A common thread among tech platforms in the world is the recognition that innovative ideas are nurtured best when they breathe and cohabitate with other similarly innovative thinkers. Like other brilliant feats, innovative ideas materialised through startups need to be exposed to opportunities for growth in order to harness their optimum potential.

This is why since 2016, COMPUTEX TAIPEI initiated InnoVEX, a startup-focused exhibition area aiming to help startups prosper with a full range of features that include exhibitions, pitch contests, matchmaking sessions, forums, and more.

The history of COMPUTEX

COMPUTEX, a leading global ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and IoT show with a complete supply chain and ecosystems, started 39 years ago as an export platform for their electronics and computer products. By 1986, the brand has transformed into an international show bringing together global brands like AT&T, Microsoft, Asus, and Acer among many others.

An important factor in COMPUTEX’s transformation is their context: to be a Taiwan brand and to see Taiwan evolve warranted evolution from COMPUTEX as well, prompting transformation that saw a shift between hardware-focused to a mix of hardware and software solutions.

Represents as one of the organizers of COMPUTEX, TAITRA, Walter Yeh, TAITRA President & CEO highlights that COMPUTEX encompasses the full spectrum of ICT industry, from established brands to startups, and from ICT supply chain to IoT ecosystems.

Because of its strong R&D and manufacturing capabilities and IPR protection, this makes Taiwan a strategic destination for foreign companies and investors looking for partners in global technology ecosystems—which is ultimately the thrust of COMPUTEX: to push Taiwan’s tech ecosystem at the forefronts of the global tech phenomenon.

The role of InnoVEX as a platform for innovation

COMPUTEX InnoVEXWalter Yeh, TAITRA President & CEO shares when it started in 2016, InnoVEX was able to gather around 200 companies from different countries to participate in its exhibition. This year, the brand was able to grow its network of startups to as much as 467 startups from 25 countries.

Domestically, Taiwan’s participation in InnoVEX has grown exponentially as well. This growth is prompted by multi-faceted efforts coming from different cities in Taiwan to promote the county’s startup culture.

The role InnoVEX plays is to make sure that the participation of these different startups from so many countries opens up opportunities for them to grow through investments and partnerships. With this, InnoVEX has around 500 venture capitalists and Taiwan-based manufacturing companies coming to InnoVEX to see what innovative ideas they have in store, and to do their part in nurturing those innovative ideas.

In a nutshell, InnoVEX bridges the gap between traditional, established companies and young, energetic startups together to collaborate and embolden the startup ecosystem and beyond.

Pitching contest and what’s at stake for participating startups

One of the highlights on InnoVEX is its three-day pitching competition. This year, the grand prize is a staggering US$420,000. Walter Yeh points out that this is a great incentive especially for young startup founders who need capital to access better manufacturing and distribution, and ultimately, to fully launch their ideas.

However, it doesn’t end there. By bridging the gap between the traditional and the innovative, startups have the unique opportunity to talk to companies invited to the event and strike up long-term partnerships. This allows them to further their vision and expand their network for any future pursuit.

On the flip side, government agencies and global brands looking to invest in innovation can tap Taiwan’s vibrant tech ecosystem. Picture walking through an exhibition featuring hundreds of new products and exciting ideas and knowing that together, you have the power to help those ideas flourish.

Why COMPUTEX is your window to Taiwan’s vibrant tech ecosystem

With the various efforts sprouting across many of Taiwan’s cities to push for innovation by promoting the startup culture, this puts COMPUTEX at the center of it all.

COMPUTEX is a strategic platform because of a mix of its international network and its grasp of local startup talent. Taiwan, a country famed for its strength in hardware manufacturing, now repositions itself as a multi-layered tech hub not only for hardware but for a combination of many things.

Taiwan is also a great place to explore new innovative products and services in AI, in data, and especially in gaming—which is gaining massive popularity among Taiwan startups. With the influx of these new innovations permeating the tech ecosystem coupled with Taiwan’s inherent affinity for hardware manufacturing, this makes the country a formidable force in the global tech scene.

With all of these in mind, COMPUTEX has become a catalyst bringing Taiwan’s energetic startup culture to a global stage and helping redefine Taiwan’s global stamp not only as a hardware powerhouse but as a vibrant hub for all facets of tech.