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Taiwan student startup TSSE achieves fundraising milestone, to set R&D center with its alma mater CYUT

Taichung City, Taiwan-- Taiwan Shennong Social Enterprise Co., Ltd. (TSSE), a student champion startup incubated by Chaoyang University of Technology (CYUT) in central Taiwan, has earned recognition from international venture capital firms after its fundraising road shows in Silicon Valley and Wall Street in April, 2017. After six months of hard work, TSSE successfully raised its series A funding, 3 million US dollars, from Bravovia Capital Investment Pte. Ltd. (BCI, Singapore).


TSSE will provide 1 million of the international fund to create the "Advanced Agricultural and Biotechnology Research and Development Center (AABC)" with CYUT. The partnership will be the biggest industry-academic cooperation research project in scale between student entrepreneurship and a university in Taiwan. The MOU signing ceremony was held at CYUT on February 22. Mr. Jerry Luk, CEO and co-founder of BCI, Singapore, Mr. Charlie Chiang, Taichung City Government’s Economic Development Officer, and Mr. Kevin Yu, founder of Taiwan Accelerator(TA) were among the guests invited to witness the ceremony.


“It definitely has never been easy for a student entrepreneurship team to go from startup stage through to Series A fundraising and obtain 3 million US dollars successfully,” remarked Prof. Cheng Tao-Ming, president of CYUT. The startups have to face different challenges in different fundraising stages (seed, angel, venture capital, etc.). They also have to meet due diligence requirements by different stakeholders during the course. According to the Taipei Exchange, only one out of 100,000 companies is eligible to raise fund in Series A round.


“TSSE’s achievement has set a paradigm of integrated guidance for student startups through the collaboration of the university incubation center, government (MOEA, MOE, Taipei Exchange, local city government) and private accelerators (TA). It also provides an incubation model for student entrepreneurship to succeed,” concluded Prof. Cheng.


TSSE was founded by student volunteers of CYUT incubator in 2012. It was technologically supported by CYUT’s renowned Pheromones Center and incubated by the Business Incubator of CYUT. “Their target is to provide biological pesticide substitutes to solve the overuse and pollution problems of modern chemical pesticides. They vow and strive to provide the environment, farmers and consumers with safer and healthier solutions for agriculture and food. TSSE has won 8 big champion awards for startup competitions in Asia from 2012 to 2017. It was listed in Taiwan Go Incubation Board for Startup and Acceleration Firms (GISA) in 2015.” said Prof. Jane Liu, director of Business Incubator of CYUT.


“The angels for TSSE are many,” said Zafir Chiang, founder of TSSE. Among those he thanked in particular were Mr. Inja Lin, Prof. Weijing Chein, Prof. Jane Liu and Prof. Cheng Tao-Ming of CYUT. Mr. Chiang said that TSSE could not have survived and gone this far without the help from the many ‘Angels’ that he could not name and thank one by one during the signing ceremony. Chiang continued, “There are still a lot of challenges in front of TSSE. With the 3 million fund, TSSE will try their best to provide better solutions for the environment. Also TSSE will partner with CYUT and work closely with the new center, AABC, to develop more advanced agriculture and biotechnologies to serve world’s need, and provide CYUT and TSSE’s shareholders with benefits and returns.”

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