The award ceremony and result presentation for the 2021 U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and U-start Plan for Indigenous Youth was held on the 12th and 13th November in the Huashan 1914 Creative Park. A total of 25 outstanding teams and their results were presented and recognized. The outstanding teams received NTD250,000 to NTD1,000,000 to start their businesses. MosAuto coached by National Tsing Hua University and E.Ko's Industrial Co.,Ltd. coached by National Chiayi University were awarded the highest honors and received NTD1,000,000 from the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and U-start Plan for Indigenous Youth, respectively. The outstanding teams would receive one year of counseling and training for starting new businesses and continue to put in efforts to start their own businesses.
The Youth Development Administration of Ministry of Education launched the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepre3neurship in 2009 by integrating incubation resources offered by universities, offering funds, coaching, and assistance for young people to start new businesses. Since 2010, the Youth Development Administration of Ministry of Education has been partnering with the Council of Indigenous Peoples to promote the U-start Plan for Indigenous Youth by using capabilities acquired from executing the U-start Plan over the years and assisting young indigenous people in using their traditions, cultures, and featured produce to execute and innovate their proposals to start their own businesses. There were 370 teams submitting their applications to the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and U-start Plan for Indigenous Youth this year. A total of 87 teams received NTD350,000 for proof of concept during Stage I. In Stage II, 25 teams were assessed and selected from the awarded teams in Stage I to receive funds from NTD 250,000 to NTD 1,000,000 to support their operation.
According to Dr. Hsuch-Yu Chen, Director-General of the Youth Development Administration, the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has assisted 1,111 teams in taking the first steps of realizing their dreams. Thanks to the assistance offered by universities and incubators, these teams have been able to pursue their dreams and grow. In addition, with the participation of new teams from different fields of disciplines every year, the U-start family is able to provide systemic support and coaching, such as entrepreneurial clinic, on-site visits, U-start Club community, and result presentation, and assist the teams in establishing themselves and continue their operations. Hopefully, these outstanding teams would be able to exert their social influence and drive socioeconomic innovation by making a variety of innovative proposals.
Li-Ju Sun, Director-General of the Economic Development of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, pointed out that the U-start Plan for Indigenous Youth has entered the second year this year. To her delight, many teams participated. She encouraged the teams to take one step at a time and use recourses for entrepreneurship offered by the Council of Indigenous Peoples, such as resources for starting a new business and subsidies for innovation, research and development, to strengthen business core capabilities and foster competitive edge for the indigenous communities.
The Youth Development Administration of Ministry of Education also emphasized that the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and U-start Plan for Indigenous Youth would continue to offer support for entrepreneurship teams run by young people. Those who are interested in start their own businesses are welcome to seize the opportunities. Visit the 4B section of the Huashan 1914 Creative Park to see the results, feel the energy for entrepreneurship, make pop-up books and play with cubelets, explore your career path, and understand play therapy. Let’s explore into your potential, embrace challenges, and innovate. For more information on events, please visit the website of the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship （http://ustart.yda.gov.tw） or follow the Facebook fan page （https://www.facebook.com/USTARTFans/）.