National Sun Yat-sen University
“A Class Cost 2.4 Billion Dollars”, the first campaign of “Entrepreneur in the South” event series host by Southern Taiwan Global Research & Industry Alliance (GLORIA) under the leading of National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU), just ended on January 25th. Special keynote speaker, Satoshi Sugie, the co-founder of well-known start-up company WHILL from Silicon Valley, shared his start-up journey. The event, attracted nearly hundreds of people, not only immersed the new tech and knowledge into southern Taiwan industry and start-ups in campus but also brings the close connection between each other.

The CEO of GLORIA, Richard S.N. Chang, marked that the future of Taiwan is “Innovation x Entrepreneur”. The trail balloon in Taiwan, followed with Han’s wave, is blown towards Kaohsiung – the city under the spot light. The “Entrepreneur in the South” event series is shadowing the expectation of “Sell Goods, Welcome People, Prosperous Kaohsiung”. Over the past year, GLORIA has often contacted start-up teams and found out that there are so many potential start-up seeds among industry and academia units. There should be a complete intermediary to match start-ups and investors. Currently, the great corporations in the world all eyes up merging start-ups. It is just happening in Taiwan but still not fast enough. GLORIA should be the platform between international industry and academia which cultivates the innovation and entrepreneurship.

WHILL, the well-known invited start-up from Silicon Valley is an enterprise which is famous for creating fashion and personal electric vehicle (PEV). So far, the total collective funding is 2.4 billion NTD. The co-founder of WHILL, Satoshi Sugie who shared his personal experiences in Taiwan at the first time, said that WHILL was founded in 2012 in Tokyo. Since then, the company obtain international prestigious design awards every year. WHILL even won CES Consumer Technology Association the Best of Innovation awards continually in U.S. The product was already launched and promoted successfully in Europe, U.S. and Japan. WHILL even became the benchmark service partner with Panasonic at Haneda airport. What’s more, WHILL team member are the experiencers from NISSAN, SONY, OLYMPUS. With fashionable design, PEV broke the old design concepts of wheelchair with IOT, GPS and multiple function such as phone connecting.       
To welcome 2020 TOKYO Olympic Game, Whill collaborates with Panasonic to perform an autonomous mobility service to lead the tourists at the airport in Japan. Under the title of PEV version of Tesla, the applauded product was already introduced into Taiwan. The wheelchair is not only electric but also all-wheel drive. It could speed up to climb on the slope and easily overcome the rough road. WHILL hopes that except for aging population and the handicapped, people could also take the PEV to explore the world. It might bring the revolution in human short-term transport.    

The CEO of GLORIA, Richard S.N. Chang, also mentioned that in 2015, the start-up base in Tokyo University has cultivated 16 start-ups which value 8 billion dollars gross industrial out-put. In 2017, Intel spent 15.3 billion USD acquiring Israel start-up Mobileye derived from campus as the eyes of self-driving car. In the future, it cannot miss the opportunity of GLORIA start-up investment. For example, the 7-day crisper equipment without electricity, the easy-removed tape without sticker, the products assisting slow-walking elderly. Should me miss the chances again? The trends keep telling us that industry and academia collaboration is a must-be path, and it should be cultivated as quick as possible. He emphasized that the mission of GLORIA platform is to look for suitable star-up teams to match with angel ventures. During the progress, except for assisting the start-ups to look for the appropriate markets and investors, the most important step for GLORIA is to assist teams to evaluate the international strategy, diagnose the business model and provide the suggestion on patent strategy and start-up planning.

Keynote speaker, Satoshi Sugie, the founder of well-known start-up company WHILL (the fourth at the right-hand end of the row) was invited to “A Class Cost 2.4 Billion Dollars”, the first campaign of “Entrepreneur in the South” event series host by Southern Taiwan Global Research & Industry Alliance (GLORIA).