The Taidah Entrepreneurship Center celebrated its third anniversary on June 7. During the celebration event, eleven NTU startup teams showcased their products and several outstanding alumni returned to campus in order to talk about their experiences of building successful start-up companies.
The TEC's mission is to translate students' creativity and technological research capacity into influential startup companies and create opportunities to transform the nation's industrial environment.
Among the alumni invited to speak during the anniversary event were Legislator Karen Yu, who founded the company Okogreen and has since become a legislator; Co-founder and CEO of Greenvines Harris Cheng; and Co-founder and CEO of Pinkoi Peter Yen. NTU Garage alumni Anny Chang and Simon Ko, who have gained inclusion in Forbes magazine's "30 Under 30 Asia" over the last two years, also shared their experiences of starting up new businesses.
TEC Director and Professor of the Department of International Business Ji-Ren Lee stated, "We aim to achieve the following three goals. First, advocate and promote entrepreneurship at NTU. Second, integrate entrepreneurship resources from both on and off the NTU campus. And, finally, do our best to help startup teams acquire support and resources, and thus establish a sound startup community."
Since its establishment in 2014, the TEC has launched the campus incubator NTU Garage and helped develop more than a hundred startup teams. NTU Garage not only provides student startups with working spaces, but also connects them to industries and alumni entrepreneurs. According to Director of NTU Garage Yute Liu, TEC has secured the input of more than 150 instructors from various industries and alumni, who are willing to provide one-on-one consultation, networking assistance, and even investment opportunities.
Citing Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg's commencement address at Harvard University, "Ideas don't come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started," Director Lee encouraged young entrepreneurs to pursue breakthroughs continuously, sustain their initial passion for what they are doing, and not hesitate to launch their startup projects.
Legislator Yu discussed her experience of developing Okogreen and promoting startup programs in the public sector. Greenvines' Cheng noted that startups should select co-founders on the basis of expertise, connections, and values. He also discussed how to develop high employee engagement through competition- and vision-based recruitment when a startup is growing.
Pinkoi's Yen noted that the company has committed itself to expanding its international markets after obtaining an investment of US$ 9 million from Sequoia Capital. He described the uncertainty of facing the international market and shared how he conceived of starting up a new business. Currently, Pinkoi is the largest e-commerce platform selling design products in Asia.