Updated: Feb 12, 2020
The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is deemed to be the largest and most informative healthcare investment conference in the industry. It is flanked by numerous offshoot events all with the sole purpose of gathering the entire spectrum of healthcare stakeholders.
Last week San Francisco played host to the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and its numerous adjacent activities. The event is an annual pilgrimage for healthcare executives, venture capitalists, innovative startups, industry stakeholders and tech giants looking to venture into the healthcare space.
The general consensus from most attendees was that this year was slightly less frenetic, less crowded and less exciting than previous additions. However, as a relative newcomer to the BE team, this was my first foray into the J.P. Morgan Healthcare world and I certainly appreciated the apparent subdued vibe.
I believe that all those who descend upon San Francisco during this week have an itinerary that is planned down to a tee. My calendar was no different, as it had me attending numerous meetings at multiple locations, occasionally at the same time. Despite the seemly chaotic schedule my only purpose was to try foster meaningful connections and evangelize the benefits that Taiwan offers startups looking to venture into the Asian market.
The main focus for the week among the numerous events and meetings was to successfully introduce our Investment Program in partnership with Taipei Medical University (TMU) at RESI a J.P. Morgan adjacent event.
Our lunch hour event detailed the collaboration between BE Capital and TMU, as well as a panel discussion from various stakeholders in the Taiwan Healthcare ecosystem. The panelists addressed the issue of "Why Asia?" and more specifically "Why Taiwan?".
Our new Investment Program can be described as a venture studio for healthcare. The program is called BEx Venture and aims to address numerous factors that are endemic to the industry such as institutional policies, hierarchical systems, long sales cycles and high costs. The new 12 month program will provide startups with both the financial and non-financial support they require to focus on establishing pilots, closing sales and securing follow on funding.
The program is individually tailored to accommodate international and local startups looking to venture into the Asian markets. Taiwan has proven to be a fantastic launchpad into other Asian markets through its unique advantages related to location, medical data, technological ecosystem, talent and healthcare facilities.
We believe that by partnering with TMU we are able to not only provide financial resource, but also provide startups with critical non-financial resources such as easier access to healthcare resources with the ability to perform pilot studies and clinical trials.
Our involvement with TMU has already reaped benefits for some of our alumni companies as they have been able to leverage their medical resources for the establishment of pilot sites and Profit-Sharing collaboration models in the case of LongGood. As well as helping startups collect vital medical data from the NHI in the case of Aesop who have collected over 5 billion prescriptions for their AI platform.
The overarching theme from our event and subsequent meetings was that startups and investors alike have identified the need that is being presented in Asia through its large population, aging demographic and increased demand for healthcare. Despite its relatively small landmass, Taiwan certainly punches well above its weight as most startups that we engaged are already aware of Taiwan and the potential it can provide startup teams looking to venture into Asia.
As a venture capitalist and accelerator for Healthtech and Medtech we are bullish about the role that digital health and AI solutions can contribute in addressing the growing needs in Asia. If you are a startup, investor, corporate or potential partner that share this notion please get in touch and lets see how we can build Taiwan into the gateway to Asia for Healthtech & Medtech.
Once again we are proud to have been associated with the RESI Conference in San Francisco as a sponsor, and we look forward to seeing the event back in Taipei later in the year.