Ministry of Education U-start Program for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- About the Program:
In 2009, the Ministry of Education established the Entrepreneurship Services Program for College Graduates based on the Special Regulations for Economic Growth and the Construction of Public Infrastructure. These efforts embodied the spirit of “courageous action and bold innovation”, and applied the concept of making angel investments into startups through the campus startup incubation and guidance mechanism. In 2010, this program was renamed the Entrepreneurship Services Plan for College Graduates (referred to in short as the U-start Plan). The program’s main goal is to improve the startup culture on the campuses of tertiary educational institutions, encouraging them to optimize their campus environments for entrepreneurship. Working together with on-campus startup incubation and guidance efforts, the program provides youths with an opportunity to experiment with creating startups, helping them obtain practical startup experience and cultivating their entrepreneurial spirit. In order to more effectively boost the trend of on-campus innovation and entrepreneurship by allowing more students to participate in the U-start Plan, the Ministry of Education added the option for current tertiary students to form a team and apply for the program with team members who are foreigners staying in the country on resident visas as long as this student serves as the team representative. This meant that the program was no longer solely intended for tertiary graduates who have graduated in the past five years, and in 2018 it was renamed the U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The U-start Plan for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2020 required applying entrepreneurial teams to be composed of at least three members, and over two-thirds of team members must have either graduated from a tertiary educational institution in the past five years (including recent graduates and those expected to graduate) or be current students (including junior college students above the fourth-year level and students enrolled in continuing education courses). This program is carried out in partnership with public and private institutions with incubation departments, with each institution allowed to submit a maximum of 15 applications. The innovation incubation departments at each institution shall submit Entrepreneurial Team Operational Plans as well as the Incubation and Guidance Plans. After a complete evaluation of the entrepreneurial plan, the Ministry of Education’s Youth Development Administration shall provide grants to cover incubation and guidance expenses as well as the basic start-up fees required by the entrepreneurial teams. Entrepreneurial teams provided with start-up fees would participate in the second round of evaluation, where entrepreneurial teams with exceptional performance would be selected to receive an additional 250,000 to 100,000 NTD in startup funding.
- Applications accepted from:
- Public and private tertiary educational institutions with an incubation department
- Entrepreneurial teams must be composed of at least 3 members, and over two-thirds of these members (unconditionally accepted) must have graduated from a tertiary educational institution within the last five years, or be current students (including bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree students). The remaining team members can be ordinary citizens or foreigners holding resident visas. Each individual can only be part of one team. Team representatives must have either graduated from a tertiary educational institution in the last five years (and hold a bachelor’s degree or higher) or be a current student;
Application criteria are as follows:
- Applying entrepreneurial teams must have never received previous grants from this program, and must not have applied to register as a company at the time of application.
- None of the team’s members must have received previous grants from the program, and each team member must fully commit to the entrepreneurial program during the program implementation period. They cannot be employed elsewhere (the same applies to students enrolled in continuing education courses).
Business Incubation Center: Ms. Ou 02-2733-3141#5122