AppWorks Announces Key Promotions, and Establishment of Two New Business Arms for Southeast Asia and Beacon Funds

Today, we have some good news and major developments to share. We at AppWorks have recently completed a new round of institutionalization and internal promotion. Following the establishment of Accelerator and web3 arms in 2022, AppWorks has further upgraded our Southeast Asia venture practice and Beacon Funds as business arms. To support this process, we have made a number of promotions, including (L-to-R): Sophie Chiu, Principal for AppWorks Southeast Asia; Jun Wakabayashi, Principal of AppWorks Beacon Funds; Jack An as Associate; and Vanessa Lu as Operations Director.

With over a decade of continuous development, AppWorks offers a dynamic startup community with 472 active startups and 1,522 entrepreneurs, dedicated to providing founders with the capital and support they need to realize their entrepreneurial dreams and promote sustainable growth for the venture community in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and beyond. This institutionalization process is designed to enhance the professional service capabilities of AppWorks to provide targeted support for entrepreneurs operating in different verticals and geographies.

A Dedicated Southeast Asia Practice

By establishing a formalized Southeast Asia arm and building off the firm’s successful track record in the region, AppWorks aims to deepen the firm’s presence throughout the region, continue to recruit outstanding startups in Southeast Asia to join the AppWorks Accelerator, and support founders throughout the value creation lifecycle via AppWorks flagship funds. With its unique position in Taiwan, AppWorks bridges opportunities between Southeast Asia and Taiwan’s digital economies, providing natural opportunities for market expansion, talent development, and capital-raising for entrepreneurs in both markets. AppWorks’ notable Southeast Asia portfolio companies include: Lalamove, ShopBack, Carousell,, and EdenFarm, among others.

The formalized Southeast Asia arm is overseen by Principal Sophie Chiu.

AppWorks Beacon Funds

The Beacon Funds arm has become an important bridge connecting AppWorks with venture capital peers in Southeast Asia and around the world. Over the past few years, AppWorks has invested in over 20 successful venture capital firms, such as AC Ventures, Openspace Ventures, Ascend Vietnam Ventures, Foxmont Capital, Pantera Capital,  Animoca Ventures, and others—focusing on a variety of different strategies including Southeast Asia regional, country-specific, vertical-specific, and web3 mandates—sharing the firm’s knowledge and expertise to source new investment opportunities, generate upround capital for AppWorks portfolio companies, support due diligence, and exchange best practices. Currently, more than one-tenth of all AppWorks investments are sourced from Beacon Funds-backed VC firms. In the future, AppWorks is expected to invest in more than 10 venture capital funds per year to accelerate the growth of the Beacon Funds ecosystem and expand AppWorks’ reach.

The AppWorks Beacon Funds initiative is led by Principal Jun Wakabayashi.

To support the institutionalization of the AppWorks ecosystem, we have made the following promotions, recognizing their hard effort and contributions to the firm.

Sophie Chiu (Principal – AppWorks SEA)

Sophie oversees AppWorks’ Southeast Asia investment practice, leading efforts to source, invest in, and support outstanding entrepreneurs in the region. Sophie joined AppWorks as an Associate in 2020 and was promoted to Principal in 2023. Before joining AppWorks, Sophie covered public equities for over a decade. She was part of the portfolio management team at Neuberger Berman, focusing on emerging market opportunities. Prior to that, she served as a research analyst at Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, and London-based Autonomous Research. Sophie holds a Master of Finance with distinction from Warwick Business School and BS Finance from National Taiwan University. At AppWorks, Sophie has worked on several notable investments, including 91APP, KKday,, and EdenFarm.

Jun Wakabayashi (Principal – AppWorks Beacon Funds)

Jun is a Principal leading the Beacon Funds arm—in charge of meeting, helping, collaborating with, and investing in emerging venture capital managers to grow the venture ecosystem in Southeast Asia and web3. Joining as an Analyst in 2017 and then promoted to Associate in 2022 and to Principal in 2023, Jun has been pivotal in turning AppWorks into a household name across the region. By immersing himself in local markets and engaging with both founder and investor communities across Southeast Asia, Jun has established an extensive network that keeps AppWorks top of mind for startups seeking funding, community, and support. Prior to AppWorks, Jun attended NYU’s Stern School of Business where he received a B.S. in Finance, and spent the following several years conducting sector-based market research at Focus Reports. Outside of work, Jun is an avid meditator and invests meaningful time maintaining both his physical and spiritual wellness.

Jack An (Associate – AppWorks)

Jack became an Associate in 2023 and focuses on meeting, helping, and investing in promising web3 founders. Before joining AppWorks in 2019 as an Analyst, he co-founded an InsurTech startup and through the experience, he developed a deep interest in product design and user experience, and has since been passionate about these areas. During his time as a founder, he purchased his first BTC as well as ETH, yet subsequently paid dear tuition to the 2017 go-go ICO era. Prior to embarking on the entrepreneurial path, he worked as an underwriter at Chubb Insurance in New Zealand. Jack earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Waikato University, where he studied classical piano and developed a deep appreciation for Mozart. He loves to cook, read, and is a practicing stoic. He’s on the hunt for the next web3 application that will onboard millions of users and make the world more open, permissionless, censorship-resistant, and trustless.

Vanessa Lu (Operations Director – AppWorks)

Vanessa is an Operations Director at AppWorks. Before that, Vanessa held the role of Operations Manager at Foxconn Group’s Sytrend Startup Foundation, where she spearheaded their incubator, co-working space, and community events planning programs. Prior to that, she covered lead generation and premium customer support for the APAC region at Evernote. Vanessa joined AppWorks in 2018 as Space Director and was promoted to the role of Operations Director in 2023. Vanessa holds a Master Degree in Russian Studies and a Bachelor Degree in Russian Language, both from National Chengchi University. As a devoted mother of a son, she delights in discovering innovative ways to spend quality time with her family, all while ensuring that her work is of the utmost quality.


As the AppWorks organization continues to grow, we warmly invite outstanding talent to join us.

Our latest openings include: associate, analyst, crypto native analyst, and fund finance and administration manager.

In addition to providing generous salary packages in line with international industry standards, We have created an open, transparent working environment that rewards hard work and effort—appreciating the contributions of every team member and allowing them to reach their potential. As a collaborative platform, we strive to find consensus among investment and operational decisions from all team members, encouraging constructive feedback and diverse opinions, and reaching alignment with the firm’s mission to better serve founders. At the same time, we are striving to create a system that allows colleagues to balance work, life, and family, including unlimited annual leave, flexible remote work, annual health checks, annual employee travel, and providing a 0-6 years old per child annually subsidy of US$12k—as we have welcomed five AppWorks babies over the past three years, reinforcing AppWorks’ commitment to supporting the families of our team members.

The lodestar of AppWorks has remained consistent since day one—to help entrepreneurs reach their potential and create more successful businesses, and improve the competitiveness of GSEA’s digital economy—bringing together an institutional-grade team under one mission.

“A well-deserved congratulations to Sophie, Jun, Jack, and Vanessa for their promotions—they will play a more prominent role in the next stage of AppWorks’ development. Looking ahead, AppWorks can make a more systematic effort to support founders and create greater impact for the development of Taiwan and Southeast Asia. We sincerely welcome more experts to join us, and work together to make the region’s startup ecosystem stronger, and into a tech powerhouse admired by the world,” remarked Jamie Lin, Chairman, AppWorks.

AppWorks 宣佈新成立 SEA、Beacon Funds 兩事業單位,並完成新一輪內部晉升,在熊市中持續擴大招募人才

AppWorks 今天宣佈完成新一輪組織機構化及內部晉升,並擴大對外招募優秀人才。繼 2022 年分別成立加速器與 Web3 事業單位後,AppWorks 在 2023 年初進一步將 SEA 與 Beacon Funds 升級為事業單位,同時內部晉升 4 位同事 (由左至右):Sophie 邱敬媛由投資經理升任協理,將帶領 SEA 事業;Jun 若林純由投資經理升任協理,將帶領 Beacon Funds 事業;Jack 安良方由分析師升任投資經理;Vanessa 呂瑾玟由空間總監升任營運總監。 

AppWorks 長期經營新創的社群,累積達 472 家活躍新創、1,522 位創業者,在對的時間、為對創業者帶來對的幫助,是推動這個社群持續成長茁壯的核心工作,透過本次組織升級,我們期望系統化的擴大服務能量,讓不同領域的 AppWorks 創業者,都能得到最專業的支持。

AppWorks SEA 事業單位的策略目標,是深化 AppWorks 在東南亞數位經濟的佈局,持續招募東南亞的優秀新創團隊加入 AppWorks Accelerator,並透過 AppWorks Funds 資金支持這些優秀創業者,以及持續發展 AppWorks 的大東南亞生態系與創業者社群,幫助台灣與東南亞數位經濟的連結,讓台灣的企業、新創與人才,有更多元機會參與蓬勃發展中的東南亞市場,打造國際化格局。

AppWorks Beacon Funds 事業單位的策略目標,則是成為我們與創投同業連結的重要橋樑。過去幾年來,AppWorks 以管理公司自有資金,陸續投資包括  AC Ventures、 Openspace Ventures、Ascend Vietnam Ventures、Foxmont Capital、Pantera Capital、Animoca Ventures 等在內,專注 Web3 與東南亞不同國家、領域、階段的超過 20 支創投基金,除了輸出 AppWorks 長期經營創投、加速器、新創生態系的 Know-how 外,也透過與各創投的合作,掌握優異投資機會,交換盡職調查成果,並協力輔導共同投資的新創。目前,AppWorks Funds 超過十分之一的投資案,案源來自 Beacon Funds 所投資的創投基金。未來,AppWorks 預計將以每年投資超過 10 支創投基金的速度佈局,加速 Beacon Funds 生態系成長,擴大 AppWorks 的觸角。

AppWorks 本輪 4 位獲得晉升的同事,簡介如下:

Sophie 邱敬媛 (AppWorks SEA 事業協理)

東南亞事業負責人,主導在該地區結識、幫助與投資優秀的創業者。2020 年加入 AppWorks 擔任經理、2023 年升任協理,加入 AppWorks 前在倫敦、香港、台灣金融圈有十年的證券投資、分析經驗。曾經在瑞士信貸、摩根大通、英國 Autonomous Research 擔任分析師,在美商路博邁基金擔任新興市場投資經理。英國華威大學財務碩士、台灣大學財務金融系學士。在 AppWorks 期間,代表主導 91APP、KKday、越南最大本土電商平台 Tiki、印尼最大 AgriTech 平台 EdenFarm 等重要投資案;經常往返大東南亞地區,透過講座、活動,經營 AppWorks 大東南亞創業者社群。

Jun 若林純 (AppWorks Beacon Funds 事業協理)

Beacon Funds 事業負責人,主導結識、幫助、投資區域與 Web3 新興創投基金經理人,並與他們充分合作。2017 年加入 AppWorks 擔任分析師、2022 年升任經理、2023 年升任協理。長期經營東南亞新創社群,贏得創業者、投資人、生態系建立者信任,使 AppWorks 成為區域內創業者尋求各種創業支持的首選。擁有紐約大學史登商學院財務學士學位,畢業後任職於 Focus Reports 完成多個深度市場研究。工作之餘熱衷冥想以維持平衡的身心。

Jack 安良方 (AppWorks 投資經理)

負責結識、幫助與投資 Web3 創業者。2019 年加入 AppWorks 擔任分析師、2023 年升任經理。加入 AppWorks 前,曾在 Insurtech 新創擔任共同創辦人,對用戶體驗與產品設計充滿熱情,在此期間,首次買入比特幣、以太幣以及多種 ICO Tokens,當然,損失不少。更早之前則在紐西蘭 Chubb Insurance 服務。畢業於紐西蘭懷卡托大學,主修古典鋼琴,最喜愛莫札特。熱愛煮菜、閱讀以及實踐斯多葛哲學。正在尋找下個百萬用戶等級的 Web3 應用,讓人類社會更開放、無需許可、抗審查、無需信任。

Vanessa 呂瑾玟 (AppWorks 營運總監)

負責加速器相關營運工作,確保我們能提供最貼心的服務給創業者,同時經營 AppWorks  Coworking 共同工作空間,打造最符合創業者需求的工作環境。曾任職於鴻海集團三創育成基金會,除了維運與調度共同工作空間和活動場地,也協助引薦專業顧問輔導進駐的新創團隊、提供資源串接及社群經營。此外,是矽谷新創 Evernote 在台灣的第三號員工,從此著迷於以高轉速的工作效率完成團隊目標。2018 年加入 AppWorks 擔任空間總監、2023 年升任營運總監,畢業於政治大學俄文系及俄羅斯研究所。2020 年升級為新手媽媽,積極在育兒及工作之間找到事半功倍的方式,營造親子間的精心時刻。


隨著 AppWorks 組織持續升級,我們熱情邀請優秀人才加入,最新開出的職缺包括:投資經理、分析師、Crypto Native 分析師、基金財務經理。

在公司文化以及各個工作環節上,我們對人才有高度的重視與誠意,除了提供持續拉齊國際同業機構的薪資待遇,同時也強調內部資訊公開、制度透明、比想法不比位階的工作環境。例如,從每一支加入 AppWorks Accelerator 的新創團隊、每一個投資案,到內部的政策與制度,我們每一個策略與行動,非常重視大家的意見而採取共識決議,同事們不受限職稱皆有提供建議、表達不同意見的平等權利,藉由充分的溝通與交流,讓擁有不同專業與工作內容的同事們,都能因為共同參與、且完全理解團隊的所有決議,一起準確對齊目標,方能加速前進。同時,AppWorks 也努力打造讓同事們可以兼顧工作、生活、家庭平衡的制度和福利,包括年假無上限、彈性安排遠距工作、年度健康檢查、年度員工旅遊,以及提供 0-6 歲每胎每月 3 萬新台幣的生育補助,過去三年來已「催生」了 5 位 AppWorks 寶寶,為逆轉台灣的人口危機貢獻綿薄之力。

「透過幫助創業者成為更優秀的自己、開創更成功的事業,進而讓台灣成為數位強國」是 AppWorks 自成立以來就不曾改變的北極星,所有同事也是因為認同這個理念而聚集在一起。因為當台灣有一波又一波的優秀創業者出現,可讓新創因此而生生不息的發芽與茁壯,台灣的經濟與社會才得以加快新陳代謝,快速疊代出新產業內涵,並會帶來財富的重新分配、大量的優質就業,以及年輕世代上進的機會,為國家與社會帶來希望。在 AppWorks,我們每位同事都必須不斷思考,如何在自己日常的工作中協助創業者,除了個人可因此與掌握科技最前緣變化的創業者共同交流、學習與成長,也在這樣的過程中,透過每一次、協助每一位創業者將事業往前推進一些,點點滴滴匯聚成讓改變發生的力量。 

AppWorks 董事長暨合夥人林之晨表示:「在此恭喜 Sophie、Jun、Jack 與 Vanessa 獲得晉升,將在 AppWorks 下階段機構化過程中,扮演更重要角色。展望未來,AppWorks 將有更大的力量,支持更多創業者、為台灣與東南亞發展創造更大 Impact,在此誠摯歡迎更多好手加入我們的行列,一起努力讓台灣新創生態更蓬勃區域化,成為國際稱羨的數位強國。」

Benson Chin (Executive Director, Value Creation Center, Wistron): Creating New Value through Synergies with Startups

Communications Master, Communication Master

Antony is a Master specializing in advising AppWorks startups on public, media and social media relations and communications matters. He joins Team AppWorks with over 18 years of media experience under his belt, having been a part of the very first batch of reporters to cover the Internet industry in Taiwan. He’s since held various senior level roles at prominent publications including Vice Chief Editor at Business Next Magazine, Senior Associate Managing Editor at Cheers Magazine, and Chief Editor at SmartM. Antony received his Bachelors in Management Science from National Chiao Tung University, and has tracked closely the evolution of media. Seeing himself as an “Internet missionary,” Antony loves sharing with others the sheer impact of digital technologies, particularly as it pertains to revolutionizing businesses and facilitating a new age of entrepreneurs.

Large enterprises collaborating with startups has become a leading trend in recent years for boosting innovation, and Wistron is one of the most representative examples of this. In addition to actively encouraging internal innovation, Wistron has also launched various initiatives such as the Wistron Vertical Accelerator through a strategic alliance with AppWorks, to engage in more extensive and systematic collaboration with external startups. In this process, the Value Creation Center (VCC) under the CTO’s office, is one of the driving forces, connecting the internal and external innovative energies and facilitating a variety of innovation possibilities. In its collaborations with startups, VCC offers design services (ODM) and external resource connections (Outreach Business), providing complete assistance to early-stage startups with product volumes under 10K. VCC also helps startups connect with various Wistron business units to receive broader support.

In a special interview with AppWorks, Benson Chin, who has served at Wistron for over 25 years and is the Executive Director of the Value Creation Center, shares Wistron’s significant stages in promoting innovation and the experiences and gains from deep collaboration with startups and participation in Wistron’s accelerator. Here are the key points:

Q: What role does VCC play in various business units within the Wistron Group, and what are its future strategies and goals?

A: As the name of the Value Creation Center suggests, our main goal is to create value, not just save costs. Wistron’s core business is ODM/OEM, and our long-term expertise lies in efficiency, quality, speed, and scale. But Wistron also has a distinctive DNA – we place a strong emphasis on innovation, and value creation will inevitably come from the synergies of innovation. So, our name reflects the mission and expectations that Wistron has entrusted to us.

Over the ten-plus years since VCC was established, our role and objectives have gone through three phases. Initially, we helped various Business Groups (BGs) and Business Units (BUs) with projects they deemed important but lacked the manpower, time, or ability to pursue. This was our starting point, so we had a deeper connection with various BGs and BUs. In the second phase, as our department developed, we started to anticipate our customers’ needs, doing things they hadn’t yet thought of, or preparing next-generation products to create more value for them.

Now we are in the third phase. We are continuously contemplating whether we can create valuable services, business models, or solutions for the company. This gives us more room and flexibility to diversify our development. We are always looking for a balance between maintaining necessary connections with each BG and BU to increase their value while proving our own, and helping Wistron make various longer-term innovative attempts.

Q: What specific approaches does the VCC take in terms of various innovations?

A: As Wistron has developed, it can be divided into two main strategies: encouraging internal innovation and connecting with external startups. For internal innovation, over the past 10 years, we’ve held two internal Demo Tech Day Road Shows each year, totaling 20 times, to present various innovative technologies or products from business units or the VCC. In addition, we’ve co-hosted several Golden Brain competitions with other educational training centers, encouraging our colleagues to participate in innovation competitions and propose various innovative products or business models. Some of our recent new products, such as the smart flower pot, smart coffee scale, and smart voice assistant for medical care , all came from the top-ranked products of the GoldenBrain competition. No matter which team the contestants belong to, VCC will assist in connecting and cooperating with the relevant BG or BU, continuously sparking ideas internally and enabling the team to fully realize their products or business models.

The other approach is to connect with external startups and collaborate on their innovative technologies, products, services, or business models. This is a role that the VCC has played more prominently in the past three to five years, shifting from an Inside Out approach to an Outside In one, learning together with external startups and co-creating value. As the overall industry changes faster and becomes more diverse, various BGs and BUs within Wistron are gradually establishing their own teams similar to the VCC, focusing on new technologies and products in the next one to two years, mainly serving existing ODM and OEM customers. We, on the other hand, focus on opportunities three to five years out or even longer. Looking at the results, the VCC has had a positive impact internally over the past few years, with innovation becoming a part of our DNA, and all units are paying more attention, with teams similar to the VCC gradually emerging.

Another role of the VCC is to facilitate horizontal communication and connection between various internal and external units. Because each BU, BG, or subsidiary has its own core focus, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what changes are happening outside. Our role is to create more horizontal connections, both internally and by helping external startups connect with units within Wistron. Internally, when various BGs and BUs develop new products, they may lack certain skills such as EE (Electronic Engineering), ID (Industrial Design), or UI/UX. At this point, they will seek our support. For example, Wistron is developing AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) fleets that can be applied in different areas such as medical care, shopping centers, public transportation, logistics warehouses, and factories, and ID and UI/UX are supported by the VCC. For external startups, we can also help connect them with our internal technology and manufacturing. For example, during the pandemic, there was a startup team from the Industrial Technology Research Institute whose product was an antimicrobial liquid generator. Using electrochemical technology, they can electrolyze tap water into highly active oxygen antimicrobial liquid. We assisted in the design and manufacturing of the product’s bottle and charging equipment.

I have been serving in Wistron for over 25 years, and the VCC team is very diverse. Besides having seasoned employees like myself, we also have very young colleagues. If we consider five years as a generation, our team spans five generations. This diverse background makes us well-suited to serve as a bridge connecting internally and externally. Personally, I thoroughly enjoy being able to produce concrete results and get a glimpse of what’s going on in the outside world.

Providing Comprehensive Services to Early-stage Startups

Q: In terms of collaborations with startups, what stage and fields of startups are VCC’s targets?

A: VCC can provide full-range design services (ODM) and external resource connections (Outreach Business) to startups. Simply put, we have comprehensive support from the entrepreneurial idea stage to the early stage of trial production and mass production of fewer than 10,000 units. This includes product design, needs or marketing research, UI/UX, hardware and software, CMF (Color, Material, Finishing) R&D, small-batch prototyping, prototype making, trial production, etc. Moreover, we have long-term partnerships with first-class academic institutions such as MIT and can help startups introduce forward-looking technologies. If startups need it, we also guide them in listing products on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Zeczec, or on e-commerce websites like Amazon to learn how to do e-commerce.

Startups have different needs at different stages, and Wistron currently plans to assist through three units. CVC (Corporate Venture Capital) focuses on startup funding, VCC focuses on the function aspect, and we have IIC (Innovation Integration Center) to help startups with small-scale mass production. So, when excellent startups collaborate with us, they get funding, technology, and production support. When startups formally enter scale-up, and their mass production scale is large enough that BGs and BUs are willing to take over, we will assist in making the connection to become long-term customers in the future.

We are not too restricted in cooperating with startups from any field. Going back to market demand, I would define it as the elderly and dogs, lifestyle taste, and ESG aspects. We are more than willing to work with startups that focus on elder care, pet economy, or life applications using AI, IoT, Sensor, Cloud, and other technologies, as well as those developing environmentally friendly products and business models.

When cooperating with startups, we adopt an attitude of mutual respect and win-win creation. In the Wistron logo, the ‘i’ in Wistron is highlighted, representing the two important spirits of Innovation and Integrity. I often proudly say that I am fortunate to be deeply connected with the ‘i’ of Innovation. The other ‘i’, representing Integrity, should be the most basic DNA of us as an ODM/OEM manufacturer. We never plagiarize the IP of our clients to make our own products. The cooperation with startups is also based on this spirit. We sign bilateral NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) to protect the IP of both parties. Perhaps there have been some bad businesses in the industry that have taken the IP of cooperating startups, but as far as my time at Wistron, I have never heard of us trying to take advantage of others. A quick check or inquiry in the market will reveal that we have never had such a record.

Q: How does a startup get charged when collaborating with VCC and using the services provided by VCC?

A: Fundamentally, VCC is a Cost Center unit, not a Profit Center. But our goal is to create long-term value for Wistron, so we don’t need to carry short-term revenue or profit financial targets, but all services still need to cover at least the operational costs of the department. Therefore, we will not provide services for free, but the charges, payment methods, and even production quantities will offer great flexibility to startups, with many plans available. We understand that entrepreneurship itself carries high risks and has different considerations, so we have ways to accommodate them.

Q: In your past cooperation with startups, or since the operation of the Wistron accelerator for a year and a half, what personal observations or takeaways do you have from the exchange process with entrepreneurs?

A: So far, we have a very positive view of cooperating with startups. Working with startups or entrepreneurs, we wouldn’t dare say we are mentors, but at least we can contribute some opinions and suggestions. I think this process is more like mutual exchange and learning. If we’re talking practically, this process can indeed help Wistron connect with some potential future customers.

Another gain we didn’t anticipate previously was the diversity of startups recruited and filtered through AppWorks to join the Wistron accelerator, which far exceeded expectations. For example, in the third term from September to December 2022, we saw startups covering areas such as FinTech, AR, Material Science, IC Design, etc. Through exchanges with them, we not only gained a deeper understanding of the most cutting-edge industry changes, product and business model development, but also saw the tangible help that VCC and other participating units of the Wistron Group can provide to startups, which is very fulfilling.

One of the startups we discussed a while ago, PackAge+ PeiKeJia, is one of the startups I greatly appreciate. Taiwanese e-commerce ships hundreds of millions of cartons as packaging materials each year, the vast majority of which are only used once, which is very wasteful and not environmentally friendly. They use material technology to promote circular packaging, turning recycled PET bottles into packaging bags that can be reused more than 30 times. They have started cooperating with many e-commerce companies in Taiwan and have secured over 3,000 recycling points in FamilyMart convenience stores during the pandemic. I’ve always thought the concepts of environmental protection and ESG are great, but it’s really not easy to turn them into a profitable business. Their willingness to take on this challenge and achieve good results is commendable.

Q: What advice do you have for startups who want to apply for the Wistron Accelerator or want to start a dialogue and cooperate with VCC?

A: I think the most important thing is to have a mindset that doesn’t limit oneself. When applying, you don’t need to immediately think about connecting with Wistron’s ODM, OEM businesses, or any unit, or what topic you want to work on. Instead, I think the senior executives of each unit joining the Wistron Accelerator are very humble and open. We’re not only helping startups, but we’re also learning a lot from entrepreneurs and startups. For example, I don’t believe we know more about chips than startups doing IC Design. As long as startups fit within the broad categories set for AI, IoT, cloud, cybersecurity, education, and healthcare, we welcome them and are willing to try various possibilities. I believe that during the few months of the accelerator period, we will gradually find some focal points for cooperation.

Furthermore, I hope that entrepreneurs have big dreams because if a company doesn’t have grand dreams, it’s unlikely to be remembered. In addition to having grand dreams, entrepreneurs also need the capability to realistically pursue them. Building a business requires a vision, but it also requires practical strategies and execution. You can dream of transforming an industry or creating a novel product, but you need to have the skills and the drive to turn that dream into a reality. That’s the kind of ambitious and dedicated mindset we’re looking for in the startups that join our accelerator.

***Calling founders working in AI, IoT, Cloud, Cyber Security, EdTech and MedTech to apply for Wistron Accelerator ***

AppWorks Announces New Business Arms and Key Internal Promotions

AppWorks’ a number of key internal promotions, including 2 Principals Alyssa Chen, Ching Tseng, and Associate Jun Wakabayashi (from left to right).

AppWorks, a leading venture capital firm and accelerator in Greater Southeast Asia, today announced a series of institutional and organizational developments in tandem with a number of key internal promotions. 

As part of its organizational upgrades, AppWorks has established new arms that encapsulate the firm’s core mandate components, including dedicated arms for its accelerator and web3 practices. To drive these programs, AppWorks made a number of key promotions, including Alyssa Chen, from Associate to Principal to oversee AppWorks Accelerator arm; Ching Tseng, from Associate to Principal to lead the newly created web3 arm; as well as Jun Wakabayashi, from Analyst to Associate to head AppWorks Beacon Funds operations. These promotions reflect AppWorks commitment to cultivating talent and recognizing and rewarding excellence within the firm.

In addition to these developments, AppWorks will begin its fundraising process in Q2 for AppWorks Fund IV at a target size of US$360 million.

As the foundation of the AppWorks ecosystem, the AppWorks Accelerator is held twice annually, welcoming entrepreneurs focused on the firm’s core mandate of AI, blockchain and Southeast Asia (“A.B.S.”) to attend and gain close mentorship from the program to build founder fundamentals, accelerate business growth, and gain access to funding opportunities. Since its establishment in 2010, AppWorks Accelerator has built a community of 1,402 alumni entrepreneurs, operating 435 active startups spanning across the region with combined revenues of US$13.9 billion, cumulative fundraising of US$4.7 billion, and 20,169 jobs created.

The firm also runs the bi-annual Wistron Accelerator, a joint collaboration between Wistron, one of the world’s largest suppliers of information and communications products, and AppWorks, that recruits outstanding founders across AI, IoT, cloud, information security, education and medical verticals. As more corporates aspire to establish their own vertical accelerator to bring them closer to startups as well as help startups partner with traditional industries, AppWorks decided to further institutionalize its accelerator arm to bridge the gap and amplify the firm’s existing efforts to cultivate the next generation of founders.

For the firm’s web3 investment strategy, as a new paradigm in technology transforming the digital economy, by establishing the web3 arm, AppWorks will focus on providing entrepreneurs with targeted resources to drive web3 mass adoption and support innovation in new business models. The firm will also assist founders in web1 and web2 spaces of its founder community to pivot to web3 models, bridging traditional startups into the blockchain space. Since its entry into blockchain in 2018, AppWorks has accelerated and invested in a total of 75 active new startups and 141 entrepreneurs in the web3 space, including Dapper Labs, Figment, Animoca Brands, Blocto and XREX, among others.

As part of AppWorks commitment to building a comprehensive venture ecosystem connecting Taiwan with Southeast Asia and the global blockchain industry, the firm has launched the AppWorks Beacon Funds strategy, to date backing  more than 20 venture capital funds off AppWorks GP’s own balance sheet. Select AppWorks Beacon Funds include Pantera Capital, Animoca Ventures, AC Ventures, Asia Partners, Golden Gate Ventures, and others. In addition to sharing know-how, through cooperation, AppWorks Beacon Funds strategy generates co-investment opportunities, provides global due diligence and landing support, and builds portfolio company synergies throughout the ecosystem. Roughly one-third of all AppWorks investments are now sourced from AppWorks Beacon Funds. The firm plans to invest in 10 more funds every year aligned with AppWorks’ core investment mandate.

“Through the combined effort of the AppWorks portfolio company founders and our team, the AppWorks ecosystem has experienced remarkable growth since its inception. We are proud of the performance and contributions of Alyssa, Ching, and Jun—and we have decided to put on their shoulders greater responsibilities as part of our institutionalization process,” said Jamie Lin, Chairman and Partner, AppWorks. “With these structural improvements and our upcoming Fund IV, AppWorks will be more ready to create an even greater impact on the development of Taiwan and Southeast Asia, supporting more entrepreneurs, and accelerate emerging and innovative new segments of the digital economy.”

The organizational upgrades come with the firm’s recent success in key investments, such as 91APP and FLOW, designed to accelerate the firm’s momentum in key investment areas. With a 2014 vintage, AppWorks Fund II (US$51 million) has achieved an annualized internal rate of return (IRR) of 29.3% and a distribution to paid-in multiple (DPI) of 1.34x. The firm’s AppWorks Fund III (US$150 million), vintage 2018, currently posts an annualized IRR of 92.9% and has also begun to generate substantial distributions.

To further drive the growth of the AppWorks ecosystem, the firm is actively recruiting investment associates passionate about venture capital in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and the global web3 industry. AppWorks offers globally competitive pay and packages, with salaries ranging between US$92,000 to US$180,000, and annual childcare assistance of US$12,000 for each child 0-6 years old. 

Alyssa Chen – Principal

Alyssa Chen oversees the AppWorks Accelerator, Wistron Accelerator, as well as AppWorks alumni, mentor network, and community programs. Alyssa joined AppWorks as an intern during university, later returning to the firm as an Analyst in 2016 and promoted to Associate in 2019. During this period, Alyssa drove the rapid growth and regionalization of AppWorks Accelerator, incorporating the core mandate of AI, blockchain, and Southeast Asia (“A.B.S.”) and successfully implementing a hybrid in-person/digital model for the accelerator in response to the global pandemic. In 2021, Alyssa successfully launched the Wistron Accelerator vertical accelerator in cooperation with Wistron.

Ching Tseng – Principal

Ching Tseng oversees AppWorks investments in global web3 projects, and started with the firm as an intern in 2015. Joining the firm after graduation as an analyst, Ching was promoted to Associate in 2019. With a passion for blockchain and its associated applications, Ching has built the firm’s web3 practice from the ground up as an early mover in Asia’s web3 ecosystem, bridging Taiwan to global projects and teams. Select investments include Dapper Labs, Animoca Brands, Blocto, and CHOCO TV (acquired by LINE), among others.

Jun Wakabayashi – Associate

Jun Wakabayashi leads the day-to-day operations of AppWorks Beacon Funds, overseeing investment activity in Greater Southeast Asia and coaching the accelerator team. Born and raised in the United States, Jun joined AppWorks as an Analyst in 2017, driving the regionalization process of the AppWorks platform, and engaging with startup communities in Greater Southeast Asia, gradually winning the trust of entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem builders. Jun’s efforts have enabled AppWorks Accelerator to attract outstanding entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia, generate tangible results for the AppWorks Beacon Funds, and investing in regional startups including EMQ and Beam.

【If you are a founder working on a startup in SEA, or working with AI, Blockchain, and NFT, apply to AppWorks Accelerator to join the largest founder community in Greater Southeast Asia.】

AppWorks 宣佈將加速器、Web3 升級為事業單位,並內部晉升負責人

AppWorks 在今日宣佈完成新一輪內部晉升,包括協理陳敬旻、曾意晴以及投資經理若林純 。(由左至右)

長期耕耘大東南亞新創生態的 AppWorks,在今日宣佈完成新一輪晉升與組織升級。將加速器升級為事業單位,並由投資經理升任協理的陳敬旻帶領;同時也成立 Web3 事業單位,晉升投資經理曾意晴為協理帶領;同時,AppWorks Beacon Funds 計畫,由分析師升任投資經理的若林純 (Jun Wakabayashi) 主導。此外,AppWorks 也持續提高薪資福利,貼近國際同業機構的水準,截至 2021 年底,AppWorks 合夥人以外同仁的平均年薪為 334 萬新台幣,年成長 26%。

透過組織機構化、內部晉升以及提高薪資福利,AppWorks 希望持續吸引、留下優秀人才,因此更系統化的協助創業者、企業等生態系各面向的利害關係人,幫助台灣抓住 AI、Web3、東南亞等典範轉移,所帶來的崛起與轉型機會。

AppWorks 加速器事業單位的策略目標,除了繼續招募來自 ABS (AI、Blockchain、Southeast Asia) 三大成長引擎的優秀創業者,加入每年兩屆的 AppWorks Accelerator,深化 AppWorks 生態系與創業者社群,也將加速開展與大企業的合作,推動以大企業為主體、AppWorks 協力營運的垂直加速器,協助大企業更有效率、更具規模的與各式新創展開策略合作,順利完成數位轉型。

AppWorks Accelerator 自 2010 年成立以來,畢業的活躍新創已達 435 家、共 1,402 位創業者,所有新創加總年營業額達 139 億美元、累計募資達 47 億美元、為台灣與區域創造 20,169 個就業數。由 AppWorks 與緯創,在 2021 年展開合作的 Wistron Accelerator 垂直加速器,也將同步以每年兩屆的速度,招募優秀的 AI、物聯網、雲端、資安、教育與醫療新創加入。

帶領加速器事業單位的協理 (Principal) 陳敬旻 (Alyssa Chen),經營包括 AppWorks Accelerator、Wistron Accelerator 等服務,以及 AppWorks 校友、Mentors 等社群,同時長期擔任 CEO 峰會秘書。樂於陪伴創業者打造出屬於自己的火箭,大學時期曾於 AppWorks 實習,碩士畢業後加入華山文創園區,負責新銳文創品牌的招商與媒體合作。2016 年回到 AppWorks 擔任分析師 (Analyst)、2019 年升任經理 (Associate),期間帶領 AppWorks Accelerator 快速成長與區域化,2018 年重新定位為專注於 AI、 Blockchain 的加速器,2020 年起隨疫情轉型為 Hybrid 模式,2021 年成功與緯創合作推出垂直加速器。畢業於政大德文系、政大國際傳播所。

另一方面,成立 Web3 事業單位的策略目標,是在技術、商業模式、產業結構更加快速變動與疊代的 Web3 典範轉移中,讓 AppWorks 能有更豐沛的資源與能量,協助優秀的區塊鏈創業者提升擴大顛覆的範圍與速度,並全力幫助 Web1 / Web2 的校友新創,更快 Pivot 到 Web3。AppWorks 從 2018 年開始聚焦在區塊鏈的發展以來,至今已加速、投資來自 Web3 領域共 75 家活躍新創、141 位創業者,佔整體生態系超過六分之一,著名的 AppWorks Web3 生態系新創包括 FLOW / Dapper Labs、Figment、Animoca Brands、Blocto、Concept Art House、XREX、Dappio、XY Finance / Steaker、LikeCoin、Numbers Protocol、Lootex、Matters、Pelith、Fandora NFT…等。

帶領 Web3 事業的協理曾意晴 (Ching Tseng),大學時曾於 AppWorks 實習,2015 年政大企管系畢業後,正式加入擔任分析師,期間代表 AppWorks 從 A 輪協助 CHOCO TV 一路到被 LINE 併購退場。2019 年升任經理,主要負責招募區塊鏈新創與投資,帶領 AppWorks 從無到有,長出蓬勃 Web3 生態,並站上國際一線區塊鏈投資舞台,主導 Dapper Labs / Flow、Animoca Brands、Blocto 等成功投資案。

AppWorks Beacon Funds 策略,則是 AppWorks 邁向區域化,打造創投、加速器生態系的重要基礎之一。過去幾年來,AppWorks 以管理公司自有資金陸續投資包括 Pantera、Animoca Ventures、AC Ventures、Asia Partners、Golden Gate Ventures 等在內,專注 Web3 與大東南亞不同國家、領域、階段的超過 20 支創投基金,除了輸出 AppWorks 長期經營創投、加速器、新創生態系的 Know-how 外,也透過與各創投的合作,掌握優異投資機會,交換盡職調查成果,並協力輔導共同投資的新創。目前,AppWorks 約三分之一的投資案源,來自 AppWorks Beacon Funds 所投資的創投基金。未來,AppWorks 將持續耕耘這項策略,加速大東南亞創投生態成熟,並擴大 AppWorks 的觸角,預計將以每年投資超過 10 支創投基金的速度佈局。

主導 AppWorks Beacon Funds 策略的投資經理若林純,長期負責大東南亞的投資與加速器團隊輔導。在美國出生、成長,2017 年加入 AppWorks 擔任分析師,隨後帶頭推動 AppWorks 平台區域化,長期持續拜訪、經營東南亞各國新創社群,一個個贏得創業者、投資人、生態系建立者們的信任。他的努力讓 AppWorks Accelerator 吸引越來越多優秀東南亞創業者、幫助 AppWorks Beacon Funds 計畫開花結果,同時也讓 AppWorks Funds 得以投資像是 EMQ、Beam 等區域級新創。加入 AppWorks 前,任職於 Focus Reports,負責採訪各國高級官員與業界高層,完成多個不同領域的深度市場研究。父親來自日本、母親來自台灣,除了美國與台灣之外,曾旅居 7 個國家,遊歷 50 多國。於紐約大學史登商學院取得財務學士學位。

AppWorks 決定在 2022 年初啟動本輪組織升級,主因 2021 年隨著 91APP、FLOW 等投資案陸續開花結果,AppWorks 旗下管理的創投基金獲利進一步提升。2014 年成立,原始規模  5,100 萬美元的 AppWorks Fund II,最新年化內部報酬率 (IRR) 為 29.3%,已分配收益倍數 (DPI) 也來到 1.34 倍,也就是原始投資每 100 元的基金股東,已領回 134 元的實質收益。2018 年成立,原始規模 1.5 億美元的 AppWorks Fund III,目前年化內部報酬率達 92.9%,也開始產生實質受益分配。

為了進一步抓住 AppWorks 加速器生態,以及 AppWorks Beacon Funds 所帶來的大量優質 ABS 案源,AppWorks 預計今年第二季展開目標 3.6 億美元的 AppWorks Fund IV 募集,也因此提前展開組織升級。同時間,在公司大幅獲利與邁向專業機構化的過程,AppWorks 也持續與同仁分享成果,除了感謝大家的付出,也期待能以拉齊國際同業機構的薪資福利,吸引一流好手加入

截至 2021 年底,AppWorks 合夥人以外同仁的平均年薪,較 2020 年成長 26%,來到 334 萬新台幣,其中投資經理與分析師等專業投資人員 (Investment Professionals),年薪落在 250 萬到 500 萬新台幣間。此外,AppWorks 所提供 0-6 歲每胎每月 3 萬新台幣的生育補助,過去兩年來也「催生」了 4 位 AppWorks 寶寶,為逆轉台灣的人口危機貢獻綿薄之力。

AppWorks 董事長暨合夥人林之晨指出:「感謝全體 AppWorks 同仁的齊心付出,我們在 2021 年大有斬獲,且將在 2022 年更上一層樓。在此恭喜 Alyssa、Ching 與 Jun 獲得晉升,將在 AppWorks 下階段機構化過程中,扮演更重要角色。隨著今年啟動 3.6 億美元的 AppWorks Fund IV,AppWorks 將有更大的力量,為台灣與東南亞發展創造更大 Impact,支持更多創業者、加速 Web3 等新興產業茁壯,並且協助更多大企業轉型,在此誠摯歡迎高手加入,一起證明 Taiwan can help startups & Taiwan is helping startups。」

【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