LuminX Biotech Wins Second Place as TSWC Unveils Top 10 Startups




Unlike other startup competitions, which are open only to a restricted group of participants, TSWC is dedicated to the cause of discovering outstanding startups in any shape and form, welcoming startups across all fields and stages of development. 

During the competition, 10 startup teams are shortlisted from the applicants to contend for the championship. The winning team takes home TWD300,000 of prize money and wins a place to compete in the Startup World Cup taking place in the Silicon Valley of the United States, where it will be pitted against startup teams from around the world for the grand champion title and an investment fund of USD1 million. 

Since its launch in April, TSWC had attracted close to 175 startup teams across Taiwan in just a month. The applicants—all top players in Taiwan’s startup scene—ranged from smart healthcare to semiconductor-related fields. 

Three of this year’s top 10 teams were biotech-related, including LuminX Biotech, SpectroChip, and Taiwan Nano & Micro–Photonics. 

The runner-up was LuminX Biotech, which tackles research needs in pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD), the most challenges field in cell therapies, by developing the world’s first-ever “Fluorescent Nano-Diamond (FND)” test kits based on a technology transferred from Dr. Huan-Cheng Chang, Distinguished Research Fellow at Academia Sinica. In a little more than 2 years since its inception, it has already partnered with more than 10 academic research institutes, over six hospitals and clinics, and more than five cell therapy companies. 

Founded by Dr. Kevin Cheng-Hao Ko, Associate Professor at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, SpectroChip specializes in a core technology that miniaturizes a spectrometer down to a chip the size of an SD card, which has been clinically tested to be comparable to the testing equipment in hospitals in terms of accuracy. Combined with a mobile phone and a dedicated app, it can take real-time measurements and keep track of the results. Looking forward, SpectroChip is aiming to build a network combining home- and hospital-based healthcare to realize telemedicine, precision medicine, and preventive healthcare. 

Taiwan Nano & Micro–Photonics is the world’s first CMOS, process-based design company of integrated optical circuits (IOCs) for sensing and detection. It has developed silicon photonic chips that support the detection of multiple human physiological signals on a single device. Going forward, these chips will be compatible with Taiwan Nano & Micro–Photonics’ 5G-enabled AI Health Cloud for real-time physiological monitoring and transform the manual process of updating or recording data passively into the automated process of actively feeding big data, achieving personalized digital health management. 

Moving into its fourth edition, this year’s TSWC was organized by the Taiwan ITRI New Venture Association (TINVA) for the first time, the goal of which is to promote the spirit of passing the torch among successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in Taiwan, which possesses extraordinary advantages in the global innovation scene. With its world-leading research and development (R&D) and manufacturing capacities in the field of information and communications technology and its top-quality human resources, Taiwan has become a magnet for multinational enterprises looking to set up their R&D centers. 

Taiwan has no shortage of exceptional startups; what it lacks is a stage that brings it to the global frontier. Michael Kao, Chairman of TINVA, stressed that this is the crucial beginning of their journey in helping more startups emerge on the international stage and develop connections with more international resources.