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TSS at ventureLab Hardtech Mission to Asia

Updated: Apr 1

For the past two weeks, I had the pleasure of participating in ventureLab's Hardtech Mission to Asia, immersing myself in the vibrant tech ecosystems of cities like Hong Kong and Taiwan. During our journey, we explored various incubators, met with representatives from Canadian chambers of commerce, venture capitalists, investors, and prominent figures in the semiconductor industry.


Throughout the trip, I also had the opportunity to forge new connections within the Canadian technology sector.


Led by Hugh Chow, CEO of ventureLab, and Avinash Persaud, VP of ventureLab's Hardware Catalyst Initiative program, our mission spanned close to two weeks. Our Canadian delegation included esteemed individuals such as:


Raymond Chik, ventureLab Executive in Residence, co-founder of Untether AI, Angel Investor

Trevor Su, COO/CTO of of Powerconsumer Inc.

Jerry Zhai, CEO of MaxEpic

Linda Zedah, CEO of Epic Semiconductors

Kelly Luo, an Author, Investor, and Founder of Mans International

Noor Haq, Director of Partnership at ventureLab


And yours truly, Richard Fung, CEO of The Six Semiconductor Inc., an OPENEDGES company.


Let's take a look at some of our visits.


 

Hong Kong


On the first day, the delegates embarked on a visit to HKEX, Hong Kong's stock exchange, which unfortunately, I missed. Our next stop was InvestHK.



I later joined the other delegates in the late afternoon, attending a well-organized event hosted by The Canadian Chamber of Innovation Committee at the Google Hong Kong Office in Times Square, Causeway Bay. The turnout was impressive, with a strong Canadian presence in the audience. Moderated by Jovan Trajceski, a panel discussion introduced the mission of ventureLab and its Hardware Catalyst Initiative to the attendees. Each delegate had the opportunity to showcase their company to the audience.


Day 2 began with an early coffee meetup with investors and members of Radiant Ventures and the Hong Kong Startup Council, where we discussed investment opportunities in Hong Kong's technology sector.



Our next destination was the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Co. Ltd. (ASTRI), situated in the renowned Hong Kong Science Park. During our visit, we explored ASTRI's various technology focuses, and I was pleased to encounter a familiar face from my University of Toronto days. Following our time at ASTRI, we were introduced to the facilities and operations of the HK Science and Technology Park.



Later in the day, we visited The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), where we met at the Entrepreneurship Center to gain insights into one of HK's talent streams. Although brief, the visit was informative, and it was a pleasure to learn about the programs offered by HKUST.



Our final stop for the day was Cyberport Hong Kong, the second technology hub on our agenda. We were introduced to this vibrant Digital Tech Hub, home to over 2000 tech companies. The visit concluded with presentations from two resident companies, one a MedTech startup and the other an AI SoC startup. Witnessing SoC silicon development emerging from Hong Kong was truly enchanting. This marked the end of the Hong Kong leg of our mission to Asia.


 

Taiwan


The week of our Taiwan visit kicked off with a dinner hosted by Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) Taiwan at the night market. Delegates from around the world joined us, representing Canadian cities such as Stratford, Brandon, and Vancouver, as well as international locations like Eindhoven in the Netherlands and Finland. It was a fantastic informal welcoming event, and we extend our gratitude to the ICF team for organizing it.



Day 1 of our Taiwan delegate visits began at the 2024 Smart City Summit & Expo (SCSE) held at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 2. The event showcased numerous new technologies for city infrastructure, with a phenomenal number of attendees. AI and vehicle electrification were prominently featured, demonstrating a shift towards innovation in these areas.



In the afternoon, our ventureLab delegation visited the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Hsinchu. We were introduced to their diverse research areas, ranging from embedded systems to medical instrumentation. The simplicity with which their research was presented was truly remarkable.


The day concluded with a Welcome Reception at the Official Residence of Jim Nickel, Executive Director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei.



Day 2 started at Epoch's Garage+, a technology incubator hub in Taipei. We had a fruitful discussion with Josephine Chao, President of Epoch Foundation, and the Garage+ team, learning about their history and successes. Epoch Foundation's role in facilitating Taiwan's industrial development was inspiring, especially considering that some Canadian companies had been accepted into the Garage+ program in the past.



In the afternoon, we returned to the SCSE to support Hugh and Avinash's participation in sustainability and technology innovation panels.


The third day of our Taiwan visits held special significance for me, as the visits directly related to the work we do at TSS. We began at ASE Chung-Li, where VP Jim Li and his team greeted us warmly. Each ASE team lead went through their domain of expertise with details, answering any questions that we had. The professionalism displayed during our visit was exceptional, and the care shown by their customer care team was appreciated.



Immediately after ASE Chung-Li, we visited TSMC's Headquarters Morris Chang Building in Hsinchu. There, our delegation showcased the Canadian semiconductor ecosystem to the TSMC team. As ventureLab strengthens its ties with TSMC, we anticipate significant benefits for the overall Canadian semiconductor ecosystem. Thank you, TSMC team, for your warm hospitality and gracious welcome during our visit to what is undeniably one of the most significant sites in our industry!



To conclude the day, our delegation visited UMC Capital in Taipei, discussing the investment directions they have to offer.


 

In conclusion, ventureLab's Hardtech Mission to Asia proved to be an enriching and transformative experience for all involved. Spanning two weeks and traversing the vibrant tech landscapes of Hong Kong and Taiwan, the journey provided invaluable insights into emerging technologies, fruitful networking opportunities, and meaningful exchanges with industry leaders.


As we reflect on our experiences, we are energized by the potential for future collaborations and the impact our endeavors can have on the global tech ecosystem. With newfound knowledge, connections, and inspiration, we return home with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to drive innovation forward.


We extend our sincere gratitude to all who supported and contributed to the success of ventureLab's Hardtech Mission to Asia, and we look forward to continuing our journey of exploration and discovery in the ever-evolving world of technology.


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