Israeli startups finding it tougher to raise money during the Covid-19 crisis can now look to Taiwan for assistance. Innovation to Industry (i2i), a Taiwan-based innovation company, is funding an incubator program dubbed “IP2 LaunchPad” that includes $70 million earmarked just for Israeli startups.
The program was launched in March – specifically during the pandemic, i2i notes – and has already selected 25 early-stage Israeli companies to participate. Each startup will have access to investments of $200,000 in the first phase, rising to $3 million by the end of the program.
Sixty percent of the Israeli startups in the IP2 LaunchPad program are in the field of digital healthcare and one-quarter are in cybersecurity. Eight have already signed strategic cooperation agreements with partners in the program, covering piloting, feasibility studies and clinical tests.
Dr. Gary Gong, chairman of i2i, initiated the program following several visits to Israel over recent years. The program will be operated in Israel by Rani Shifron, CEO of the Israeli strategy and investment advisory firm Healthier Globe.
The emphasis on health in the age of corona is deliberate. Ho Chin-Tsang, a director general at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan, pointed out that Taiwan’s healthcare system, which has been one of the world leaders in effectively battling Covid-19, “will advance the development of each of the parties.”
Israeli startups in the program will receive an office and living quarters in Taiwan for a year, as well as reduced tax payments on any income generated in the country. IP2 LaunchPad will operate out of The Startup Terrace in Taipei, a coworking space and ecosystem that includes 106 entrepreneurs from 11 countries.
The board of directors of IP2 LaunchPad includes Taiwanese executives from Acer, Advantech, SYSCOM and Taipei Medical University.
“The board members and partners in the program are committed to helping and accelerating cooperation, even in the shadow of the corona,” the groups said in a statement.
A secondary goal of the program is to establish the Asian Business and Innovation Center in Taiwan enabling Israeli companies to accelerate their entry into East Asian markets.
Click here to see full descriptions of the 25 Israeli startups in IP2 LaunchPad.