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Enabling the Deep-Tech and Innovation Ecosystems in Vietnam, Taiwan and Africa

Qualcomm programs are helping drive digital transformation through growth of innovation, IP awareness and more in various emerging markets of the world

Enabling the Deep-Tech and Innovation Ecosystems in Vietnam, Taiwan and Africa

Qualcomm programs are helping drive digital transformation through growth of innovation, IP awareness and more in various emerging markets of the world

Published 03-01-24

Submitted by Qualcomm Inc.

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Written by Sudeepto Roy

Welcome to the Ecosystem Enablement blog series where we highlight key activities Qualcomm is driving around the world to help broader technology ecosystems flourish and the impact our programs are having in various emerging markets of the world.

In Vietnam, Taiwan and Africa, the Qualcomm ecosystem programs catalyzed innovation and intellectual property (IP) generation across the globe in 2023. Last year, we shared information about U.S. programs like The Inventor’s Patent Academy, as well as startup incubation, women’s entrepreneurship development and IP training in India. But our work didn’t end there. Dive into this update to see how we are empowering startups, championing entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds, and fostering IP awareness globally.

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Ten startups from Vietnam show case their products and services at QVIC’s 2023 finale event in Hanoi, Sept. 20, 2023.


Launched in December 2019, Qualcomm Vietnam Innovation Challenge (QVIC), incubates startups in several transformational technologies. Collaborating with Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology, it fuels the growth of innovative, small-to-medium sized companies through Qualcomm technology, intellectual property and business expertise, while nurturing Vietnam's technology ecosystem.

The QVIC program offers technology training, lab support, business coaching, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) mentoring and business development assistance, in addition to seed funding, monetary awards and financial incentives for patent filing.

To date, QVIC has incubated 29 startups in 5G connectivity, smart infrastructure, robotics and drones, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), agricultural technology, hospitality, healthcare, and multimedia technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR).

These startups have collectively raised more than $32M USD in funding, produced more than 25 commercial products, filed more than 87 domestic and international patents, and contributed to the realization of the Vietnamese Government’s Digital Innovation policies. In 2024, QVIC will incubate 10 more exciting startups from Vietnam.

Over the past 20 years, our presence in Vietnam has been transformative. Programs such as QVIC drive the rapid adoption of cutting-edge technologies — from 5G and AI/ML at the edge, to IoT and robotics — empowering local entrepreneurs and shaping the future of innovation in this key region of South-East Asia.

Learn more about the 29 Vietnamese startups incubated through the QVIC program

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10 startups from Taiwan showcase their products and services at the 10th anniversary of Meet Taipei, Taiwan’s international startup exhibition in Taipei, Dec. 1, 2023.


Since 2019, the Qualcomm Innovate in Taiwan Challenge (QITC) has nurtured 49 top-tier startups through five annual incubation cycles. These dynamic companies specialize in artificial intelligence of things (AIoT), extended reality (XR), edge computing, robotics, drones, smart infrastructure, healthcare, wearables, automotive and multimedia devices.

The key elements of mentorship program include helping startups strengthen their innovation and go-to-market plan, while helping them with rapid technology adoption and expansion of their product and services roadmaps. The startups are incubated at two innovation labs based in Taipei and Kaohsiung. Given Taiwan’s prowess in specialized semiconductors, compute and AIoT, the startups act as catalysts to the broader industry in quickly identifying monetizable use cases for advanced technologies.

Through close collaboration with Taiwan’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), the vibrant Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA), Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), and Kaohsiung Exhibition Center (KEC), the QITC program drives intellectual property creation, identifies regionally relevant businesses, helps startups go global and fosters skill development in key emerging technology areas.

Of note is the strong interest in intellectual property generation by Taiwanese startups. The startups have thus far filed 59 patents through the program’s incentives, but their patenting journey continued beyond incubation, and they have collectively filed over 327 domestic and international patents (with 133 granted), through their own efforts.

Learn more about the 49 Taiwanese startups incubated through the QITC program

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10 African startups incubated through the Qualcomm Make in Africa (QMIA) startup mentorship program in 2023.


In December 2022, we announced the launch of the Africa Innovation Platform, a suite of mentorship, education and training programs created to support the development of Africa’s emerging technology ecosystem. The platform provides resources and support for local universities, small-to-medium sized startups and grant participants, exposing them to Qualcomm Technologies’ engineers and its state-of-the-art capabilities suite for mobile platforms and technologies, including 4G, 5G, IoT, AI and machine learning.

The Qualcomm Make in Africa (QMIA) startup mentorship program is an equity-free mentorship program that has identified promising early-stage startups keen on applying advanced connectivity, AI and processing technologies to innovative end-to-end systems solutions, including hardware, and provided these companies with business coaching, access to engineering consultation for product development, and guidance on protecting IP. Ten startups from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Rwanda were selected from an applicant pool of more than 550 from 34 countries. These startups represent several industry areas, including electric vehicle (EV) transportation, precision farming, rapid composting, continuous glucose monitoring for diabetes, AI-based medical imagery analysis, and computing.

Upon completion of the mentorship phase, the startups participated in a finale event on Dec 11, 2023 to showcase their products and services in front of African industry, governments, academia and cellular operators. In addition, we announced a patent filing incentive and a Social Impact grant.

Another program launched for African inventors is a free, online IP education program in collaboration with South African Law firm, Adams and Adams, called Learn To Protect Africa, which provides comprehensive training on intellectual property fundamentals, including patents, copyrights, trademarks and IP integration into business models

To implement the Africa Innovation Platform, our representatives have engaged and collaborated with governments, trade associations and other key stakeholders throughout the continent, including the African Telecommunications Union (ATU). We look forward to engaging with 10 more African startups as part of its 2024 startup mentorship program.

Learn more about the 10 African startups incubated through the QMIA program

Our Global Technology Ecosystem: Nurturing Innovation, IP Generation and Entrepreneurship

I believe that Qualcomm is the world’s leading mobile technology innovator. As we stride forward in research and development, our vision extends to long-term investments that catalyze technology growth worldwide and fuel an intricate ecosystem. From science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent to universities, startups and government initiatives, we sow seeds for tomorrow.

Our commitment to regional innovation takes tangible form through incubation and mentorship programs. These nurturing grounds cultivate startups in vital tech domains. Guided by Qualcomm Technologies’ engineering expertise, these fledgling ventures incorporate advanced technologies. Business coaching, IP programs and strategic trainings propel them toward success. Remarkably, our programs take zero equity, nor ownership in the IP generated by the startups to protect their innovations.

Since 2016, our startup initiatives have incubated or mentored 220 startups. These emerging markets — India, Taiwan, Vietnam and Africa — witness a surge of design talent, robust supply chains and local manufacturing prowess. Here, startups harness the power of 4G, 5G and hybrid AI. Their end-to-end IoT applications span healthcare, smart cities, agricultural technology, smart homes, automotive, advanced computing, semiconductor design, XR, wearables, robotics and drones. As the digital tide rises, Qualcomm’s legacy of fostering innovation is unwavering.

Learn more about our global ecosystem enablement programs

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