Which elements make a city a fertile ground for startups? This is a question I often asked myself when traveling to different countries as an investor or founder. I eventually landed on two key factors: the city has enough local success stories, and the people in its local startup network have connections to the global community.
On the first point, the greatest utility of a success story is that it shows other people that their dreams are not out of reach. During my time as a founder in China, I met students from top schools such as Peking and Tsinghua who felt encouraged by the success of alumni: “They aren’t more than four years my senior and they’ve already launched an IPO, which means I can, too!”
It’s also critical for people in a local startup network to build and maintain connections with overseas investors or founders. This not only gives a founder an international perspective but helps their city to appear on the radar of the global startup and investment community.
These experiences made me feel that if Cherubic became successful, nothing would be cooler than to establish a Taipei HQ and host founders, investors, and partners from throughout our global community so that they can get to know more about this fantastic city.
Back when I was a professional tennis player, I found that whenever I won a match, my opponent would become more interested to know where I came from. This led to me inviting players from across the world to visit Taipei. Needless to say, they never confused Taiwan with Thailand again.
These experiences made me feel that if Cherubic became successful, nothing would be cooler than to establish a Taipei HQ and host founders, investors, and partners from throughout our global community. Lucky for us, our success has allowed us to chart our own course and provide investors across the world with opportunities outside their own markets.
Last month, we celebrated the opening of our brand new Taipei office. It moves me to look at this space that we worked so hard to create as well as how much our team has grown in the past year. These milestones represent a big step forward in achieving the commitment we made to ourselves.
We are also honored to know that so many startups that received their first check from Cherubic have gone on to realize their dreams and even become world-leading brands. And on top of every investment agreement that our portfolio founders sign are the words “Taipei, Taiwan”. I am sure that our efforts will help Taipei to make a bigger ripple in the global startup community and attract more visitors to this welcoming, beautiful, and thriving metropolis.