The list of the outstanding teams for the 2021 U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship organized by the the Youth Development Administration of Ministry of Education were announced on October 29th. A total of twenty teams from four categories won the prizes to fund their startups. The Youth Development Administration of Ministry of Education, the organizer, organized on November 12th and 13th at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park the award ceremony and exhibition to present the accomplishments achieved by the twenty outstanding teams. Hands-on activities, such as making pop-up books, playing with cubelets, career path exploration, and play therapy, were available. Visitors, especially young people desiring to start their own businesses, were all welcome.
According to the Youth Development Administration of Ministry of Education, the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship started in 2009 to integrate incubation resources offered by universities and offer funds, coaching, and assistance for young people to start new businesses. Entrepreneurship coaching for young people was divided into two stages. Selected teams received subsidies of NTD350,000 for proof of concept during Stage I, and those completing company registration were eligible to apply for subsidies during Stage II. The teams that passed evaluation won prize money from NTD250,000 to NTD1,000,000 to continue their operations. The Plan has been executed for thirteen years, assisting 1,111 startup teams in taking their first steps to realize their dreams.
During Stage I this year, the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship received applications from 342 startup teams, and 75 teams were granted subsidies. After receiving counseling and coaching, 53 teams, accounting for 70% of the teams selected in Stage I, submitted their applications for Stage II. After three rounds of selection, 20 teams stood out from the fierce competition, winning prize money from NTD250,000 to NTD1,000,000 to fund their respective startups. Among these twenty teams, six are in the manufacturing technology, 4 in innovative services, 5 in cultural and creative education, and 5 in social enterprises.
MosAuto, a team in manufacturing technology, provides an effective and Eco-friendly solution to mosquito-borne diseases. They decrease the population of mosquitoes that can be the vectors of diseases through biocontrol and hope to create a safe environment without concerns. The team won NTD1,000,000, the first prize of Stage II of the U-start Plan this year.
For innovative services, Morph Co., Ltd., a team focuses on oral care from Soochow University, developed a floss handle and electric toothbrush featuring dental plague monitoring. The toothbrush, with a simple design, is connected to an application. This product, a combination of expertise from different fields of work, aims to offer a portable and convenient tool for people to maintain their oral hygiene and effectively reduce the occurrence of periodontal disease.
CW.design, a team from Ling Tung University, participated in the cultural and creative education category. It presented uniquely designed components with a high versatility and flexibility to offer players higher degrees of freedom. The main product is common rails for pull-back toy trains. It is expected that the good sales volume will be further driven by the rail economy.
TTTEE INC., a team from National Taipei University, participated in the social enterprise category. It offered clothes collection service and studio shooting services to provide a new life for clothes and refreshing experience in the second-hand market. The team pointed out that each purchase would be a vote for the world that the customer would want to create. It hopes to lead Taiwan’s circular fashion further along the way.
In addition to the subsidies awarded during the two stages of the campaign, the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship also offers counseling resources, such as entrepreneurial clinic, on-site visits, and U-start Club community, to assist the teams in establishing themselves and continuing their operations. For the latest information, please visit the official website of the U-start Plan （https://ustart.yda.gov.tw/） or follow the Facebook fan page （https://www.facebook.com/USTARTFans/）.