The Small and Medium Enterprise and Startup Administration (SMESA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs began implementing its incubation policy in 1997. Fruitful results have been yielded since then. Over the years, over 19,559 SMEs were incubated, maintaining and increasing employment opportunities by over 36,1235. This led to investments and capital increase by over NT$175 billion, and assisted 113 enterprises in successfully going public (OTC).
Observing the experience of other countries, support for startups is not limited to a single aspect, and rather forms an incubation industry through numerous support activities. The integration of resources in various industries link together industries to accelerate cross-disciplinary innovation and form an ecosystem with a virtuous cycle. This is carried out in coordination with the transformation of domestic incubators to create an incubation industry, so as to create an ideal environment for innovation and startups in Taiwan. The incubators have thus become the pillar and leader of Taiwan's incubation industry. The SMEA began assisting incubators with this transformation in 2018; instead of simply providing resources, the incubators become a sharing and support organization for SMEs. The SMESA will strengthen its collaboration with private accelerators and fundraising platforms under the plan to develop the incubation industry, so as to help startups quickly enter the market. The goal is to create an incubation ecosystem that fully integrates the capabilities of each industry on the basis of innovation and startups. The SMEA has formulated a series of guidance measures, such as promoting incubation service features; dividing incubators into International Startup Accelerator(ISA) including Feature International Startup Accelerator(FISA), Technical Entrepreneurship Amplifier(TEA), and Local Enterprise Innovation(LEI); guiding incubators to focus on specific fields based on their own capabilities, so that they become featured, professional, and international. The SMESA hopes to thereby create an excellent incubation ecosystem based on innovation and startups, and utilize collective resources to develop an innovative Taiwan.
In 2023, the integration of the three types(ISA, TEA, LEI) of incubators into the Industry Accelerator Program(IAP) and the Corporate Accelerator Program(CAP) encourages large enterprises being in part of the incubation ecosystem, propels private investment in innovation, facilitates the growth of innovative businesses and enables them to reach global markets. The Industry Accelerator Program(IAP) aims to bring together targeted industrial resources and investment funds to assist startups and SMEs in their venture development and help them create market opportunities.
The introduction of the Corporate Accelerator Program(CAP) is designed to foster collaboration between startups, SMEs, and large enterprises. It encourages startups and SMEs to connect with funding and resources provided by established corporations. This collaboration not only facilitates access to capital but also opens doors to domestic and foreign markets, enabling startups and SMEs to accelerate their growth and expand their operations. This program catalyzes private investment in emerging industries and their derivative markets. It not only fosters the internal innovative transformation of large enterprises, but also fuels the growth of new industries and facilitates the transformation and upgrading of the industrial structure.