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The 2014 International Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum brings together leading experts to share their perspectives on new trends, helping Taiwan to keep pace with the rapid growth in business start-up activity worldwide!(Source: MOEA)

The 2014 International Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum, organized by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA), Ministry of Economic Affairs, was held at the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) International Convention Center on November 17, 2014. This theme of the forum was "Startup for Global Reach!", and focused on the development of the business start-up environment in different countries around the world, with the aim of promoting Taiwan's integration into this global boom in entrepreneurship and stimulating Taiwan's development as the first-choice location for outstanding entrepreneurs interested in developing the Asian market. The Forum also provided an opportunity for publicizing the series of events being held in Taiwan as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) under the slogan "YES Taiwan." GEW involves young entrepreneurs in more than 140 countries throughout the world, and seeks to encourage young people to demonstrate their creativity and innovation, and to make effective use of the resources available from both government agencies and the private sector to develop their own exciting business start-up ideas! For this year's Forum, a number of leading international experts have been invited to Taiwan to share their insights into entrepreneurship. These experts include: Tony Hughes, Creative Industries Expert with U.K. Trade & Investment (UKTI); Thaddeus Koh, CEO of E27 (Echelon), the biggest entrepreneur community in Asia; Ki-Chan Kim, Senior Vice President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) and President of the Asia Council for Small Business (ACSB), a regional council of the ICSB; Ayman El Tarabishy, Executive Director of the ICSB; Geoff Archer, Director of the Eric C. Douglass Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Bernard Chan, a leading Hong Kong entrepreneur and founder of the ALPHA Camp in Taiwan; and Calvin Lin, an award-winner at Taiwan's 34th Model Entrepreneur awards and CEO of MacroWell OMG Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. With this impressive line-up of speakers, the Forum had an audience of more than 400 people, making it a lively and stimulating experience. While giving his opening address, Mr. Johnny Yeh, Director-General of Taiwan's Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA), Ministry of Economic Affairs, noted the proactive efforts being made in many sectors in Taiwan to enhance the business start-up environment, such as the effective integration of resources between government agencies, deregulation initiatives, etc., which are gradually helping to create an environment that meets the needs of new businesses at each stage in the start-up process, thereby helping to encourage more people to set up their own business, and increasing the success rate of new entrepreneurs. Mr. Yeh added that the government would continue to allocate resources to building an even better start-up environment, and would be encouraging Taiwan's entrepreneurs not only to learn from other countries' experience, study how to utilize opportunities for new business start-up, and adopt international best practice, but also to make full use of the government's Start-Up Taiwan! support platform for young entrepreneurs ( and explore the potential of overseas markets, so that Taiwan can continue to enjoy a global reputation for its entrepreneurial spirit. During the morning session, Tony Hughes discussed the policies and measures adopted by the British government to encourage business start-up with the entrepreneurs attending the Forum, and also encouraged young people to adopt an "experimental" approach. Hughes stressed that any creative idea needs to undergo verification and exposure to the market in order to gradually develop a real "jewel" of a start-up. He also noted that the process of setting up a new business requires extensive communication between the parties involved; constant, ongoing interaction and exchange of ideas between start-up teams, mentors and potential customers is required to create meaningful synergy, and to make it possible to achieve success by building on the experience of others. Thaddeus Koh pointed out that Taiwan has a wealth of human talent in the innovative technology sphere, and that in the future Taiwan has the potential to develop a first-class environment for business start-up. Koh expressed the hope that start-up teams in Taiwan would start to think in terms of expanding onto the international stage and seeking to identify business models in the wider trans-national and trans-regional markets that can help their business grow, provide greater access to funding, and facilitate the development of different customer segments so as to attract more interest from consumers. In the afternoon session, Bernard Chan, the founder of the ALPHA Camp, encouraged talented individuals in Taiwan to focus on innovation-oriented sectors, and to use new thinking to identify new business opportunities. He explained that his goal with ALPHA Camp was to cultivate entrepreneurs with a realistic attitude towards business start-up. MacroWell OMG Digital Entertainment CEO Calvin Lin noted that Taiwan won 19 gold medals, 26 silver medals and 31 bronze medals at the 2014 iENA Nuremberg invention fair (the largest invention exhibition in the world), which demonstrates the almost unlimited innovation potential that Taiwan possesses. Mr. Lin pointed out that this innovation potential has underpinned the development of Taiwanese industry, and he encouraged young people to "dare to dream," and to work towards realizing their dreams. During the Forum, Bernard Chan led the other participants, including Tony Hughes, Thaddeus Koh, Ayman El Tarabishy and Geoff Archer, in a discussion of the current global boom in entrepreneurial activity, exploring-from both practical and academic perspectives-the advantages that Taiwan possesses when it comes to fostering entrepreneurship.