SOURCE: WI Harper

WI Harper

March 25, 2011 01:51 ET

TMI-Labs Launched in Taiwan to Incubate Next Wave of Internet Start-Ups

ITRI, WI Harper and Innovation Works Sponsor New Venture

BEIJING and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 25, 2011) - The Industrial Technology Research Institute ("ITRI"), a national research organization that serves to strengthen the technological competitiveness of Taiwan, announced today that they are funding TMI-Labs (Taiwan Internet & Mobile Labs) in conjunction with co-investors Innovation Works and WI Harper Group. The founding investors share a common vision of providing a platform that will encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in Taiwan, and showcase to the world Taiwan's "soft power" as is strives to be a pioneer in providing major advantages and opportunities for domestic industries.

ITRI's Chairman Tsai commented, "Taiwan is ranked sixth globally in its ability to innovate, and it has been a long-standing mission of ITRI to find the best way to foster creativity and innovation for Taiwanese youths and companies. TMI-Labs is the ideal incubation platform because it will be led by mobile internet veterans and entrepreneurs with proven track records who can provide the assistance -- financing, mentorship, technical knowledge -- that a seed-stage start-up needs to improve its chances of success."

Peter Liu, Chairman of WI Harper, stated, "Since 1986, when I was first invited by Kuo-Ting Lee to return to Taiwan to found a venture capital firm, we have helped numerous companies re-invent themselves into technology companies by facilitating their move into the Hsinchu Science Park, recruiting top talent to return from overseas to Taiwan, and leading cross-border technology transfers. At WI Harper, we pride ourselves as a harbinger of progress, from our ability to spot emerging trends and technologies, to our partnership with Dr. Kai-Fu Lee in co-founding Innovation Works in China. WI Harper, along with ITRI Chairman Tsai and Dr. Lee, have collectively backed TMI-Labs as a way to support aspiring young entrepreneurs in Taiwan with the technology, management and funding that are essential to a successful start-up. We have always been, and will continue to be, industry vanguards."

Chairman Kai-Fu Lee of Innovation Works concluded, "Since the founding of Innovation Works in 2009 in Beijing, we have incubated numerous successful start-ups and accumulated valuable experience in a little over a year's time. Through TMI-Labs' systematic incubation process, we can leverage the best of Taiwan, its creativity, cultural depth and technological talent, to fully capture the enormous Chinese market. In the process, we can greatly upgrade Taiwan's technological prowess and co-create an era of economic prosperity across the two sides of the Taiwan Strait."

TMI-Labs is primarily focused on investment opportunities within Taiwan's internet mobile space. TMI-Labs can facilitate entrepreneurs in two ways. First, it can provide growth capital to accelerate a start-up's growth. Second, TMI-Labs can lend its network to start-ups and help recruit experienced advisors and executives who are integral to a start-up's success. By providing capital, technology, managerial talent and access to global markets, TMI-Labs aims to improve the success rate of its portfolio companies. Lastly, TMI-Labs will work closely with Beijing-based Innovation Works to help bridge Taiwanese entrepreneurs to China so that they can have a better understanding of the current development, trends and opportunities in China. The aspiration of TMI-Labs is to help the creative, engineering and management talent in Taiwan find success in China's lucrative web and mobile market.

About WI Harper
Founded in 1993, WI Harper Group is an expansion and early growth stage investment firm that focuses on companies with significant operations in China and aspirations to become global leaders. We are an active partner with a track record of over 100 investments in the technology, clean technology and health care sectors. The firm manages $500 million in capital from our offices in Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco. www.wiharper.com

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