essential to share a clear vision with partners, it is also crucial to enumerate any troublesome situations that might come up and have a clear plan for them in black and white. People can have a very different sense of fairness, especially if they are “sweat equity” partners – those who contribute something other than money, such as skill or contacts, to the business. If you don’t have a clear system for dealing with possible disputes, there can be grief, so always have an exit strategy.

Shawn also said that the legal requirements for owning a gym are quite onerous, especially regarding obligations toward clients. So get a good lawyer to write up your contracts, but don’t automatically trust them to do their best for you. You yourself are responsible for making sure you get contract terms that protect your interests.

Last but not least, he mentioned that it is useful to use group cohesion to keep customers engaged. Get some class spirit going so members will nag each other into not missing classes. This is good not only for your business, but helps satisfy your clients’ fitness goals as well.

Next, Tomasz Hasinski of Runivore gave a great presentation. “Eat Superfoods and Run!” is Runivore’s moto, and the company Runivoresells nutritious Chia seeds and Chia-based food products. Their company was created by three runners, who found that their middle-aged bodies weren’t up to the demands of 100k runs powered by burgers and fries alone! Like Shawn McClelland, Tomasz discussed the importance of finding the right partners and having a dispute resolution system. For them it is usually based on going on a run together after an argument! But they also have scheduled “airing out” meetings on a regular basis to keep things real.

He also emphasized the importance of quality: never take any shortcuts when it comes to quality. It took them a while to find the right clean and safe manufacturer for their Chia seed bars, but they did: one that also produced for Starbucks and hospitals.

The company is in the midst of expanding to Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. Good luck guys, and thanks for sharing!

Last but not least, we heard from Andrew Lunman, creator of CODA, Bongos, Forkers, and other successful restaurants in Taipei. This was Andrew’s farewell to the CCCT Small Business Network, as he is returning to Canada, and it was a sad one for all concerned. Andrew’s experience and community spirit has been a driving force for the Small Business Network. His last message was that it was a real pleasure to him to see so many expats with creative ideas. His final official words to the expat small business community, regarding any small business plan they might have: “Go ahead and do it! Do it!”

Business Interview – Clear Sky Communications with John Groot

Today we’d like to introduce a new interview series to introduce our Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan business members to the general community.

If you’d like to interview with us for our business interview series, please email us at info@cancham.tw with the subject line “CCCT Business Interview”.

To kick off this series, we have an interview for you with Mr. John Groot, owner of Clear Sky Communications based in Taipei.

CCCT: Thanks for joining us today, John. Can you tell us a little about yourself?John Groot

I used to be a journalist back in Canada. I’ve been working here in Taiwan as a trainer for 14 years. Last year I finished a project where I walked around the entire coastline of Taiwan.

CCCT: Can you tell us a little about your business?

We’re a small training and consulting company, a bit of a boutique business. We do customized programs that include business English training for teams with a specific purpose, like marketing teams, IT teams, sales teams etc., as well as some more interesting programs like cross-cultural communication. We also do writing and editing work, like technical editing, online articles, and also some curriculum design.

CCCT: How did you get started with Clear Sky Communications?

Well, I had been working as a freelancer for a while, and had a chance to do a big project for a major ICT brand. But I needed to issue them an official tax receipt, so we incorporated. After that, things just snowballed.

CCCT: Can you describe your customers?

They’re a pretty diverse group. I’ve worked for many of the biggest ICT brands, some less well known Taiwanese tech firms, big pharma companies, and lots of individuals. I’ve had some private clients who were newly arrived business people who wanted to get a cultural orientation to Taiwan. I’ve done training for the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei’s trade assistants. I guess the common thread is that they all have an international focus.

CCCT: Would you mind answering how you set your business up here in Taiwan?

I set up the business with my wife, as it was the easiest way to do it.

CCCT: Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? In the next ten years?

Over the next 2-4 years we hope to become one of the top customized training companies in Taiwan. Our plan is NOT to hire more employees, expand, and compete for market share with established players, but rather to follow the small team approach and go for higher-level training opportunities.

CCCT: Is there anything about your company that you feel makes it special? Clear Sky Communications Taipei

We really take the time to get to know what senior managers want, what HR wants, and what the trainees want. Then when we deliver the program, it is almost always very close to what everyone actually needs. If it isn’t, we can correct course very quickly. This is actually rarer in the training business than you might think.

We can do all this because the trainer, the training program designer, and the contact window are one person, myself. So I can get to know everyone and don’t operate at a distance from decision makers or end users. I think this helps us deliver a special level of customized service.

CCCT: Thanks, John. We look forward to seeing you out at a CCCT event some day soon! Good luck!

Business Links

http://www.clearskycommunications.tw/

https://www.facebook.com/clearskycommunications

If you’d like to interview with us for our business interview series, please email us at info@cancham.tw with the subject line “CCCT Business Interview”.

Event Recap: Working in the Entertainment Industry in Taiwan

Event Recap: Friday, 15th January 8-10pm at DV8 Pub

We had a great event a few Fridays ago at DV8: excellent speakers and solid support from our hosts Gary O’Connor and Stephen Hepples, as well as the entire DV8 staff. Thanks also to Chef Jason for the good food!

Our first speaker was Elias Ek, founder of B2B sales and marketing firm Enspyre. Elias talked about the Foreign Entrepreneur’s Workshop on January 28th, in cooperation with the City of Taipei Department of Economic Development.

The workshop (there was an earlier one on November 30) will provide a space for foreign entrepreneurs to share their frustrations with local government officials, in the interest of reforming government policy over time. In addition, expat small business people can also learn how to apply for grants and subsidies to start or grow their businesses.

Then we had three speakers who presented on the ins and outs of being an expat entertainment worker in Taiwan:

First, we had Mr. Brook Hall, Managing Artistic Director at The Lab Space. Brook gave the packed room a run down on his long career in Taiwan. He said it took him years and years to get comfortably established, and encouraged anyone interested in acting to contact him to get more info on how The Lab Space can help them. The LAB Space on Facebook.

Contact Brook
Email:bfly.efx@gmail.com
Tel:  02-28985382

Second, we had Mr. Daniel T, of the Foreign Students Club. Daniel spoke mainly about being a model and actor in Taiwan, and gave useful tips about working with agencies. If you are interested in modeling or the Foreign Students Club (which aims to help foreign students have the best possible experience in Taiwan) you can contact Daniel through the FSIT Facebook page.

Last but not least, DJ Marcus Aurelius described his journey as a DJ (plus writer, actor etc.) in Taiwan. Among several great take-aways was this: Don’t burn your bridges! He said that he had previously had issues with Frog in a Sock, but now they are working together in harmony. Take the long-term view and grow positive relationships!

After his speech, Marcus went on to DJ for the rest of the evening, laying down some great tunes for the convivial after-party. Want to contact Marcus? Find DJ Marcus Aurelius on Facebook or email him at DJMarcusA@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for more fun and useful events by the CCCT Small Business Committee!

Photographer: Josh Yang – Visit the CCCT Small Business Network Facebook album for event photos.