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Edouard Roquette: Today’s Challenges Facing Foreign Entrepreneurs in Taiwan Ep 192

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

Edouard Roquette talks about today’s challenges facing foreign entrepreneurs in Taiwan.

Edouard Roquette was at the beginning of his experience as an entrepreneur when he was previously interviewed for Talking Taiwan, as you may have heard in the previous lost episode of Talking Taiwan (episode 191) featuring Edouard. We’ve invited Edouard back on as a guest to talk about what he’s been up since then. Edouard talked to us about his clean tech startup and why it failed, and the challenges that many foreign entrepreneurs experience in Taiwan. He also had a life changing accident which we will talk about in a follow up interview, in a future episode.

Edouard is currently the founder of Rooms.Taipei a co-living business. If you’d like to check out their COVID newsletter that Edouard mentioned in his interview, the one that provides updates to help people keep up on the visa and immigration situation in Taiwan during COVID, check out the related links section below.

 

Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • Edouard’s clean-tech start-up CityVolt and why it failed
  • The differences between a gas vehicle and electric vehicle
  • Battery sources for electric vehicles
  • Exchangeable, rechargeable batteries for scooters
  • How Edouard won a competition and was invited to speak at The Economist’s Carbon Economy Summit in Washington D.C. in 2009
  • Eduoard’s thoughts on what makes Gogoru successful
  • The accident that changed Eduoard’s life and led him to consider a co-living business that he started in 2014
  • Edouard’s co-living business, Rooms.Taipei
  • The problems that Edouard’s co-living business aims to solve
  • How Rooms.Taipei is an accelerator for the experiences that a foreigner can have in Taiwan
  • Why it’s difficult to scale a business like this or to differentiate it
  • How businesses in Taiwan are not protected from extreme rent increases that negatively impact their businesses, causing them to close
  • How rent increases can lead to many other “costs” aside from causing businesses to close, these costs include: environmental costs, human costs (jobs lost), economic cost (when companies are constantly closed and new ones started)
  • Edouard’s thoughts about Taiwan’s plans to attract 100,000 foreign workers by 2030
  • Edouard’s business strategy of reaching out to and collaborating with his competitors
  • How difficult it is for foreign entrepreneurs to do business in Taiwan
  • How most of Edouard’s customers are people who have just arrived in Taiwan or are new to Taiwan
  • How housing and banking are two of the most difficult things for foreigners in Taiwan to deal with
  • The E. Sun Bank branch that offers English service and where Edouard is encouraging foreigners to open bank accounts
  • Problems that people have encountered with negligent landlords
  • How Edouard has reached out to the office of the mayor of Taipei through the French Chamber of Commerce about creating a standard of accommodations and contracts
  • How most housing projects in Taipei are luxury apartments targeted to investors but not to the average resident of Taipei
  • Last year Taipei city lost inhabitants
  • Edouard’s thoughts on what to do when the odds are against you
  • Edouard’s private entrepreneur group of business owners who meet regularly and support each other’s businesses
  • Katie Moves Taipei, a business that offers Zumba online classes
  • Taiwan Impact Entrepreneurs Facebook group and what they are doing for foreign entrepreneurs in F&B (food and beverage)
  • The kombucha beverage company, Daoori
  • Elias Ek’s efforts to improve things for foreign entrepreneurs in Taiwan
  • How there needs to be better representation for foreign employees, migrant workers, foreign students
  • How things have changed for entrepreneurs in Taiwan in the past 10 years since Eduoard’s “lost” episode of Talking Taiwan interview
  • Edouard’s advice for foreigner entrepreneurs considering doing business in Taiwan
  • What Edouard loves about Taiwan which includes cycling and being a Tiger Man for the goddess Matsu’s birthday
  • How Edouard founded one of the biggest sports groups for foreigners in Taiwan
  • Outdoor sports groups in Taiwan to check out

 

Related Links:

 

Edouard Roquette on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/edroquette/

 

Rooms.Taipei: https://www.rooms.taipei/

 

Rooms.Taipei on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rooms.taipei/

 

The location of the E. Sun Bank in Taipei that offers English service to customers that Edouard is encouraging foreigners to open bank accounts (No. 49, Section 3, Minsheng E Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10478): https://bit.ly/3tqtATL

 

Gogoro: https://www.gogoro.com/

 

Taiwan Impact Entrepreneurs Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/946603709107239

 

Katie Moves Taipei (online Zumba classes): https://www.katiemovestaipei.com/zumba

 

Eduoard’s private entrepreneur group: https://www.linkedin.com/company/taiwan-tea-club/

 

Daoori (kombucha beverage company): https://daoori.com/

 

Elias Ek: https://startabusinessintaiwan.tw/contributors/elias-ek/

 

Mazu (aka Matsu, the goddess of the sea): https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazu_(goddess)

 

Hiking and riding in Taiwan: https://www.facebook.com/groups/44517786437

 

Taipei Hikers https://www.facebook.com/groups/182916001891282

 

Taiwan Adventures – Group Hikes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/182414741819446

 

Dragon’s Chamber – Elias Ek Talking Taiwan (Episode 59): https://talkingtaiwan.com/dragons-chamber-elias-ek-talking-taiwan-ep-59/

 

Paolo Lising Startup Taiwan Author: Shares His Knowledge on Starting a Business in Taiwan (Episode 180): https://talkingtaiwan.com/paolo-lising-startup-taiwan-author-shares-his-knowledge-on-starting-a-business-in-taiwan-ep-180/

 

Erin Hale: On Taiwan’s Antiquated Banking System and Being an American Journalist Living in Asia (Episode 183): https://talkingtaiwan.com/erin-hale-on-taiwans-antiquated-banking-system-and-being-an-american-journalist-in-asia-ep-183/

 

Lost Episodes | Edouard Roquette (Episode 191): https://talkingtaiwan.com/ep-191-lost-episodes-edouard-roquette/

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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