By Tatiana Ho
December 17, 2015 marked the day for the Taiwan-US Innovation Workshop of 2015 organized by Investment and Trade Office of TECO, TAP-NY (Taiwanese American Professionals). Opening with a selection of three speakers, the day was filled with successful entrepreneurs and their advice to others that wanted to follow the same suit. The importance stressed on education on the island of Taiwan is what is said to make it one of the most Innovative Islands in the world. Taiwan is a prime example of how higher education equates to the advancement in economic development, being that the island produces many successful business men and women. The conference hosted speakers from different areas of innovation representing the Taiwanese name all geared to help the next generation succeed in their goals. Theses speakers were made up of CCNY spokesperson Andy Holt, Vayner Capital Representative Shawn Cheng, and Adventech Corporation founder Yuhmin Hwang.
CCNY (The City College of New York) Representative Andy Holt came to the stage to speak about the CCNY program titled Zahn; a program that provides opportunities for ideas of the students to grow into business start ups. Zahn is for all CCNY colleges, reaching to about 27 campuses and 200,000 students. Holt explained that the CCNY system is the most divers of its kind, hosting above 190 separate languages, and that it is important students are given equal opportunities for greatness. The Zahn center serves as a business incubator for students, keeping them involved through competitions and informational meetings. They also host a “boot camp” that is used to give the competitors advice from successful business men and women and more information on what to do to gain funds for their company. The last step is competing for funds for your start up company. The Zahn Center creates businesses from ideas, giving ample opportunities for college student to flourish in the near future.
Shawn Cheng, Principal at Vayner Capital, Gary Vaynerchuk’s venture capital firm, the second speaker at the Taiwan-US Innovation Workshop, used his presentation to speak on his own personal experiences as an venture capitalist. With previous work speaking to 3,000 companies, Cheng made sure to state that anyone is able to become successful at this day and age with perseverance. He also mentioned that it is important to talk to companies directly and articulate ideas. Cheng believes that you can get any support you need by networking and being able to sell your product. The young venture capitalist left the stage with three points to keep in mind. First, people won’t remember exactly what you stated to them when selling you product but they will remember how you made them feel. Second, make sure to use CRM (a customer relationship to media). And third, to utilize the free websites that give you information on how to successfully sell a product such as crunchspace.
The night ended with the wisdom from Advantech and AAEON Electronics founder Yuhmin Hwang. Hwang opened the talk with a graph showing three important words in a cycle with each other: Value, Profit, and Business Opportunity. What value will you idea offer is an important question because it answers whether the invention is in demand or not. For example, new technological advances where created due to a need for the items. Inventions such as the GPS and Wireless Internet were made because people where searching for an easier way to complete tasks; there was a demand for more efficient products, and that is why these advancements were successful. New ideas will always be faced with opposition to them. Expensive ideas, especially, will be put down almost instantly because the cost of production. This leads to profit. If there is value in your product, there will be profit made off of it. The success of an idea comes from the need for it. Once these two are in place, inventors are left with a business opportunity. When there is a well thought out plan to an idea, there will be success. Hwang made sure to state that obstacles may seem too great to overcome, but to persevere. Overcoming obstacles is what separates successful business men from every day people with ideas.
Last was game innovator Allen Yu of Striker Tactics, who spoke about his project for a new aspect in the gaming universe. The Mystery game is based in the Chateau Tussaud resort with the main characters all being tourists. According to a curse called the Moonequin, a demon curses visitors to turn into mannequins. The online multiplayer thriller gives you the chance to play as one of the tourists and reverse the curse. The game is not all heroes however, on of the players embodies the demon whose goal is to transform the whole island with villagers. The goal of the game is collect the soul of the mannequin-ed tourists by photographing them. Play online to see who will save the island!