2018 Teams

2018 Finalists

Mark Blackburn (British/Australian) and Paul McNeill (Australian)

Developed in Australia and manufactured in Taiwan, WRAPTIE™ tie down straps are a unique idea that was brought to market through the power of crowdfunding, social media, and e-commerce. What started as an idea more than 10 years ago, by serial inventor Paul McNeill, has now become the realisation of a dream. Together with co-founder Mark Blackburn, Wraptie was launched successfully in 2017 on crowdfunding platforms Indiegogo (Japan) and Machi-Ya (Japan). Currently sold in more than 30 Countries worldwide, a backlog of new ideas and a several multi-national big box stores in distribution negotiations, Wraptie is about the hit the big time.

 

Adam Hatch and Aaron Hatch (American), Liz Tsai (Taiwanese)

Englist is a top-tier, online English education and writing service based in Taipei, Taiwan. Englist endeavors to make practical academic writing more accessible for Taiwanese and Asian students. Targeting serious students with an interest in studying or working abroad, Englist works to instill critical analysis skills that, along with solid writing abilities, will allow students to be self-sufficient in their studies in the English-speaking world.

Englist has a proven track record in making English writing skills relevant to junior high and high school students. Through Taipei Teen Tribune, Englist’s student-written news and opinion blog, Taiwanese students routinely offer advanced analysis of the topics most relevant to them.

By employing top notch writing curriculum and developing world-class academic content, along with a robust digital marketing strategy, Englist plans to make its services available first island-wide in Taiwan, then around Asia.

 

Jon Burke (Australian) and Sven Horvatic (Croatian)

Registered in Taiwan, Arming Guild is a designer and vendor of equipment for sports fencing (modern Olympic sword fighting), and historical fencing (fighting with reproductions of historical European swords). Founded by director Jon Burke, and chief marketing officer Sven Horvatić, Arming Guild provides high quality protective equipment, and swords from some of Europe’s leading armorers, to an international market of around 300,000 historical and sports fencers.

Arming Guild’s flagship product is Rearguard, a fencing mask with a unique patented design providing superior head protection. Rearguard is aimed specifically at preventing concussion to the back of the head, a recurring danger in fencing with few reliable solutions on the market. Designed in 2016 and launched in 2018, Rearguard has already received strong market support, with a 197% funded crowd sourcing campaign, and contracts with several retailers. Arming Guild is now seeking investment for further product development and retail expansion.

 

Nikhil Pathak and Rahul Gupta (Indian)
Roberto Forestal (Haitian), Kai-wei Ke (Taiwanese)

GoEco, is an innovative initiative with a mission to reduce plastic pollution through bio-based, single-use disposable eat-ware products. Our single-use disposables directly replace the currently used plastic straws and eat-ware for beverage and food consumption. Our disposables (like the bamboo straws and leaf plates) are made directly out of sustainable sourced plant parts and biomass. This allows for convenient disposal and accelerated degradation after their use, leaving a minimal ecological footprint.

The start-up was founded in 2018 has gained upright interest from government, investors, and consumers for its key focus on solving the urgent plastic problem. In response to the rising demand for plastic alternatives, in the food & beverages sector, GoEco is moving ahead to bring its single-use disposables to consumers. By partnering with various restaurants and chain stores GoEco provides practical product designs, cost-efficient raw-material sourcing & production, and active marketing strategies.

 

David Chang (American/Taiwanese)

Currently in beta development, Crossroads is an experimental cross-lingual platform that connects global entrepreneurs and talent to services and resources in Taiwan and overseas markets. Powered by the technologies and human experts of the Wordcorp translation platform, Crossroads offers an effective solution for startups and SMEs to reach new markets through the localization, distribution, and analysis of content across integrated media channels.

With a background in U.S. politics, David Chang founded Wordcorp in 2014 and Crossroads in 2018 to address recurring issues with global outreach and internationalization efforts by Taiwan.  Observing the passion and goodwill for Taiwan around the world, he realized that language and political barriers to foreign integration served as major hindrances to these efforts. Now, through active engagement with business leaders and government officials, Crossroads is poised to serve as a multilingual nerve center of activity among the local, foreign, and overseas communities of Taiwan.