What is it that motivates a startup to take a leap of faith and relocate to another country? Is it access to a larger pool of talent, proximity to their target market, increased funding opportunities or maybe they’re looking for manufacturing partners? Through initiatives supported by the government, Taiwan is working towards creating a startup ecosystem which ticks all the boxes.

A key component in creating a competitive startup ecosystem in Taiwan was the creation of two ‘ecosystem builders’, Taiwan Startup Stadium (TSS) and Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA). Founded in 2015, TSS have played a key role in connecting Taiwan to international startup ecosystems and never fail to catch the eye with their bright yellow in-your-face design. Launched in 2018 as a government-subsidized project, TTA operates as a co-working space for startups and accelerators, and supports startups in.

Prior to their move to Taipei, Diabnext had a team in China but were disillusioned with the results they were seeing.

“We were in Shenzhen and we had a lot of quality issues, especially with components. We had horrible surprises such as some products not working in the hands of patients, so it was a very simple decision to move to Taipei”, said Binier. After 1.5yrs in Shenzhen, Diabnext packed up their operation and moved to Taipei to start work on prototyping and manufacturing.

Quality issues became a thing of the past for Diabnext who have seen a marked increase in both quality and reliability.

Since moving to Taiwan, Diabnext have been able to prototype much faster and Binier tells us they have already developed four generations for each of their connectors in the last two years. “In Taiwan, the engineers are at a higher level than their counterparts in China, they are much more faithful and more engaged in their work. They are also more stable; Shenzhen can be a bit of a cowboy city”.

It hasn’t all been plane sailing for Diabnext since arriving in Taipei as Binier explains that they originally chose a luxury ‘San Francisco style’ open plan office but found it to be isolating to the point that it impacted on the team’s productivity. “When you’re a startup with your own office space, you can become isolated, your engineers don’t learn or share and it’s just not in their culture to ask for help”. Faced with this challenge, Diabnext chose to move their team to the TTA’s co-working space. “Just this morning we had a coding problem, we posted the problem in TTA’s Slack group and you ask for help from the community, this is wonderful”, says Binier.