Monday, June 1, 2020

Fast-Track Accelerators

Fast track accelerators

By : Khadija Azhar


While many of us saw the proliferation of social media platforms as a leap forward in global connectivity, Jamie Lin (pictured) had already foreseen the threat that the conquest of software could pose to Taiwan’s hardware-reliant economy. 


Hardware commodification could very likely push many of its industries into obsolescence, which Lin was determined to prevent. He wanted to build a platform that would harness entrepreneurial potential to facilitate the country’s transition into software-based industries.


Lin’s vision eventually culminated in the establishment of AppWorks, which is now one of the most active startup accelerators in Asia. Since 2010, it has fostered 328 startups and 925 founders, having collectively generated US$2.5 billion in revenues and created over 9,000 jobs. 


AppWorks’ success comes from its founder-centric approach; it prioritizes the people behind the scenes, rather than the startup itself. Teams have access to a tight-knit community of mentors and alumni that not only helps them refine their ideas, but provides support during crucial stages of growth. 


AppWorks recently scaled down its focus to AI and blockchain. While these industries may be in the nascent stages of their development, Lin firmly believes that they are going to bolster future economic growth. 


“We narrowed the focus to remind founders how important these paradigm shifts are, and we want to help support the founders that are working on building the future,” he explains.


Continuing on this trajectory, AppWorks hopes to accelerate 300 startups within the next three to five years, with the ambitious goal of having four of these become unicorns. Given its history of success, this goal doesn’t seem far-fetched. –KA

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