Taipei, An ecosystem that provides the necessary coaching, networking and other resources for startups is key to helping startups become successful and creating an innovation-driven economy, the CEO of France's largest incubator said Monday.
Raouti Chehih, CEO of EuraTechnologies, an economic center dedicated to information and communication technologies (ICT) in Lille, France, said the ecosystem it has built locally has created 5,000 jobs and emerged as the model of a national campaign.
"We are making a new generation of leaders," Chehih told CNA in an exclusive interview, stressing that the right strategy, using both bottom-up and top-down efforts, could sustain the industry.
Originally financed solely by Lille authorities, EuraTechnologies is the largest startup incubator in France, accommodating about 300 companies that are focused on such areas as the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital design, said Chehih, who also heads Adoption and Tech Evangelisation at French IoT giant Sigfox.
The ecosystem comprises a wide array of stakeholders, including startups at various stages, labs, research centers and funding organizations, he said.
"The goal is to support IT companies from the region and encourage the transfer of technologies," Chehih said.
EuraTechnologies is also partnering with Stanford University in the United States so its startup tenants can study there to gain global experience.
Founded in 2009, EuraTechnologies has enjoyed the support of big companies such as Microsoft and Cisco as backbones of innovation, and those big companies in turn coach and mentor startups while also selling products or services through them, according to Chehih.
Its overall ecosystem model has proven so successful that it has become the model for a nationwide campaign called "French Tech," Chehih said.
Established in 2014, French Tech accredits cities with unique fields of startups to help with their development by linking public and private as well as domestic and overseas stakeholders.
Chehih said he thinks Taiwan's government is on the right track as it is aware of the economy created by startups and launching initiatives.
What the government should do, he said, is to identify obstacles that prevent startups from thriving and draft policies to change the situation and provide financing tools, among others.
President Tsai Ing-wen (???) has actively promoted young adult startups at home and called for international enterprises to use the country as a base for launching innovative startups.
The focus for Taiwan now, Chehih suggested, is to keep its talented people at home and provide them with good incentives to boost the momentum.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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