AppWorks Demo Day #27 Features Companies Spanning AI Marketing, the Creator Economy, Sustainability, and Beyond

Featuring 26 Taiwanese and international teams, AW#27 demonstrated the potential of startups in Greater Southeast Asia to build products for global audiences.

TAIPEI, TAIWAN, DECEMBER 13, 2023—AppWorks Accelerator today held its 27th demo day for batch #27 (AW#27) in tandem with Wistron Accelerator #5. The event featured 26 Taiwanese and international startups, including over 40% of teams led by serial founders, and 10 teams from Southeast Asia.

AW#27 includes startups led by 19 different nationalities, including founders from Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States, Japan, and South Korea. The batch featured startups building solutions for AI digital marketing, the creator economy, ESG, Web3, and legal-tech. The event highlighted the attractiveness of the Taiwan market for international startups, with many teams hiring local Taiwanese engineers and digital economy experts to fuel their growth.

As Greater Southeast Asia’s largest accelerator programs, AppWorks holds its Demo Day twice a year, welcoming investors and business leaders seeking partnerships with carefully selected digital innovators from across the region and around the world. With the addition of AW#27, there are now 532 active startups and 1,662 founders in the community. The AppWorks community now accounts for US$16.2 billion in annual revenues, creating over 23,000 high quality jobs for the digital economy. Companies in the AppWorks ecosystem have raised a cumulative US$5.8 billion with a collective valuation of US$32.4 billion.

“With the inclusion of AW#27, the AppWorks ecosystem continues to grow and permeate outwards. Starting with our base in Taiwan and into the Greater Southeast Asia region, we are seeing the global relevance of startups founded in the region for markets around the world. Taiwan offers a strong pool of resources and talent for startups in Southeast Asia as well as mature markets to tap into advanced technology and niche talent,” said Jamie Lin, Chairman, AppWorks. “We are proud of the accomplishments of all AW#27 companies, demonstrating that companies can utilize Taiwan to build for the world.”

Accelerating Creativity Through Technology

AW#27 featured a number of companies utilizing technology to transform digital marketing and build brands for the creator economy. This includes SoMin.ai, founded by Dr. Aleks Farseev, who is utilizing AI to improve the accuracy of targeting advertising campaigns, with major customers such as Audi, P&G, and Dentsu Japan; and Storipress, a Taiwan-based all-in-one publishing platform that provides a unified workflow, automatic site updates, and AI assistance to help teams write in a coherent style. This platform helps businesses create articles 42% faster, with IDEO being one of its major customers.

As brands build for the digital era, the creator economy has taken center stage, with influencer marketing becoming an important tool for brands to engage with consumers in a more natural and organic way. CreatorDB, the brainchild of Clayton Jacob, is a one-stop platform for influencer marketing, helping brands discover and engage with influencers, conduct data analysis, and facilitate advertising placement. CreatorDB has helped many well-known global brands engage with influencers in the Asia market—including Surfshark, Notion, and Acer. Meanwhile, Taiwan-based VGV Media Asia is a creator economy platform that enables brands to co-create content with influencers. VGV has cooperated with over 600,000 influencers throughout Asia, coordinating campaigns on behalf of major brands like UNIQLO, Tripadvisor, and Pinkoi.

Driving Sustainability in the Digital Economy

Addressing the large carbon footprints of e-commerce activity, there are significant opportunities for companies creating solutions for the circular economy to reduce waste and improve environmental impact. PackAge+ develops reusable packaging made from recycled plastic bottles and glass materials for e-commerce and technology customers, and has courted one of the largest semiconductor manufacturer in Taiwan and Family Mart as long-term customers, helping them reduce carbon emissions and support their sustainability efforts with a goal to replace 35% of disposable consumables within the next three years.

Building Superior Infrastructure for the Metaverse

Vietnam’s Mimiland has skyrocketed as one of the world’s most dynamic Web3 projects in the Metaverse—with more than 120,000 monthly active users. Mimiland is the world’s first Metaverse product to support more than 10,000 simultaneously online users, while protecting more than two million NFT assets for major brands like Sapporo, demonstrating unrivaled scalability. Mimiland assists developers integrate multiple applications, ensuring compatibility across devices and operating systems.

AW#27 Featured the Following Companies:

  • CreatorDB (Taiwan): Analytics-based influencer discovery
  • Groundup.ai (Singapore): Industrial AI solutions for machine maintenance and workplace safety
  • Storipress (Taiwan): Workflow platform for content marketing
  • VGV Media Asia (Taiwan): One-stop influencer marketing solutions
  • SoMin.ai (Singapore): AI-powered performance marketing and analytics platform
  • OnMic (Vietnam): Social audio content platform
  • PackAge+ (Taiwan): Circular packaging and ESG solution for enterprises
  • Oda (Vietnam): SaaS and financing platform for F&B
  • OrbitNext (Taiwan): Knowledge and financing platform for content creators
  • Walless (Vietnam): Personalized web3 wallet and digital asset management solution
  • FLH (Taiwan): Universal IoT smart home platform
  • Mimiland (Vietnam): The ultimate identity platform for gamers
  • Lawplayer (Taiwan): Law legislation platform
  • Flowclass (Hong Kong): No-code cloud-based application for educators
  • DataXquad (Taiwan): Marketplace for AI models
  • Jurist AI (Philippines): AI-powered research platform for legal professionals
  • Loudio (Vietnam): Interactive Jukebox app for social venue goers
  • Tricuss (Taiwan): AI-powered personal assistant on LINE and WhatsApp
  • Potioneer (Thailand): Booking management platform for private chefs

Wistron Accelerator #5 Features 5G Chips, Smart Factories, Environmentally-friendly Materials

Wistron Accelerator welcomed its fifth batch of innovative startups, demonstrating the powerful potential of cross-regional integration of hardware and the core advantages of Taiwan as a springboard to global markets. To date, Wistron Accelerator has featured 31 teams across AI, IoT, Cloud, Information Security, Education, and Healthtech. Founders have received personal mentorship from Wistron Group senior leadership, providing targeted resources to help companies grow and significantly reduce trial and error costs.

Wistron Accelerator Welcomed Seven Companies for its Fifth Batch:

  • MetAI (Taiwan): Digital twin and synthetic data for AI smart manufacturing
  • SkyREC (Taiwan): AI search engine for security video
  • Thermalytica (Japan): TIISA Superinsulation Materials for energy efficiency
  • ViewMagine (South Korea): VODA, AI asset quality and management solution
  • Ranictek (Taiwan): 5G/6G base station and satellite communication chips
  • Solano Energy (Vietnam): Asset-light renewable-power company
  • Touché Solutions (Taiwan): Robotic tactile sensing technology for manufacturing

 

AppWorks

Founded in 2009, AppWorks is a leading startup community and venture capital firm built by founders, for founders. We are committed to backing the next generation of entrepreneurs in Greater Southeast Asia (ASEAN+Taiwan) and helping them facilitate the region’s transition into the digital age. Just as how mobile and the internet completely transformed the status quo, we believe the current era of technology is currently being defined by major three paradigm shifts: AI, Blockchain, and Southeast Asia (ABS). 

As such, whether it’s mentorship, investment, or talent, AppWorks has established a one-stop-shop for ambitious founders willing to bet against the consensus and drive a change they want to see in the world. We help startups build disruptive businesses from even an inkling of an idea into world-class enterprises through our three primary lines of service: Accelerator, Funds, and School.

More information: appworks.tw

AppWorks Accelerator

AppWorks Accelerator is a launchpad for bold and ambitious entrepreneurs targeting Greater Southeast Asia (GSEA). Every six months, we take in startups with strong potential, equipping founders spanning all walks of life with the necessary resources, mentorship, and guidance to get their ventures off the ground.

There are now a total of 532 active startups and 1,662 founders in the AppWorks ecosystem. Collectively, all companies in the ecosystem generate annual revenue totaling US$16.2 billion, and have created 23,490 jobs (+0.4% YoY). Altogether, the ecosystem raised a total of US$5.8 billion (+8% YoY), with an aggregate valuation reaching US$32.4 billion (+3% YoY). The AppWorks web3 ecosystem now has 129 startups and 305 founders. AppWorks web3 companies generated revenue totaling US$865 million, and raised US$1 billion (+7% YoY), with an aggregate valuation of US$13.2 billion (+3% YoY).

More information: appworks.tw/accelerator

AppWorks Funds

AppWorks manages four venture capital funds totaling US$350 million, collaborating with investors who share our vision, including leading enterprises in sectors spanning technology manufacturing, finance, and media and telecom. We invest in startups ranging from Seed Round to Series C and fund around 20 to 30 deals a year, now with 100 names in our portfolio, including leading startups in several verticals such as Lalamove, Dapper Labs/Flow, Animoca Brands, 91APP, Figment, Carousell, ShopBack, Tiki, 17LIVE, and KKday, while having produced five IPOs (Uber, GameSparcs, Kuobrothers, Pcone, 91APP), four IEOs, one hectocorn, two decacorns, and five unicorns.

More information: appworks.tw/investments

AppWorks School

Established in 2016, AppWorks School has strived to cultivate a pipeline of skilled engineers to help our community meet the technical demands of tomorrow. Quality talent has always served as the bedrock of innovation, yet shortages still remain the foremost challenge that tech companies in GSEA face today.

AppWorks School has trained over 900 aspiring software engineers; 90% of these graduates went on to pursue successful software development careers in prominent companies such as Taiwan Mobile, momo, 91APP, KKBOX, WeMo Scooter, and Gogoro. AppWorks School currently provides Coding Bootcamp, Campus Program, Upskill Program, and Corporate Training Program with courses in several domains: Android, iOS, Front-End, Back-End, Data Engineering, Automation Test, System Design, and Blockchain.

More information: school.appworks.tw

 

For general inquiries 

Email: [email protected]

Event Coordinator: Angie Jeng | +886-982-005-566 | mailto: [email protected]

AI行銷工具強再進化 助網紅與品牌提升長遠影響力 ESG永續材料、省電5G通訊晶片成亮點

(12/13/2023) AppWorks(之初加速器)主辦的AppWorks Demo Day #27與協辦的Wistron Demo Day #5今日於台北連袂登場,來自星、越、菲、泰、美、日、韓等19個國家、共26組的國際新創團隊一起爭鳴。本次出場的連續創業者比例超過4成,許多國際團隊皆計劃在台落地招募人才,彰顯出台灣市場對國際創業者的吸引力。

AI融合行銷工具簡化工作流程   為人腦騰出更多時間發想創意

本次登台的AW#27共19組新創,當中有10組團隊來自東南亞國家。盤點本屆的創業題目,以AI數位行銷、網紅創作者經濟為熱點,另有ESG、Web3與法律科技等吸睛焦點。AppWorks董事長暨合夥人林之晨表示:「隨著AW#27的加入,AppWorks生態系持續成長並向外拓展。我們看到了在AppWorks在台灣與大東南亞地區的新創公司,展現出可進攻全球市場的潛力,而台灣為東南亞的新創公司與成熟市場,提供了豐富的先進技術資源和專業領域人才。」他進一步指出:「我們為所有AW#27的新創團隊的成就感到自豪,這些新創公司善用台灣的優勢打造面向世界的產品。」隨著AW#27加入,AppWorks生態系活躍新創來到532家、1,662位創業者。過去一年來,全體新創加總營業額達162億美元,創造2.3萬份工作機會;累積募資金額達58億美元,總估值則來到324億美元。

其中,來自俄國的台灣女婿法信夫(Prof. Aleks Farseev)打造的廣告投放平台SoMin.ai,聚焦社群媒體,由AI驅動分析內容素材與地域特性,提升定向廣告的精準度,獲得Audi、P&G和Dentsu日本電通等知名客戶的肯定。SoMin.ai的每月經常性收入(MRR)同比以2倍以上的速度快速增長,除了台灣以外,SoMin.ai也同時在新加坡、菲律賓、越南和英國擴大業務。

而除了數位廣告外,還有許多品牌及產業需要透過撰寫大量的文字篇章來與用戶溝通。Storipress即是為了服務以文字內容創作為主的產業而誕生的創新平台。Storipress的一站式平台能簡化品牌主的文字創作流程,不僅能根據目標客群的需求和品牌風格協助構思文章內容,還能依照不同社群媒體的格式,自動化調整文章內容並發布至相對應的媒體平台。使用Storipress的品牌主在生產文章的效率有效提升42%,目前月活用戶已破千,就連矽谷設計師嚮往的「終極聖殿」公司IDEO也是Storipress的忠實客戶。

銜接目標客群最後一哩:讓網紅直接成品牌紛絲,共創最具共鳴的影響力

看中網紅經濟的長遠發展,長住台灣的美籍創業者柯西杰Clayton Jacob建構了一站式的網紅搜尋、數據分析以及置入廣告的平台CreatorDB,主攻影音創作型態的Youtuber。CreatorDB強大的搜尋與分析能力,吸引想要打進亞洲市場的歐美品牌,包括Surfshark、Notion和Acer等知名品牌主與其攜手合作。CreatorDB自創業起的年增長率高達5倍,並在創業1年半後實現正向盈利,今年營收估計可達350萬美元,未來將持續打造CreatorDB成為網紅行銷的SaaS平台。

而台灣起家 VGV 圈粉行銷科技則是主打與品牌、網紅創作者共創內容的一站式策略網紅行銷服務。VGV 與超過 60 萬組來自台、新、馬、菲、日、香港的網紅合作,是 APAC 地區不容小覷的新興網紅行銷新創。由於VGV擅長與品牌主和創作者的雙邊溝通,因此共創的內容也特別能取得客群共鳴,並讓網紅創作者真正成為品牌大使,讓網紅行銷不再只是一次性業配,而是共生的長遠影響力。因為VGV在創造長遠影響力的優異能力,吸引了UNIQLO、Tripadvisor、Pinkoi,以及號稱「奶瓶界愛馬仕」的品牌 hegen 與之長期合作。VGV 表示,創立累計至今年已與 560 家品牌合作,預計未來每年的營收增長率將持續以 105% 成長。

ESG新創開發市場新藍海    越南元宇宙展現破萬在線用戶的驚人佳績

PackAge+則是本屆團隊裡一支獨秀、以ESG為主題的環保科技社會企業,聚焦台灣網購及物流的一次性包裝浪費問題,目前已串聯多家電商與線下零售店家,使用循環包材以減少每年超過8千萬件的網購包裝垃圾,並建立了4,700個回收聚點,護國神山和全家皆是PackAge+的長期合作客戶。創辦人葉德偉表示:PackAge+正進一步與台灣的半導體和電子組裝產業洽談使用循環性包材,期待從上游著手,在3年內取代35%的一次性耗材,有效協助企業降低碳排,加速綠色轉型。

而來自越南的Mimiland在當地有「最頂級的Metaverse」美譽,產品上線3個月內即吸引超過12萬名月活用戶,明年的總用戶數預計將達1,000萬。相較於目前多數的Web3產品,Mimiland是全球第一個可支援超過1萬名在線用戶的元宇宙產品,並同時保護日本啤酒SAPPORO等超過2百萬個NFT資產。Mimiland的初心即在協助程式開發者進行多重應用程式的整合,不僅確保手機、筆電、桌機等不同設備的兼容性,並可相容於蘋果最新作業系統Vision OS,展現出Mimiland強大的空間運算實力。

緯創加速器 #5 推動高效PoC落地應用:5G晶片、智慧工廠、ESG媒材

緯創加速器(Wistron Accelerator #5)今年邁入第5屆,精選的團隊更加展現出亞太跨區整合能力,實現許多近未來可預期的市場應用場景。本次登台的繁晶科技是台灣的IC設計新創公司,主攻5G/6G基地台晶片及衛星通訊晶片,相容於5G開放式(O-RAN)基地台,可直接協助電信商解決架設5G基地台的高成本與高功耗的問題,預估能替手機和基地台節省30~60%的耗電,不僅可替電信業者節省1年約10億度的耗電,還能讓消費者的手機降低充電頻率,最佳情況只要2天充一次電即可。5G/6G技術是很多重要應用的基礎,像是ChatGPT、自駕車、電子商務、網路直播等,都需要5G以上的高速網路來提供應用服務。

而來自日本的的Thermalytica是由日本國家物質材料研究機構(NIMS)孵化出來的新創公司,以超低密度、極輕且高流動性的創新型結構,打造出高效的隔熱防火材料TIISA,其中的奈米級二氧化矽粒子可間隔大量空氣,成本效益是傳統材質的10倍以上,能明顯降低一般建物、工廠能耗的碳排,符合現行國際企業ESG規範的國際趨勢。Thermalytica目前正在日本搭建TIISA試產線,並計劃在未來5年間達到十噸的年產量,並拓展到台灣和其他東南亞市場。

此外,長年深耕影像處理技術的SkyREC,以AI優化分析能力,為實體零售商家提供更完善的零售數據分析和安防解決方案,不僅能助於改善商品陳列、庫存管理效能優化利潤,不同行業都能透過影像或資料分析,解決產業盲點與痛點,確保店內動線流暢與店面安全環境目前IKEA、Timberland、The North Face等國際知名品牌都是SkyREC的合作客戶。

在智慧製造方面,本屆的MetAI宇見智能結合AI人工智慧與Metaverse元宇宙的兩大核心技術,解決在數位轉型中「資料」與「系統整合」的接合瓶頸,以「高度擬真模擬」以及「資料合成器」為製造產業提供能輕鬆導入的解決方案,加速推動製造業數位轉型。目前NVIDIA的Omniverse即是應用了MetAI的技術,真正實現智慧工廠的概念,不僅協助建構工業元宇宙,讓合作的工業夥伴可以輕鬆使用AI落地智慧製造的過程,並降低實體花費,成功為產業帶來極大的效益。

Wistron Accelerator #6 現正招募中,向AI、物聯網、雲端、資安、教育與醫療相關新創招手,入選新創由緯創集團高階主管親自輔導並提供新創PoC實驗場景、商模成長等集團資源,幫助新創大幅降低試錯成本。緯創集團與AppWorks攜手合作迄今已長達9年,雙方合作於2021年啟動Wistron Accelerator,由AppWorks協助營運。Wistron Accelerator迄今已遴選出31組團隊,累積許多亮眼的新創孵化經驗。

AppWorks #27 登台新創團隊介紹

No   團隊名稱           簡介                                                                         總部
1 CreatorDB Analytics-based influencer discovery

一站式的網紅搜尋分析平台

台灣
2 Groundup.ai Industrial AI solutions for machine maintenance and workplace safety

工業設備安全檢測與維護的AI整合方案

新加坡
3 Storipress Workflow platform for content marketing

為文字內容行銷者降低工作流程的AI平台

台灣
4 VGV Media Asia One-stop influencer marketing solutions

一站式網紅影響力解決方案

台灣
5 SoMin.ai AI-powered performance marketing and analytics platform

以AI優化社群廣告投放與分析成效的工具平台

新加坡
6 OnMic Social audio content platform

 語音內容創作平台與社群

越南
7 PackAge+ Circular packaging and ESG solution for enterprises

以推廣ESG循環包材的環保科技社會企業

台灣
8 Oda SaaS and financing platform for F&B

為餐飲業打造的點餐與帳務SaaS平台

越南
9 OrbitNext Knowledge and financing platform for content creators

為內容創作者打造的知識諮詢與財務平台

台灣
10 Walless Personalized web3 wallet and digital asset management solution

客製化的Web3錢包

越南
11 FLH Universal IoT smart home platform

IoT全球智慧家電平台

台灣
12 Mimiland The ultimate identity platform for gamers

為遊戲者打造的元宇宙殿堂

越南
13 Lawplayer Law legislation platform

一站式法律搜索服務平台

台灣
14 Flowclass No-code cloud-based application for educators

為教育單位打造的無程式碼課程管理應用程式

香港
15 DataXquad Marketplace for AI models

AI智慧模組交易平台

台灣
16 Jurist AI AI-powered research platform for legal professionals

為專業法律人打造的AI搜尋平台

菲律賓
17 Loudio Interactive Jukebox app for social venue goers

專為社交場合打造的互動音樂點播App

越南
18 Tricuss AI-powered personal assistant on LINE and WhatsApp

由AI驅動的個人社群助理 (LINE, WhatsApp)

台灣
19 Potioneer Booking management platform for private chefs

為私廚打造的訂位管理系統

泰國

 

Wistron Accelerator #5 登場團隊介紹

No.   團隊名稱         簡介                                                                    總部  
1 MetAI Digital twin and synthetic data for AI smart manufacturing

結合 Metaverse 與 AI 兩大核心技術,落地實現智慧工廠

台灣
2 SkyREC AI search engine for security video

AI 智慧影像分析安控系統

台灣
3 Thermalytica TIISA Superinsulation Materials for energy efficiency

TIISA – 更優化的創新型氣凝膠隔熱材料

日本
4 ViewMagine VODA, AI asset quality and management solution

結合AI及無人機的建築結構瑕疵檢測服務商

南韓
5 Ranictek 5G/6G base station and satellite communication chips

提供最具節能與成本效益之5G/6G基地台晶片解決方案

台灣
6 Solano Energy Asset-light renewable-power company

光電儲能能源系統服務商公司

越南
7 Touché Solutions Robotic tactile sensing technology for manufacturing

安全高效的人機協作解決方案領導品牌

台灣

 

關於 AppWorks 之初加速器集團

2009 年成立,由「創業者」為「創業者」設立的加速器,以及基於加速器發展的新創社群與創投機構,致力在大東南亞地區協助下世代的創業者,抓住數位革命的成長機會。正如同 Mobile Internet 帶來了巨變,我們相信 ABS – AI、Blockchain 與 Southeast Asia 是今日的三大典範轉移。我們認為,創造一個偉大事業的過程中,團隊是主角,而投資人則是配角,我們專注扮演配角,從種子時期開始支持有想法的團隊,一路陪著他們打造區域級、世界級的偉大企業。AppWorks 目前共提供 Accelerator、Funds 與 School 等三項主要服務。

更多資訊:appworks.tw

 

關於 AppWorks Accelerator 之初加速器

2010 年成立,每半年嚴選本區域最具潛力的新創團隊進駐。輔導新創團隊尋找 Product-Market Fit、幫助成長期團隊建立 Sustainable / Scalable Business Models。成立以來,從 AppWorks Accelerator 畢業的活躍新創已達 532 家、1,662 位創業者。AppWorks 生態系所有新創加總營業額達 162 億美元;提供就業數 23,490 位,年增 0.4%;累積募資金額 58 億美元,年增 8%;總市值 324 億美元,年增 3%。其中,AppWorks 生態系已有 129 家活躍新創、305 位創業者來自 Web3 領域,整體營業額達 8.7 億美元;累積募資金額 10 億美元,年增 7%;總市值 132 億美元,年增 3%。

更多資訊:appworks.tw/accelerator 

 

關於 AppWorks Funds 之初創投基金

AppWorks 管理四支創投基金總共募集 3.5 億美元,我們與認同 AppWorks 理念的投資人合作,其中包括科技製造、金融、媒體、電信等領域領先的企業。我們通常投資種子輪至 C 輪的新創,每年進行 20-30 個投資案,目前為止已投資超過 100 家新創,許多在其所處產業或領域中居領先地位,如:Lalamove、Dapper Labs / Flow、Animoca Brands、91APP、Figment、Carousell、ShopBack、Tiki、17LIVE、KKday 等。此外,AppWorks Funds 至今已有 6 個 IPO 案 (Uber、隆中網絡、創業家兄弟、松果購物、91APP、17 Live)、4 個 IEO 案,以及 1 隻百角獸 (Hectocorn)、2 隻十角獸 (Decacorn) 與 5 隻獨角獸 (Unicorn) 。

更多資訊:appworks.tw/investments

 

關於 AppWorks School 之初學校

AppWorks School 成立於 2016 年,致力協助渴望投身數位、網路與電商產業的人才,提供免費、實作、高效、與業界結合的紮實培訓計畫。成立至今,已培訓超過 900 位學員,其中 90% 投身於網路界,在台灣大哥大、momo、91APP、KKBOX、Line TV、WeMo Scooter、Line Taxi、Hahow、VoiceTube 與 Gogoro 等知名新創與科技公司擔任軟體工程師。現提供軟體培訓營、校園培訓計畫、在職進修、企業代訓等服務,經營 iOS、Android、Front-End、Back-End、Data Engineering、Automation Test、System Design、Blockchain 等課程專班。

更多資訊:school.appworks.tw

 

For general inquiries 

Email: [email protected]

AppWorks 活動聯絡人(含發稿後媒體聯繫): Angie Jeng | +886-982-005-566 | mailto: [email protected]

Why We Invested: Khanh Lê, Founder & CEO of Inflow

Michelle Lin, Analyst (林亭㚬 / 分析師)

Michelle is an Analyst covering investments and community building under the Southeast Asia Arm. Before joining the team, she worked as an assistant manager at Deloitte Financial Advisory, where she helped close various cross-border and local M&A deals successfully. Michelle graduated with a Bachelor’s in Accounting from National Taiwan University and received a Master of Management Studies Degree from Duke University. During college, she was the minister of student activities at College of Management Student Association and was active at the Pop Dance Club. Outside the office, she enjoys hiking amongst many outdoor activities, as well as exploring new things in life.

These days, if you take a look at your clothing tags, you’ll often find the phrase “Made in Vietnam” printed all over them. Over the past decade, Vietnam has quietly become a powerhouse in garment manufacturing. With a vast network of over 6,000 ready-to-wear factories, Vietnam exported a whopping US$44 billion in garments in 2022, ranking the third worldwide after China and Bangladesh.

Vietnam’s rise as an apparel production powerhouse took place while the global fashion industry reached an inflection point. Fast fashion giants such as Shein, Zara, H&M and the likes are locked in both global and local competition to get the latest styles to market faster and more cost-effectively—pushing both brands and manufacturers to completely revamp their operations, especially adapting digital solutions, for this new era.

Khanh Lê, founder and CEO of Inflow, saw these massive paradigm shifts unfolding and set out to create a company that would take advantage of Vietnam’s garment production prowess and address the biggest pain points that brands and manufacturers face, especially with the rise of fast fashion. She eventually launched Inflow in 2022, a B2B fashion manufacturing platform that bridges the gap between international brands and local manufacturers. Inflow not only offers brands flexible order quantities but also helps them reduce average turnaround time from the traditional 120 days to as short as 45 days. 

A hustling founder with a relentless drive to create

Born and raised in central Vietnam, Khanh’s upbringing set a strong foundation for her entrepreneurship journey, driven by the high expectations her parents set for her as the firstborn child to be always “ahead of the curve” and independent. Witnessing her mother’s success operating her small tailor shop, Khanh fostered a deep passion for fashion at an early age. During her college years in the late 2000s, Khanh established a profitable online clothing brand at a time when launching online brands was a relatively novel concept in Vietnam.

However, this modest success couldn’t quench Khanh’s burning desire to create and prove to her parents. Drawn to the transformative potential of digital marketing in fostering the growth of brands in Vietnam, Khanh joined Sofresh Digital, a digital marketing agency, in 2010. As a founding member, she played a pivotal role in building the company from 0-to-1. She was always the one who took on the initiative to launch new product offerings and develop new divisions. For example, Khanh built the content team from the ground up and rapidly expanded it to manage the entire social channel for 12+ Pepsi brands and 4+ Unilever brands, creating an engine that accounted for 30% of all company revenue. Khanh then moved on to building another new division to expand the company’s presence across 360 integrated marketing channels, keeping the company ahead of the competition. 

This journey eventually led to Sofresh’s acquisition by British advertising giant WPP in 2014. Throughout this experience of building things from the ground up, Khanh recognized the strength of her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for creating startups. Driven by an insatiable desire to build and grow, Khanh decided to leave her cushy job at WPP and returned to square one. In 2017, she re-entered the arena and founded NextFit, a personal training booking app.

However, she made many common mistakes that founders often make, from failures in managing co-founder conflicts to premature scaling. Despite Khanh trying everything in the book, the company essentially went nowhere for 3.5 years. Moreover, Khanh had to contend with lockdowns during COVID, which ultimately became the final nail in the coffin. The toll on Khanh was significant, serving as a costly learning experience for her first startup endeavor. Through this experience, she learned two crucial lessons: (1) for a startup to scale, the product must address real pain points in a substantial market; and (2) for a startup to succeed, it’s all about moving fast. Thus, she realized she needed to find co-founders and core team members with a shared the same mindset and northstar in order to move fast and iterate. While the experience may have pushed her down a peg or two, it ultimately served to strengthen her resolve to get back up and try again, leading Khanh to build Inflow.

A great founder-mission-fit for Khanh to take on the garment supply chain

Following a long-winded detour, she eventually returned to her roots and reignited her passion for the fashion industry. After interviewing multiple stakeholders in the space, she realized that SME brands were often struggling with an incessant issue: finding the right manufacturing partners and managing the supply chain efficiently. This problem impedes brand growth as inventory turnaround time is the deciding factor to brand profitability. Khanh then embarked on her next chapter and launched Inflow in 2022, with a vision to establish a platform that empowers brands to scale effectively. 

Paying one year’s worth of tuition in what would probably take the average founder three years, Khanh learned a handful of lessons the hard way, undergoing several painful pivots and iterations while also having only three months of runway left at one point. In late 2022, founders in Vietnam faced a particularly challenging market both in business operations and fundraising efforts. The high interest rate climate made fundraising difficult, and the economic downturn exacerbated the situation, leading to widespread layoffs and making it increasingly difficult for businesses to attract and onboard new clients. Khanh was not exempt from these circumstances. Despite these adversities, Khanh refused to surrender and demonstrated her strong determination to crack the market. 

With a three-month runway, Khanh quickly reached out to various industry stakeholders to collect feedback, including in-person visits with 100+ manufacturers and reaching out to hundreds of brands. These interviews allowed Khanh to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of both factories and brands. She identified that the most significant challenges for customers were the lack of real-time visibility into the production process, hindering decision-making and responsiveness to market demands. As a result, Khanh pivoted the company to become a supply chain management platform, while also introducing initiatives like ready-design catalogs to expedite decision-making for brands and live chats on the platform to facilitate better communication between brands and factories. 

Within only a year, Inflow has built strong traction, securing a network of over 150 suppliers and converting various international brands, spanning Singapore, Thailand, Russia, and beyond. But this is just the beginning. Khanh’s ambitions extend far beyond just garment production execution. She wants to create more value for brands and suppliers, ultimately becoming a truly full-stack digital solution for all stakeholders across the fashion industry. 

For Khanh, who has delved deep into the J-curve over her two-time founder journey, she is now all the wiser, equipped with battle-tested skills and earned insights while servicing an industry that she knows and loves deeply. Although it remains a bumpy road ahead, we believe Khanh’s vision and resilience will drive Inflow to great success. And that is why we have backed her.

At AppWorks, we are built by founders for founders, and our core mission is to support great entrepreneurs. We are excited to be backing Khanh and the Inflow team, including helping them tap into Taiwan’s robust textile R&D ecosystem as well as the broader Greater Southeast Asian markets through our regional footprint. Together with our ecosystem of 532 active startups, we look forward to supporting Khanh’s vision and accompanying her on the journey in becoming an even more seasoned founder.

緯創加速器第六屆報名啟動! 限額招募 AI、物聯網、雲端、資安、教育與醫療新創

由緯創資通成立、AppWorks 協助營運的緯創垂直加速器 (Wistron Accelerator) 第六屆即日起至 2023 年 12 月 5 日前開放早鳥報名,限額招募 7 家新創,向 AI、物聯網、雲端、資安、教育與醫療科技的新創招手加入  。

緯創資通董事長林憲銘表示:「緯創加速器如今將邁入第 3 個年頭,回首前 2 年的過程,與其說扶植新創,不如說緯創其實是和新創一起成長。」他進一步指出:「新創會面臨的問題有千百種,當中緯創所扮演的角色,像是新創的臂膀,讓緯創加速器裡的各種新想法,都能透過實驗場域激發雙向的回饋,降低犯錯的可能性,並得到更好的成果。緯創加速器成立的初心,是想幫助更多台灣的新型企業與年輕世代打造台灣新創生生不息的生態系統,對台灣未來及世界都是共好。」

在緯創由上至下、由內而外的推動與努力下,緯創垂直加速器 #6 將和緯創資通 (含 IIC 新創整合中心、CVC 企業投資辦公室) 以及集團旗下緯穎科技 (Wiwynn)、啟碁科技 (WNC)、緯創軟體 (Wistron ITS)、緯創醫學 (WMT) 等共同參與。新創不僅有機會進行 PoC,透過雙向的回饋激發更多創新,得到更好的成果。未來自加速器畢業後,也將成為緯創新創生態系的一員,持續與緯創集團建立長期且深度的合作關係。

緯創垂直加速器自 2021 年 4 月正式啟動至今,每年限額招募兩屆,前五屆共有 31 家新創獲選加入。緯創加速器秉持著開放心態不斷擴大與新創協作的領域,並挹注緯創在 ICT 產業生態系的資源,讓更多人看見台灣整合軟硬體的研發能量與實例。第六屆將限額招募 7 家,最終截止日為 2024 年 1 月 9 日,額滿即停止接受申請。獲選團隊將自 2024 年 3 月至 2024 年 7 月展開加速。

【歡迎所有 AI、物聯網、雲端、資安、教育與醫療科技的創業者,申請加入 Wistron Accelerator

關於緯創加速器

2020 年,緯創成立企業投資辦公室 (CVC)。2021 年,與亞洲最大新創加速器 AppWorks 合作,啟動了 Wistron Accelerator 緯創垂直加速器。這個平台透過業務合作、策略投資與結盟,旨在促進新創企業的成長和發展。每年舉辦兩屆加速器活動,限額招募 7 家新創企業參與。緯創邁向永續的關鍵作法之一,就是採取積極的前瞻性投資,引進策略技術夥伴,投資並攜手新創團隊。緯創近幾年已投入超過新台幣 100 億元,超過 60 家投資甚或長期經營的案例。更多資訊:appworks.tw/wistron

關於 AppWorks Accelerator 之初加速器

2010 年成立,每半年嚴選本區域最具潛力的新創團隊進駐。輔導新創團隊尋找 Product-Market Fit、幫助成長期團隊建立 Sustainable / Scalable Business Models。成立以來,從 AppWorks Accelerator 畢業的活躍新創已達 490 家、1,589 位創業者。AppWorks 生態系所有新創加總營業額達 153 億美元;提供就業數 23,999 位,年增 6%;累積募資金額 57 億美元,年增 10%;總市值 318 億美元,年增 2%。其中,AppWorks 生態系已有 120 家活躍新創、279 位創業者來自 Web3 領域,整體營業額達 16 億美元;累積募資金額 9.9 億美元,年增 8%;總市值 131 億美元,年增 5%。更多資訊:appworks.tw

Wistron Accelerator FAQ (For Founders Applying to Wistron Accelerator #6)

Wistron has been working closely with AppWorks since 2014 and is one of the major limited partners of AppWorks Fund II and Fund III. It also invested in MoBagel (AW#16), ANIWARE (AW#17), LucidPix (AW#18), and other alumni who have graduated from AppWorks Accelerator. Wistron and AppWorks have been working closely together and have a long-term strategic partnership, and launched the Wistron Accelerator in September 2021. AppWorks, itself a leading accelerator in Greater Southeast Asia, provides core logistics and operations support.

We put together some frequently asked questions for startup teams who still had questions about the Wistron Accelerator program after reading the information on the landing page. If you have similar questions, we hope you can find the answers below.

[Wistron Accelerator #6 is taking applications now!]

1. What outcomes does Wistron expect to achieve through the Accelerator program? What kind of support can Wistron provide?

Some domain-specific perks include:

a. Access to C-level Mentors from Wistron subsidiaries/business units

The most significant value of this accelerator is that the C-levels of different business units at Wistron will serve as your Mentors. Startups in the Wistron Accelerator can directly discuss partnerships and business insights with C-level Mentors at Wistron, significantly increasing the chance of collaborative success.

The Mentors participating in the Wistron Accelerator are from the following business units:

  1. Wistron Group (including Innovation Integration Center, and the CVC team)
  2. Wiwynn
  3. WNC 
  4. Wistron ITS 
  5. WMT 

People who have experience working with enterprises know that the CEO or C-level manager is usually responsible for the strategy, and their team is accountable for execution. Therefore, if you can directly communicate with high-level managers, you may significantly increase the chances of developing a strategic partnership, new services, and new business.

In addition, even though startups already have domain knowledge in their focus area, when facing different industries and large enterprises, there is still much to learn, including both hard and soft skills.

In the Wistron Accelerator program, Mentors take on the role to solve the aforementioned issues. During the accelerator period, startups will have in-depth collaboration and interaction with the heads of the designated business unit. Startups can further understand companies’ needs, plans, and insights, and learn how to work with large corporations effectively.

b. Exclusive PoC collaboration with Wistron

Startups running B2B businesses know that it takes a long time to successfully onboard corporate partners because of the different organizational nature and the longer decision-making processes. It’s very common to take a quarter or even more than six months to kick off a collaboration.

Wistron Accelerator has thoughtfully planned the schedule, process, and goals to speed up the collaboration process. The startups participating in the Wistron Accelerator will directly collaborate with Wistron’s business units or subsidiaries to come up with a PoC. During the program, AppWorks will facilitate the discussion and implementation of the PoC. Startups can develop the minimum viable product (MVP) within the four-month timeline and further discuss more in-depth collaboration after the program.

2. What are the important factors you consider when evaluating applications?

The application review process combines AppWorks’s experience in mentoring startups and Wistron’s industry expertise. We are looking for founders who continuously work on themselves and have a clear North Star in their founder journey, which we believe will help founders overcome obstacles and build up the product’s core competitive advantages. 

The following questions can help you think about whether you are suitable to join Wistron Accelerator:

  • Why did you start your business?
  • What problem do you want to solve? Why?
  • What efforts have you made in solving these problems?
  • How is your product different from existing solutions?
  • What do you expect from the collaboration with Wistron? What value can you bring to Wistron?

3. Is there a charge for the Wistron Accelerator?  If we need capital now, will we receive investment after joining?

Wistron Accelerator is an entirely free service for founders. We will not ask for rent, service fees, or any types of concessions such as stock, options, revenue, or profit-sharing. At the same time, every enrolled startup will receive a NT$200K subsidy from Wistron, which is not in exchange for any shares.

Wistron has been a bullish strategic investor, in recent years investing more than NT$10 billion with a total of 60 companies in their portfolio. In 2020, Wistron established a corporate venture capital (CVC) team and is actively looking into strategic investments. Startups selected for the Wistron Accelerator will have the opportunity to discuss further collaboration or investment with Wistron CVC, business units, or its subsidiaries during and after the program.

4. Why does Wistron recruit startups only from AI, IoT, cloud, cyber security, education, and medical technology industries?

Wistron is one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the ICT industry. In recent years, Wistron has been investing in R&D, tech innovation, and diversified product development, and has also seized on the growing trend of cloud applications. They have successfully integrated a multitude of hardware devices, software services, and cloud applications, and offer technical service platforms and solutions. During this time they have also expanded their business to new fields like education, corporate services, IoT, and medical care.

Through the Wistron Accelerator, Wistron hopes to share its industry experience and rich resources with startups, and to explore innovative opportunities by working on a PoC together. Wistron is happy to be one of the case studies for startups to test their B2B solution. Wistron Group also expects to develop growth opportunities for the next decade through this collaboration.

5. What stage of startups is suitable for the Wistron Accelerator?

We do not have a strict standard on the stage of the startup. But we do recommend startups that have experience working with enterprises or have a few proven PoCs to apply. These startups should be able to better utilize the four-month timeline and can reasonably expect a certain level of results from the program.

If you are still in the MVP stage and have not yet defined your target customers, we would suggest you focus on developing your product first, try to get some initial users, collect feedback, and iterate accordingly. Once you validate the problem you want to solve and know the core advantage of your product, that will be a better time to apply for the Wistron Accelerator.

If you already have a product prototype but have not yet established a company, we recommend that you complete the company setup process first. From our experience, it can help you onboard business partners and initiate collaborations more efficiently. 

AppWorks can provide professional accounting and legal services to help founders set up a company, whether you are from Taiwan or overseas.

6. I am not a citizen of Taiwan. Can you help me get a visa?

Wistron and AppWorks can assist international founders enrolled in the Wistron Accelerator to apply for the Entrepreneur Visa, the employment Gold Card or the Business Visa based on certain conditions. Founders from overseas can concentrate on their work without worrying about visa issues.

We will closely track government border policies regarding COVID-19 and provide adequate support as the policy changes.

7. While participating in the Wistron Accelerator, do we have to stay at Wistron’s office all day from Monday to Friday?  Can we participate remotely?

We do not stipulate work locations. Every startup will discuss the meeting frequency, and format with the Mentor on a case-by-case basis. 

If you need coworking space during the accelerator program, you can reach out to Wistron and AppWorks. We can provide free coworking space based on your needs.

8. The application questions are written in English. Will writing in Chinese affect the score?

Wistron Accelerator’s application has 26 questions, covering team, product, business model, market analysis, etc. It requires a certain amount of time and effort to fill out. We hope that by this design, we can help every team clarify their current status and the assistance they are looking for.

Filling in the application is like having a health check-up. Founders must think profoundly about their products, market strategies, team and the overall industry environment. Therefore, regardless of if you decide to apply or not, we still recommend you to carefully think about these questions.

We encourage you to answer in English; however, using Chinese will not affect the results. The most important thing is to express your views clearly. Furthermore, we also encourage the founder (CEO) to make a one-minute self-introduction video for us to get to know you better.

9. What is the difference between the first round and final round application?

Wistron Accelerator’s admission is on a rolling basis. Based on previous experience, teams that applied earlier had a higher chance of being selected. They could also know the results earlier to have adequate time to plan for the PoC. Therefore, we encourage founders to apply early to avoid high competition during the final application deadline.

We hope the answers mentioned above can help you clarify any questions about the Wistron Accelerator. 

If there are further questions, please send a message to us or write to: [email protected]. We will reply to you as soon as possible.

[Calling founders working on AI, IoT, cloud, cybersecurity, EduTech, and MedTech. The deadline for the Final Round is Jan 9, 2024]