The 22th APEC SME Ministerial and Working Group Serial Meetings will be held in Iloilo, the Philippines from September 21st to 25th. The SME ministers and high level CEOs from 21 APEC economies will be present together with more than 100 attendees. The Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) of Chinese Taipei, Mr. Shih-Chao, Cho, will lead the delegation to attend the meetings and share Chinese Taipei's experience in SME development. In addition, in order to promote the entrepreneur and innovation development in Asia-Pacific region, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines worked together holding the APEC Accelerator Network (AAN) Forum for Early Stage Investment on the margin of these serial meetings on September 21st, attracting officials, CEOs, VCs, accelerators and startups from economies across Asia-Pacific region to join together. Noticeably, this AAN Forum is also the warm-up event for the upcoming AAN Summit and Challenge 2015 in Taipei in October this year.
AAN Leading the Trend of Early-Stage Investment in Asia Pacific
On September 21st, APEC Accelerator Network Forum for Early Stage Investment commenced with the remarks by Ms. Mei-Hsueh, Lin, Deputy Director General for the SME Administration under MOEA of Chinese Taipei, and Ms. Zenaida Cuison Maglaya, Undersecretary for the Region Operation Group of Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines. In her remark, Ms. Lin firstly expressed her gratitude to the generous support provided by the Philippines during the preparation of the conference. She commented that in the age of digital economy and Internet of Things, technology is ever-changing and global competition is creating new challenges as well as opportunities for SMEs. The only way to survive and keep growing fast in a world of innovation is to embrace changes and entrepreneurship.
With the purpose on helping start-ups access accelerator programs and resources, the APEC Accelerator Network was launched by Chinese Taipei and now has 15 members and more than 50 accelerators partners. Also, over the past 2 years, the APEC Challenge, sponsored by Intel and Siemens, has successfully attracted more than 800 participants including 60 start-up teams from 21 APEC member economies and representatives of high-profile international venture capitalists, angel investors and corporate executives. Many teams successfully raised their next round of funding after the Challenge and go international. To keep improving, this year, the APEC Challenge will be held on a global scale with two pre-events in Atlanta, the USA and Iloilo, the Philippines. In October, the final of the challenge will be held in Taipei.
This AAN Forum focused on three key themes: "opportunities and challenges for SMEs in the digital economy", "early stage investment" and "start-up communities". In 2 keynote speeches and 2 panel discussions, representatives from Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines, APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Intel, international incubation organizations and prominent startup accelerators met together to discuss the opportunities and challenges that startups face in the highly globalized trading market.
In order to promote international business opportunities, 4 startups from Chinese Taipei, Our City Love Social Enterprise, Docceo, GeoThings Technology, and 5 promising startups from the Philippines (Slingshot & SoundScope); Singapore (T.Ware); Thailand (Exzy); and Viet Nam (NAB Data Integration Solutions) were selected to pitch their innovative ideas or products in front of these high profile speakers and experts, who will help the teams stand out in global competition and collaborate with their international partners. In the end, the team T.Ware from Singapore won the privilege to advance into the final round of APEC Challenge 2015 in Taipei in October this year.
The results of the SME Initiative by Chinese Taipei will be presented in the APEC SME Ministerial Meeting
The theme for APEC 2015 is "Building Inclusive Economies, Building A Better World" with a focus on key issues such as fostering SMEs to participate in regional and global markets and establishing sustainable and resilient communities for SMEs. Chinese Taipei will present the results of promoting APEC Accelerator Network and multi-year project on Business Continuity Plan in the APEC Ministerial Meeting on September 25th. A newly initiated project aiming on helping SMEs adopt new online to offline (O2O) business models will also be introduced in the meeting. Through these innovative initiatives and collaboration with all APEC economies, we look forward to seeing a prosperous Asia-Pacific in the future.
More information about APEC Accelerator Network (AAN) and AAN serial events can be found on http://www.apecaccelerator.org/