Wistron Accelerator FAQ (for Founders Applying to Wistron Accelerator #2)

Wistron has been closely working with AppWorks since 2014. Wistron is one of the major limited partners of AppWorks Fund II and Fund III. It also invested in MoBagel (AW#16), ANIWARE (AW#17) and 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 #2 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 the partnership with C-level managers at Wistron, significantly increasing the chance of collaborative success.

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, C-levels of different business units 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 organization nature and the longer decision-making processes. It’s very common to take a quarter or even more than half a year 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 six 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. We believe it helps people 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 six 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?

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

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Taiwanese government currently does not allow foreigners without a residence permit to enter Taiwan. AppWorks will closely track the government policies 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 before Covid-19 restrictions are lifted?

We do not stipulate work locations, so you don’t have to stay at Wistron all day. Every startup will discuss the meeting frequency, office location, and meeting format with the designated business units or subsidiaries on a case-by-case basis. 

If you need coworking space during the accelerator program, you can reach out to AppWorks or Wistron. 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 24 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 second 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 during the program. Therefore, we encourage founders to apply early to avoid the 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: a@appworks.tw. We will reply to you as soon as possible.

[Calling founders working on AI, IoT, cloud, cybersecurity, EduTech, and MedTech. Deadline for the Final Round is January 4, 2022]

AppWorks Accelerator FAQ 創業者常見問題回覆 (為 AW#24 申請團隊準備)

AppWorks Accelerator 在 2010 年由 Jamie 林之晨等創業者、為創業者所成立。每半年招募一屆,對象是來自台灣、東南亞與世界各地的網路創業者。成立 10 年多以來,總共畢業 23 屆,自 2021 年 10 月開放申請的 AW#24,限定招募拓展 NFT、Blockchain / DeFi、AI / IoT 領域,以及目標東南亞市場的創業者。

每次招募團隊,AppWorks 都會收到許多申請書,過程中我們發現,新創團隊在看完網站的介紹後,對我們的加速器計畫仍有些許疑問,因此,我們整理了以下常見問題,希望能為有類似疑惑的你,提供一些解答。

【下一屆 AppWorks Accelerator #24 自 2021 年 10 月 27 日開放申請:AW#24 申請專頁

1. AppWorks Accelerator 可以提供 NFT 新創什麼幫助?

繼 AI 和 Blockchain 兩個典範轉移之後,我們現在很明確地看到 NFT 將是下一個 (雖然技術上, NFT 應該是包涵在整個 Blockchain 分類大主題裡面,但我們認為 NFT 將是 Blockchain 中一個巨大的分支,就像電商之於 Internet 一樣,因此希望特別把它 Highlight 出來),所以想以此提醒創業者,不要忽略了 NFT 的重要性與影響力。和 3 年前相比,區塊鏈產業現在已經成熟許多,有各種基礎建設,以及像公鏈、錢包等開發工具,創業者可以做更多嘗試,並推出更多元與成熟的服務或產品。

現在看來,NFT 的初步應用,偏向數位藝術品的蒐藏,但我們相信在更長遠的未來,更多類型的商業行為都可透過 NFT 發生,類似分散式的物品資料庫,作為紀錄人類實體與虛擬商品的平台。

尤其現在,對於 NFT 這種相對較新的概念,新創相較於大企業,反倒更具有先行者優勢,可以更有彈性與效率地做各種嘗試。我們希望在 NFT 剛開始起飛的時候,所有相關的創業者可以藉由在 AppWorks 聚集,互相切磋學習,參與未來 5~10 年整個 NFT 崛起的過程。

AppWorks Accelerator 可以提供的相關幫助包括: 

a. 和大東南亞較具規模的創業者社群共同成長

創業是一個孤獨的旅程,開始創業後,身邊大部分的朋友、家人都不知道你在經歷酸甜苦辣。如果能跟一群一樣厲害、有決心的創辦人一起同甘共苦,遇到挫折的時候有人懂,將更有動力撐下去。除了同一屆會有約 50-60 位創業者一起加速外,我們會頻繁地舉辦各式校友聚會,許多校友已經走過 0 到 1 的階段,透過他們的分享和交流,可以讓你少走許多冤枉路,也能夠激勵你進步得更快更好,這是 AppWorks 帶來最有價值的事。

除此之外,由 AppWorks Accelerator 校友們建立起的生態系,累積的活躍團隊有 414 個、共 1,396 位創業者,全體加總年營業額 129 億美元,其中,來自 Blockchain 領域已有 69 支活躍新創團隊、133 位創業者,所有創業者形成一個緊密的新創網絡,這個創業者社群就是你的大家庭。當 NFT 新創要開發落地應用,或是希望尋求資源協助,AppWorks 每位同事的重要任務之一,就是在其中穿針引線將資源與人脈引介給各新創團隊。

b. 與 NFT 相關新創共同學習

雖然 NFT 還是相對比較新的應用,但 AppWorks 的生態系中,也已經有不少 NFT 相關創業團隊,例如:發行 NBA Top Shot 的 Dapper Labs (Mentor)、致力推動區塊鏈和 NFT 在遊戲產業上發展的遊戲開發商 Animoca Brands (Mentor)、開發 NFT 與加密貨幣錢包的 Blocto (AW#19)、經營 NFT 市集的 Lootex (AW#20) 等等,可以透過互相學習或是商業合作,加速成長。在最近一屆的 AW#23 中,就有 8 支專攻 NFT 領域的新創加入,由像你一樣積極進取、快速學習的創業者創立,加入我們一同建構未來。

c. Flow 生態系以及其他 Blockchain 相關的資源

AppWorks 也是知名 NFT 應用 Cryptokitties、NBA Top Shot 開發商 Dapper Labs 所開發公鏈 Flow 的全球第二大投資機構。如果想在 Flow 上開發新商業模式,或是進一步與 Flow 生態系上的各式成員交流和合作,可以透過 AppWorks 與 Flow 的獨家合作,得到更直接的資源與幫助,成為更密切的合作夥伴。

除了 Flow 之外,加入的新創,還可以獲得其他 Blockchain 重要開發工具和平台的協助資源,例如 Alchemy、Animoca Brands 等。

2. AppWorks 會從新創的加入申請中,觀察哪些重點?

當 AppWorks 收到創業者提出申請後,我們特別重視引領創業者持續自我精進、排除阻礙的北極星。以下幾個問題,可幫助你思考是否適合加入 AppWorks Accelerator:

  • 為什麼要創業?
  • 你希望透過創業解決什麼問題?為什麼?
  • 你相信世界上,還有哪些尚未被滿足的基本需求?
  • 你希望創造什麼樣的未來?計畫如何去實現?
  • 你已經做了哪些努力來證明你正在解決這些問題?

3. AppWorks Accelerator 要收費嗎?

AppWorks Accelerator 是針對創業者完全免費的服務。我們不會向新創團隊收取租金、服務費,也不會要求技術股、選擇權、營收、獲利分成,或是選擇權等任何形式的回饋。

4. 我們現在需要一筆資金,加入 AppWorks 就可以被投資嗎?

相較於其他新創團隊,參與 AppWorks Accelerator 的創業者,有更多與我們展開交流和合作的機會。我們將與創業者討論,並了解在現階段可以如何幫助創業者,例如,若資金可以大幅提升新創的實力與競爭優勢,或是其他更急迫的問題,包括尋找 Product-Market Fit、建立 Go-to-Market 策略、招募共同創辦人、提升成長速度等。歡迎隨時與 AppWorks 開啟關於募資以及其他面向的討論,AppWorks 管理的 2.12 億美元創投基金,將隨時準備好提供建議與協助。

另一方面,AppWorks Accelerator 不會要求新創團隊在加入前,就接受我們的投資,也不會跟進駐的團隊收取股權、營收或獲利抽成等回報。

5. 為什麼 AppWorks 現在限定招募來自 NFT、Blockchain / DeFi、AI / IoT 或是 Southeast Asia 的創業者?

我們認為,AI 與 Blockchain 是基於過去 Internet 打下的良好基礎,所延伸出的數據應用,與去中心化的價值交換模式,是下個 10 年創業者必須槓桿的新巨大板塊位移。而在區塊鏈應用當中,NFT 是其中一個能夠幫助區塊鏈的概念更接地氣、促成更多人開始使用的應用。

同時,東南亞 (Southeast Asia) 數位經濟革命正在崛起,包括持續擴大的中產階級、亮眼的經濟成長率,此外,一般民眾參與數位科技的使用也促使這個區域的數位經濟加速發展,成為全球創業、創新、創意最蓬勃發展的地區之一。 

因此,這就是我們現在關注的重點。過去十年,我們已經看到 Mobile Internet 的普及與滲透,如果要抓住下個十年的發展機會,創業者應該思考如何利用這幾個關鍵領域,在產品、服務、商業模式上,創造未來的成長曲線。

6. 我的服務 (或產品) 還沒開始賺錢,這樣能申請嗎?

當然可以。從公司創立到找到可規模化商業模式這段期間,稱為「種子期」。種子期新創公司需要的多半不是資金,而是各種與創業有關的知識、啟發,以及嘗試與犯錯的空間。AppWorks Accelerator 主要在協助種子期新創尋找可規模化商業模式,幫助他們順利邁向下一階段。

7. 如果我已經募資過 Series A 或是我已經賺錢了,那 AppWorks 是不是不適合我?

我們並沒有限定申請團隊的成熟階段,只要你認為在創業過程中,AppWorks 可以幫助你。過去也有許多較成熟的團隊加入,例如,有些團隊已經在台灣做得小有成績,想往東南亞發展,AppWorks 可以成為走向東南亞的橋樑或踏板。規模已不小的國際團隊,想在台灣建立技術團隊或開發市場商機,那加入 AppWorks 可以成為在台落地的第一步,像是來自新加坡、在 2016 年進駐的 AW#13  ShopBack,早在 2014 年就創立,並在 2015 年完成種子輪募資並在新加坡推出服務,而透過在 AppWorks Accelerator 的時間,ShopBack 在台灣建立起技術團隊,並同時測試台灣市場的可能性。

8. 我不是台灣公民,能否幫忙申請簽證?

入選 AppWorks Accelerator 的國際創業者,可根據個人的需求與條件,可由 AppWorks 提供協助申請 Entrepreneur Visa 創業家簽證Gold Card 就業金卡,讓來自海外的創業者能在台灣專心工作,不需為了簽證問題出境往返。

由於 Covind-19 疫情的緣故,台灣政府目前並不開放未持居留證的外國人士入境。AppWorks 將持續關注台灣政府的最新政策,以確保能提供所有創業者必要的協助。

9. 進駐 Accelerator 後,是否每週一到五整天都要待在 AppWorks?受疫情限制,可以遠距參加嗎?

雖然目前入境台灣仍有限制,但台灣內部的的疫情,已經獲得相當大程度的控制。我們已為 AW#24 的創業者,將活動適度調整為實體與線上的混合模式,讓已接種過疫苗的創業者,可親自到現場參加,也可 7 天、24 小時免費使用我們提供的共享工作空間,暫時無法入境的創業者,也能以線上形式遠端參與,盡可能協助創業者從 AppWorks 以及我們的網路中獲得更大的價值,最大化加速期間的收穫。

我們將依據 COVID-19 的最新變化,持續調整線上與實體活動的內容與進行方式,也鼓勵參與 AppWorks Acclerator 的創業者,盡早施打疫苗,保護自己、降低感染風險。

我們每週會安排約 4 – 6 小時活動,包含講座、Workshop、Office Hour、實體 / 線上交流聚會,這些都是我們針對創業者的需求所設計,已經在 AW#20 – AW#23 測試、修正過的形式,團隊可以藉由參與其中認識由我們邀請而來的優秀創業家、創投、產業專家、AppWorks 學長姊,以及同屆的同學,從他們的故事中得到靈感或啟發。

如果你是希望藉由參加 AppWorks Accelerator 來測試台灣市場,又或是設立技術團隊,在疫情期間,我們的專業團隊,仍然能透過線上活動,提供適合的人脈介紹與協助。但依照我們輔導團隊的經驗,我們建議創業者,在疫情獲得更穩定控制後,投入必要的時間與心力,親自來了解台灣的人文環境、市場狀況,拓展必要人脈。

10. 加入 AppWorks Accelerator 一定要設立公司嗎?

不一定,但我們會建議做 B2B 的團隊設立公司。因為根據我們的經驗,這將有助於你尋找事業夥伴並洽談後續合作。AppWorks 備有專業的會計與法務 Masters,可以為創業者團隊提供成立公司過程中,所需要的協助,也有豐富的經驗,能為海外團隊處理落地台灣的手續。

11. 申請書的題目都是英文,用中文寫會不會影響分數?

AppWorks Accelerator 的線上申請書共有約 30 個題目,包含團隊、產品、商業模式,與市場分析等眾多面向,非常詳盡,需要花一定的時間與心思填寫。我們希望透過這些題目協助每一個來申請的團隊,釐清自己當下的發展狀態與所需協助。

填寫報名表是一種自我健檢,因為在填寫過程中,創業者必須深入思考自己的產品、市場策略、團隊分工,以及整體產業環境。因此,不管申請與否,我們都建議創業者針對這些問題仔細思考、研究。

我們鼓勵你嘗試以英文作答,但用中文填寫並不會影響評估結果,最重要的是必須清楚表達你想傳達的訊息。另外,我們也需要創辦人 (CEO) 拍攝一段一分鐘的自我介紹影片,讓我們能夠更快認識你。

12. 第一階段 VS. 第二階段申請有何差別?

AppWorks Accelerator 的面談與入選採先收先審制度 (Rolling-basis),根據過去的經驗,先繳交申請書的團隊,有較高的入選機率,且能提早知道自己已經入選,有更充裕的時間預先規劃相關事宜。因此,我們會鼓勵創業者在第一階段就填寫申請書,以免到了最後申請截止前夕,競爭變得更加激烈。

希望以上整理能幫助你釐清對 AppWorks Accelerator 的諸多疑問。若還有其他需要進一步瞭解的地方,歡迎留言給我們,或是來信至:a@appworks.tw,我們將盡量為你解答。

【歡迎所有NFT、Blockchain / DeFi、AI / IoT 以及目標 Southeast Asia 的創業者,加入專為你們服務的 AppWorks Accelerator,AW#24 申請截止日為 2021 年 12 月 22 日】

The AppWorks Accelerator FAQ (for Founders Applying to AW#24)

Founded in 2010 by Jamie Lin, AppWorks Accelerator is a startup community created by founders, for founders. We are committed to fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs in Greater Southeast Asia and to accelerating the region’s transition into the digital era. 

Every six months, we take in founders trailblazing on the frontiers of NFT, Blockchain / DeFi, AI / IoT, and Southeast Asia, equipping them with the necessary resources, mentorship, and guidance to get their ventures off the ground. 

As an international founder we know there are many considerations when applying to an accelerator. That’s why we’ve created an FAQ page to help you decide whether or not AppWorks is suitable for your startup. 

As of October 27, AppWorks Accelerator #24 is open for applications. You can find important information about the Accelerator experience on our main page.

The FAQs

1. What do I need to know before joining an accelerator in Taiwan during COVID? What is AppWorks doing to help founders make the most out of the accelerator before it’s completely safe to travel and congregate? How are you helping founders deal with the impact from the pandemic?

The world has seen nothing like the COVID-19 pandemic, and we can confidently say that no founder we know had this on their disaster mitigation plans. But the experience of being a founder is all about learning and adaptation, even when things look dire. We are here to support you to do just that, no matter the circumstances. 

During the pandemic, for everyone’s safety and health, AppWorks has designed a variety of online activities for all founders participating in AW#24 during the period where immigration and group activities are regulated so that founders can participate remotely.

Currently, up to six hours of online sessions per week are provided, ranging from office hours with our partners to coaching sessions and workshops with founders from all over the region. Such meetings include founder mentoring sessions with veterans of the technology industry who have launched startups from zero to one, and even listed several IPOs.

We know that in-person engagement is still extremely effective for building strong relationships. Therefore, we encourage founders participating in AppWorks to vaccinate as soon as possible to protect themselves and reduce the risk of infection. 

Due to the current pandemic situation in Taiwan where cases are relatively under control, we have been able to offer hybrid events to serve both in-person and international founders who have been vaccinated to get more value out of AppWorks and our network, including the use of our free 24/7 co-working space for accelerator participants. We will continue to adjust online & in-person activities based on the COVID-19 situation. 

If you’d like to leverage AppWorks to test out the Taiwan market or set up a technical team during the pandemic, we can still provide suitable introductions to our network through online activities. However, based on our experience, we recommend that founders invest the necessary time and effort after the pandemic is more stable to personally understand Taiwan’s market and environment if they are interested in doing business in Taiwan.

We will continue to monitor visa and travel restrictions in a timely way and update you with new information we learn during the application process. 

The moment it becomes easier to physically travel to Taipei, you and the other AW#24 founders will be the first to know. And rest assured, although offline events have been strictly limited, you’ll still get to meet hundreds of investors, journalists, corporate executives, and other partners who can make a positive impact on your founder journey through the online version of our Demo Day.

2. How can AppWorks Accelerator help an NFT founder?

Although NFTs are technically an application of blockchain, we believe that they are actually significant enough to deserve their own category, similar to the relationship between e-commerce and the internet. Compared to 3 years ago, the blockchain industry is now much bigger and more mature, with various chains, wallets, exchanges and the likes, serving as the infrastructure with lots of quality development tools available, allowing founders to run lean, experiment, and launch NFT products fast.

It now appears that the initial application of NFTs is leaning more towards the proof of digital art and asset ownership; but, we believe that in the long-term, many more types of use cases will evolve through NFTs. As NFTs are still at a relatively early stage, startups have the advantage of being a disruptor vs. the big guys. We hope that as NFTs start to take off, all the best founders can gather at AppWorks, learn from each other, and become winners in the rise of NFTs in the next 5-10 years.

As an NFT founder, you can expect these from joining AppWorks Accelerator:

a. Grow with one of the largest blockchain founder communities in Greater Southeast Asia

Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. After starting your own business, most of your friends and family won’t understand the ups and downs you’re experiencing as a founder. If you can share these experiences with fellow founders who are as capable and determined, who understand when you encounter setbacks, you will be more motivated to continue. In addition to about 50-60 other founders accelerating together in the same program, we will hold frequent alumni gatherings where you’ll meet many alumni who have gone through the 0 to 1 stage. 

The ecosystem established by AppWorks Accelerator now consists of 414 active teams with a total of 1,396 founders. Together, these startups total US$ 12.9B in revenues. The blockchain ecosystem within the AppWorks community now consists of 69 active teams with a total of 133 founders. As one of the largest founder communities in the region, we can help support founders working on NFTs who want to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship through introductions of resources and connections in the startup ecosystem.

b. Learn together with NFT startups

Although NFTs are still a relatively new concept, there are already a few NFT-related startups in the AppWorks ecosystem, such as Blocto (AW#19), a mobile portal to the blockchain world featuring seamless integrations with different wallets and web browsers; Lootex (AW#20), a digital marketplace that runs NFT auctions; and Animoca Brands, an AppWorks portfolio that is committed to promoting the development of blockchain and NFTs in the gaming industry. In our most recent batch AW#23, we had 8 NFT teams, started by founders as driven and as fast learning as you are,  join us to build out this future. 

c. Blockchain resources: Flow ecosystem and more

AppWorks is also the second largest investor in the public chain Flow, developed by Dapper Labs, the team behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot. If you’re interested in developing a new business model on Flow or the chance to talk to various stakeholders in the Flow ecosystem, you can receive more direct resources and support from AppWorks and Flow’s collaboration. 

With one of the largest communities in the region alongside support from the Flow ecosystem, founders working in the NFT space will be able to grow and thrive in their founder journey. 

In addition to Flow, blockchain startups can also get the support from other essential development tools and platforms, such as Alchemy, Animoca Brands, etc.

3. What does AppWorks look for in applications?

When AppWorks reviews applications submitted by founders, we pay special attention to a founder’s North Star. Some questions that might help you think about whether AppWorks is a good fit for you: 

  • Why do a startup?
  • What problem do you want to solve and why?
  • What do you believe fundamentally needs to exist in this world that doesn’t already?
  • What kind of future do you want to create and how will you get there?
  • What have you already done to demonstrate your commitment to tackling this problem?

AppWorks Accelerator’s online application covers about 30 topics related to team background, product/service, business model, market analysis and more. It is very detailed and requires time to complete. It also includes a required one-minute self-intro from the founder (CEO).

4. Does AppWorks Accelerator cost anything?

No. AppWorks Accelerator has always been free for founders. We will not charge rent or service fees, nor will we require any form of compensation, such as sweat equity, options, revenue, or profit-sharing. Our exclusive mission is to help founders.

5. We need funding now, can we get investment by joining AppWorks?

The short answer is you will have much better access to us than non-AppWorks accelerated teams.  We will discuss with you and help you figure out at this stage of your startup’s journey, if capital can significantly enhance its strength and competitive advantage, and/or there are other more burning issues, e.g. product-market fit, go-to-market strategy, co-founder recruiting, speed, etc.  Any AppWorks founder is welcome to start a discussion with us on fundraising anytime. We will do our best to advise and support you with US$212 million in assets under management. 

Please note, AppWorks Accelerator will never require teams to accept our investment before joining the accelerator, nor will teams ever need to provide any form of equity or revenue / profit share in return.

6. Why wouldn’t AppWorks admit founders working outside of NFT, Blockchain / DeFi, AI / IoT, or SEA? 

We believe that AI and blockchain are based on the good foundation that the internet has built, and the extended data applications and the decentralized model will be a huge disruption that founders must leverage in the next decade. Within blockchain, NFTs enable wider adoption of blockchain technologies and applications as we move closer to the digital world.

At the same time, SEA’s digital revolution is well underway, with a young, ever-expanding, and increasingly affluent middle class driving brisk economic growth across the region. SEA also features one of the world’s largest populations at over 650 million people, many of which are digital natives and early adopters of technology, lending itself as a hotbed for entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Therefore, this is the focus of our attention for now. In the last 10 years, we’ve seen the popularity and penetration of mobile internet. If you want to seize the opportunities in the next decade, think about how to leverage these key areas to create the future.

7. I am not a technical founder, or I need to find an engineer to help scale my idea, can I still apply?

Yes, you can. In a manner of speaking, you have come to the right country. 

Taiwan graduates over 25,000 hardware and computer science engineers each year and is world-famous for the engineering and computer science mastery that has boosted the quality of international companies like Apple and Acer in hardware and Google and Microsoft in the software category, to name but a few. 

We strongly recommend founders who come to Taiwan check out the country’s vast human talent resources. Part of the founder journey will be about learning how to hire, and there is probably no better place in Asia to do that engineering hiring than here. 

8. My service (or product) has not yet started to make money. Can I still apply?

Of course! There probably isn’t a better time to learn in an accelerator than as a founder just starting out. This period before a founder has built a startup into a scalable business model with  Product-Market Fit is called the “seed stage”. During this period, founders always need more than funding; they need a variety of entrepreneurial-related insights, inspiration from other founders, and room for trial and error. AppWorks Accelerator was built to provide these, and more. 

9. I already raised a Series A / I’m profitable, is AppWorks right for me?

The most important thing for us is to identify where a founder is in their journey.

Reaching a funding goal can be a cause for celebration, but it’s also a relatively minor part of the growth of a founder. So many more things can go right or wrong, even with a funding round. There are many other facets to master. When we admit founders into the program, it is because we have carefully considered what they need as a founder, and how our resources and network, and Taiwan’s unique market and supply chain position in the world, can help them grow. 

Joel Leong and Henry Chan at ShopBack had already built a business model and received seed funding in 2015 when they launched in Singapore, before they came to AppWorks Accelerator #13 in 2016. 

Joel told us that had the team known about Taiwan’s massive US$ 42.2 Billion GMV a year e-economy and how it made it possible to figure out crucial e-commerce and engineering solutions for them, they would have made the move to Taiwan sooner. It demonstrates that funding rounds and business model maturity do not limit founders to learning something new.  As long as you think that AppWorks can help you in the entrepreneurial learning process, you should apply. 

10. Since I am not a Taiwanese citizen, can you help me obtain a proper visa?

International founders admitted to AppWorks Accelerator, according to your qualifications and needs, AppWorks can help apply for the Entrepreneur Visa or Gold Card in Taiwan. This enables founders from overseas to concentrate on work in Taiwan without having to travel abroad to sort out troublesome visa issues. We have professionals at the Accelerator who can offer advice on this process. 

* Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Taiwanese government currently does not allow foreigners without a residence permit to enter Taiwan. AppWorks will closely track the government policies and provide adequate support as the policy changes.

11. Do I have to set up a company to join AppWorks Accelerator?

Not necessarily, but we would recommend an overseas founder to set up a Taiwan office, especially those of you that are B2B facing. This may better enable you to find business partners and negotiate commercial agreements later. AppWorks has professional accounting and legal specialists who can assist in handling procedures for landing in Taiwan.

As Andrew Jiang, co-founder of Soda Labs (AW#17) told us, when you take the time to physically show up in the market, you get “10x the attention and focus of potential customers and partners” you seek in your business development process. 

12. What is the difference between applying during the first round vs. the final round? 

The application period is split into two intakes, with interviews and admissions facilitated on a rolling basis. Based on past experience, teams that submit their application earlier tend to have a higher chance of being admitted, and are also immediately granted access to all the resources that AppWorks Accelerator has to offer.

We hope the above FAQ can help you clarify your questions about AppWorks Accelerator. If you seek more clarity, please write to: a@appworks.tw and we will try to answer your questions.

We welcome all NFT, Blockchain / DeFi, AI / IoT, or Southeast Asia founders to join AppWorks Accelerator. If you’re looking for a blockchain accelerator, an AI accelerator, or a SEA accelerator, you’ve come to the right place. Applications will be open until Dec 22nd, 2021.

Wistron Accelerator FAQ 緯創加速器常見問題回覆 (為 #2 申請團隊準備)

緯創資通與 AppWorks 從 2014 年開始合作,是 AppWorks Fund II、Fund III 的主要股東之一,之後也陸續投資了 MoBagel (AW#16)、ANIWARE (AW#17) ,與 LucidPix (AW#18) 等自 AppWorks Accelerator 畢業的新創校友,雙方有長期的策略合作關係與默契,並於 2021 年 9 月首度啓動緯創垂直加速器,由大東南亞新創加速器龍頭 AppWorks 提供營運等核心業務。

新創團隊在看完加速器相關資訊後,對本計畫或許仍有些許疑問,因此,我們整理了以下常見問題,希望可以幫助大家從中得到解答。

【Wistron Accelerator #2 現正開放申請中:申請專頁

1. 緯創期待藉由加速器與新創達成什麼樣的合作成果?緯創可以提供新創什麼幫助?

Wistron Accelerator 可以提供的相關幫助包括: 

a. 緯創子公司負責人 / 事業單位負責人提供產業面的專業建議

這個加速器的最大特色,是由緯創集團各事業最高負責人擔任 Mentors,加入的新創可直接與緯創各事業 C-level 層級的主管討論合作內容,大大增加成功機率。

有與企業合作經驗的創業者都知道,通常 CEO 或 C-level 主管負責策略,而團隊負責執行,因此如果能直接與最高層級溝通,那麼在策略合作聚焦,以及共同發展出新服務、新事業的機會將因此大增。

除此之外,當新創與企業合作時,常遇到的挑戰是,即便新創在本身領域具備一定的專業能力,但面對每一個不同領域的產業、每一家組織規模更大的企業,都是仍有許多需要更深入掌握的軟硬知識與技術。

因此,Wistron Accelerator 在內容設計上,一開始就由各事業的最高負責人親自上陣,解決上述問題。新創在加速器期間,將與各事業單位負責人進行深度的合作與互動,不只能更深入理解企業真正的需求與計畫、產業 Insight,也能藉此學習如何與企業客戶有效溝通、幫助解決他們的問題。

b. 與緯創獨家合作 PoC

做 B2B 生意的新創都知道,因為企業組織與決策流程的關係,要成功推動企業合作,通常需要醞釀比較長的時間,動輒一季、甚至超過半年,都是常有的情形。

為了加速合作的速度,Wistron Accelerator 在時程、進度與合作目標,都經過了精心規劃。參與 Wistron Accelerator 的團隊,以與緯創事業單位或子公司共同協作 POC 為目標,過程中 AppWorks 也將全程協助推動 POC 的討論與實作,以 6 個月的時程安排,驗證最小可行性產品 (MVP),作為新創與緯創的協作學習經驗,以及後續合作的評估標準。

2. 緯創會從申請加入的新創之中,觀察哪些重點?

當收到創業者提出申請後,結合 AppWorks 輔導創業者的經驗、以及緯創的產業專業,我們特別重視引領創業者持續自我精進、排除阻礙的北極星,以及產品的核心技術。以下幾個問題,可幫助你思考是否適合加入 Wistron Accelerator:

  • 為什麼要創業?
  • 你希望透過創業解決什麼問題?為什麼?
  • 你已經做了哪些努力來證明你正在解決這些問題?
  • 你所打造的產品,與其它既有的解決方案有什麼不同之處?
  • 你期待藉由與緯創的合作得到什麼?你能為緯創帶來什麼價值?

3. Wistron Accelerator 要收費嗎?我們現在需要一筆資金,加入就可以被投資嗎?

Wistron Accelerator 是針對創業者完全免費的服務。我們不會向新創團隊收取租金、服務費,也不會要求技術股、選擇權、營收和獲利分成等任何形式的回饋。同時,每一支入選 Wistron Accelerator 的新創團隊,皆會獲得緯創贊助 20 萬新台幣的補助,並且不佔股份。

緯創近幾年的策略投資,已投入超過 100 億新台幣,累計 60 家投資甚或長期經營的對象,更於 2020 年底成立了企業創投 (CVC),將積極佈局新創策略投資。因此入選  Wistron Accelerator 的新創,不論在加速器期間,或是加速器應屆計畫結束後,都將有機會與緯創企業創投、所合作的事業單位或子公司,進一步討論未來的正式合作或投資機會。

4. 為什麼緯創限定招募來自 AI、物聯網、雲端、資安、教育與醫療科技的創業者?

緯創是 ICT 產業全球領導廠商之一,近幾年在強化研發、提升技術創新、多元化產品開發等策略所帶動的成長下,隨著雲端應用的發展趨勢,將硬體設備和雲端數據系統,經由軟體服務緊密結合,提供技術服務平台與解決方案,並建立新的技術產業鏈以及創新平台,將事業擴展至教育、企業服務、物聯網及醫療等新領域。

藉由 Wistron Accelerator,緯創希望分享其產業經驗與豐富的業界資源,結合新創獨有的解決方案,藉由 POC 合作,探索新的發展機會,幫助新創測試 B2B 解決方案、擁有緯創作為使用者案例,也樂見緯創透過加速器期間的合作成果,發展成為緯創集團下個十年的創新動能。

5. 什麼階段的新創適合申請 Wistron Accelerator?

我們並沒有限定申請團隊的成熟階段,但我們會建議來申請的新創,最好已經有和企業的合作案例,或是至少有 1~2 個 POC 的合作經驗,將能更善用加速器所規劃的 6 個月時程,並確保在這樣的時間內,能有一定程度的成果產出。

如果你目前仍處於打磨 MVP、尚未和目標客戶接觸的階段,我們會建議你優先專注於打造你的產品,並嘗試接觸幾個目標客戶,搜集意見回饋、調整產品,確認自己想解決的問題以及核心優勢之後,再申請 Wistron Accelerator。

如果你已經有產品雛型,但尚未設立公司,根據我們的經驗,我們會建議你先完成此程序,這將有助於尋找事業夥伴並洽談後續合作。AppWorks 備有專業的會計與法務 Masters,可以為創業者團隊提供成立公司過程中,所需要的協助,也有豐富的經驗,能為海外團隊處理落地台灣的手續。

6. 我不是台灣公民,能否幫忙申請簽證?

入選 Wistron Accelerator 的國際創業者,可根據個人的需求與條件,由 AppWorks 提供協助申請 Entrepreneur Visa 創業家簽證Gold Card 就業金卡,讓來自海外的創業者能在台灣專心工作,不需為了簽證問題出境往返。

目前因疫情管制,台灣政府暫時不開放未持居留證的外籍人士入境。實際申請時程,AppWorks 將配合政府政策來執行。

7. 進駐 Wistron Accelerator 後,是否每週一到五整天都要待在緯創?疫情解封前可以遠距參加嗎?

我們並沒有規定新創的辦公地點,新創並不需要整天待在緯創工作。每一個錄取新創,將與其媒合的事業單位或子公司,針對其合作需求,討論必要的會議頻率、辦公地點,以及會面方式。

如果新創團隊在加速器期間需要辦公空間,也歡迎向 AppWorks 或是緯創洽詢,我們有工作空間,可以免費提供給應屆的團隊使用。

8. 申請書的題目都是英文,用中文寫會不會影響分數?

Wistron Accelerator 的線上申請書共有約 24 個題目,包含團隊、產品、商業模式,與市場分析等眾多面向,非常詳盡,需要花一定的時間與心思填寫。我們希望透過這些題目協助每一個來申請的團隊,釐清自己當下的發展狀態與所需協助。

填寫報名表是一種自我健檢,因為在填寫過程中,創業者必須深入思考自己的產品、市場策略、團隊分工,以及整體產業環境。因此,不管申請與否,我們都建議創業者針對這些問題仔細思考、研究。

我們鼓勵你嘗試以英文作答,但用中文填寫並不會影響評估結果,最重要的是必須清楚表達你想傳達的訊息。另外,我們也鼓勵創辦人 (CEO) 拍攝一段一分鐘的自我介紹影片,讓我們能夠更完整的認識你。

9. 第一階段申請和第二階段申請有何差別?

Wistron Accelerator 的面談與入選採先收先審制度 (Rolling-basis),根據過去的經驗,先繳交申請書的團隊,有較高的入選機率,且能提早知道自己已經入選,有更充裕的時間預先規劃相關事宜。因此,我們會鼓勵創業者在第一階段就填寫申請書,以免到了最後申請截止前夕,競爭變得更加激烈。

希望以上整理能幫助你釐清對 Wistron Accelerator 的諸多疑問。若還有其他需要進一步瞭解的地方,歡迎留言給我們,或是來信至:a@appworks.tw,我們將盡量為你解答。

【歡迎所有 AI、物聯網、雲端、資安、教育與醫療科技的創業者,加入 Wistron Accelerator 申請,最終申請截止日為 2022 年 1 月 4 日】

AppWorks + Flow

#漢文在下 Today AppWorks Accelerator is proud to announce our new collaboration with Flow. Since investing in Flow back in 2019, we have been closely working with the chain’s creators Dappers Labs—the very same team behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot—and observing their methodical approach in pushing forward new applications on the Flow blockchain. Starting from gaming and entertainment, we see a strong ecosystem thriving with the support from Flow’s infrastructure, which includes over 300 projects in the pipeline and over 3,000 developers building on Flow’s Testnet.

While at the same time from AppWorks’ side, we see NFTs being the next frontier in the Blockchain space. As NFTs are still at a relatively early stage, startups have the advantage of being a disruptor vs. the big guys. We hope that as NFTs start to take off, all the best founders can gather at AppWorks, learn from each other, and become winners in the next 5-10 years.

To encourage founders to seize the growth opportunity in the next decade, AppWorks Accelerator is announcing our collaboration with Flow. This collaboration will focus on supporting founders and teams working with blockchain technology, in the Greater Southeast Asia region, that are ready to build the open world on Flow. 

With the resources from both AppWorks’ and Flow’s ecosystems, we want to ensure teams have all the support they need to build amazing products for consumer-scale adoption. We look forward to seeing more applications built in NFT, DeFi, and consumer products that people like to use in their everyday lives. 

Resources provided by Flow: 

  • Dedicated support from the Flow team regarding tech, marketing, community, and product
  • Office Hours sessions with the Flow team on a referral basis, facilitated by AppWorks
  • Access to Flow’s educational resources and valuable experiences shared by existing blockchain projects already live on Flow
  • Top projects in the accelerator may receive investment opportunities from some of our investor partners
  • Access to FLOW token credits to bring your application to Flow mainnet and bootstrap your initial user acquisition strategy

These founders are encouraged to apply:

  • Working on NFT and/or DeFi  
  • Blockchain developers 
  • Want to build and launch their product on Flow

With the support from:

  • Blocto by Portto, official digital wallet partnered with Flow (AW#19)
  • Forbole, validator (AW#18)
  • Animoca Brands, the global leader in branded blockchain gaming (AppWorks Portfolio)

Application timeline:

  • Applications are now open.
  • The first round of interviews will be via an online application.
  • Interview invitations and admission offers will be sent out on a rolling basis.
  • The full program will kick off in September 2021 and last through January 2022.

Apply Now to AppWorks Accelerator #23

今天,AppWorks Accelerator 隆重宣布新增 Flow 為平台夥伴。AppWorks 自從 2019 年投資 Flow 以來,就一直與 Flow 公鏈、同時也是 CryptoKitties 與 NBA Top Shot 開發團隊的 Dappers Labs 保持非常密切的合作,有計畫地持續推動建構在 Flow 公鏈上的各式 NFT 應用與生態系。從遊戲與娛樂起步,在基礎建設日趨成熟下,我們看到 Flow 正成為一個蓬勃發展的生態系,目前,共有超過 300 個開發案、超過 3,000 位開發者在 Flow 的測試網進行開發。

在這發展的過程中,從 AppWorks 的角度觀察,我們認為 NFT 是區塊鏈領域中下一個前沿應用。由於 NFT 仍處於相對早期的階段,和大企業相比,新創更具備顛覆者的優勢。AppWorks 希望隨著 NFT 發展起飛,可以把最優秀的創業者都聚集在 AppWorks Accelerator,彼此互相學習、激盪,一起在未來 5-10 年成為 NFT 浪潮下的贏家。

為了鼓勵創業者抓住 NFT 這個未來十年的重要典範轉移,AppWorks Accelerator 宣布與 Flow 合作。主要目的,是希望全力支持大東南亞地區 (東協 + 台灣) 運用區塊鏈技術的創業者與新創,一起在 Flow 上建構新的開放世界。

在 AppWorks 與 Flow 兩大生態系的合作下,我們希望確保有志打造傑出產品與服務、創造大規模應用的創業者與新創,都能得到所需要的協助。我們期待看到更多 NFT 或 DeFi 的創新商業模式被應用於日常生活中。 

Flow 提供的資源:

  • Flow 團隊在技術、行銷、社群和產品方面的專屬支持
  • 由 AppWorks 安排與 Flow 團隊的 Office Hours
  • 共享 Flow 的教育資源、以及其它 Flow 區塊鏈專案的寶貴經驗
  • 優秀的開發專案,有機會獲得 Flow 與其他夥伴的投資
  • 獲得 FLOW Token 贊助機會,將產品發佈於 Flow 主網,加速初期獲客

鼓勵以下類型的新創團隊申請:

  • 致力開發 NFT 或 DeFi 相關應用
  • 區塊鏈開發者
  • 想要在 Flow 上佈建產品或服務

AppWorks 生態系共同支持:

  • Blocto (AW#19):與 Flow 合作的官方數位錢包 
  • Forbole (AW#18):區塊鏈驗證人
  • Animoca Brands (AppWorks 投資案):全球領先的區塊鏈遊戲商

申請時程:

  • 現已開放申請。
  • 第一輪申請通過,將以線上進行面談
  • 面談與錄取通知採先收先審制度 (Rolling-basis)
  • 本期加速器將自 2021 年 9 月開始,至 2022 年 1 月結束

現在就申請加入 AppWorks Accelerator #23