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LEAP Camp Encourages Top Talents to Venture Abroad and Dream Big

2019/09/23

Under the direction of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) launches the LEAP (Learn, Explore, Aspire, and Pioneer) Program to cultivate innovative entrepreneurial talents with a global vision and strategic thinking. LEAP Program selects doctoral talents to receive one-year training abroad in innovative technologies. In order to give the admitted trainees a clear preview of the Program, STPI held the 2019-2 Batch LEAP Camp on May 18, 25, and 26. During this batch of Camp, heavyweight entrepreneur and the co-founder of SparkLabs Taipei, Edgar Chiu, and another well-known startup entrepreneur, Jerry Chen, the co-founder of iXensor Inc., gave special lectures to the trainees. At the opening ceremony, these entrepreneurs shared their overseas business ventures and their experiences in starting new businesses to encourage the trainees to expand their vision and venture abroad.

Distinguished guests at the LEAP Camp opening ceremony. From left to right are the founder of Presentality, Zona Tsou; the section chief of Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs in Ministry of Science and Technology, Wu Hsing-Fei; the founder of Presentality, Nick Howard; the executive of Brain Navi Biotechnology Co., Chen Chieh-Hsiao; the Director General of STPI, Dr. Joung Yuh-Jzer ; the founder of Presentality, Andrew Yang; and the founder of SparkLabs Taipei, Edgar Chiu

LEAP Camp specially tailored courses for the trainees, which includes learning how to self-promote in English, developing creative briefing skills, and engaging in activities that help to enhance group cohesiveness. With these courses, LEAP Camp hopes to prepare the trainees to quickly adapt to the local environment and work pace once they are abroad. LEAP Camp could also serve as a platform for these trainees to establish a support network overseas.

In addition to the training courses, the 2019 LEAP Camp has invited the representatives of several international enterprise partners to compare notes with the trainees in person for facilitating future cooperation and program training. This batch of LEAP Camp particularly invited the trainees who have outperformed in previous camps and have finished their training and returned to Taiwan to share their experiences. These experiences will encourage and inspire the freshmen to adopt the right attitude and mindset when joining the Program abroad. By learning from others’ experiences, the trainees were able to get a better picture of the main goals of the Program in entering the international market and enhancing Taiwan’s industrial competitiveness.

The opening ceremony of LEAP Camp. From left to right are the section chief of Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs in Ministry of Science and Technology, Wu Hsing-Fei; the founder of Presentality, Nick Howard; the executive of Brain Navi Biotechnology Co., Chen Chieh-Hsiao; and the Director-General of STPI, Dr. Joung Yuh-Jzer.

LEAP Program featured popular fields such as big data, artificial intelligence, and biomedical industry. The Camp was hosted by more than 40 enterprises from the U.S., France, and Israel, including globally renowned companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Applied Materials, Pfizer, Genentech, and Taboola.

LEAP Program has selected and sponsored over a hundred top talents to be trained abroad since its launch in 2017. Some of the talents who completed their training entered high-tech industries in turn, and at least three of them started their own tech companies after returning to Taiwan.

As LEAP Program continues to encourage the cultivation of Taiwan’s top talents for linking with global technological innovation, it also hopes to align Taiwan’s entrepreneurial environment with advanced global technologies on the solid foundation of Taiwan’s technology industry. With these missions, the LEAP Program aims to accelerate Taiwan’s industrial development and bring in a new wave of industry innovations.