On behalf of the TechSoup Global team, I am extremely pleased to announce the launch of TechSoup-Taiwan! The new program and site (www.techsoup-taiwan.org.tw) went live just last week on June 26, 2008.
“恭喜恭喜!” to Frontier Foundation, our Partner NGO in Taiwan. Shufang Tsai and her staff are simply amazing. Below from left to right is Petra (the new ops person for the TechSoup-Taiwan program, a super fast learner who started only a week before launch and I personally witnessed her hidden karaoke talents in three languages), Miao-Ying (organized the press conference where her former life as a journalist came in handy), Antony (Asia regional lead for TechSoup Global), Shufang (fearless leader, long time social worker, professor in social work department, and tireless), Ray of TSG (who leveraged previous experience in telecom and the Peace Corps, including a prior Taiwan fiber optic deployment, to make his first TSG launch look easy), Debra (while not working continuously on translating our default content or the press conference, tried to keep her precocious young son from giving the weird foreign guys in this picture too much trouble while visiting after school), and last but not least on the far right is one of the many volunteers that magically appeared continuously throughout the week to help.
Frontier Foundation has been working on creating digital opportunities for NGOs for 14 years through training, building websites and other ways to help NGOs reduce the digital divide. Frontier Foundation created the first Chinese search engine in Taiwan, set up the first server for NGOs, started the first training courses for NGOs, and has had significant impact building the online communities for women, the disabled, aborigine tribes and other virtual communities.
Being on-site at Frontier was a treat. Their cozy office is based in Taipei, quite close to one of Taiwan’s major universities with lots of other NGOs in the neighborhood. We literally ran into NGO colleagues on the way to lunch.
The press conference was a great event. In addition to the traditional media, one of the ideas I liked was that Frontier has good relationships with a number of popular bloggers, and several of them posted live during the conference.
Sample local press coverage:
Special thanks to …..
I also have to say that I was amazed at the level of support from Microsoft Taiwan, from supporting four NPO events around the country leading up to the launch, to the press event itself. That’s Davis Tsai, the GM of MS-Taiwan in the 2nd picture on the left speaking at the conference, and I wish I had a good photo of Charles, Angela, and Hope who invested just a tremendous amount of time and energy in support of the TS program coming to Taiwan. One of my favorite moments was when we were meeting with a room full of NGOs after the press event, Charles was speaking and then he paused for a moment, then he said just how proud he was to help bring a program like TechSoup to Taiwan. If that wasn’t enough, Audrey from the Microsoft Asia Regional HQ came personally to the Taiwan launch week to better understand the TechSoup model and how she could better help bring the program throughout Asia. And to top it off, thanks to Lindsay and Jane of Redmond, for paving the way for Taiwan and the program as a whole.
“Couldn’t have done it without you …”
As always, the launching of a new country would not have been possible without the critical help from folks here at TechSoup and its partners. Deserving special mention: Ray (managing his first successful deployment), Kevin Lo (critical help with site review and translation), Alexis (great PR support for the launch), Helen (tireless in training and site review as usual!), Kat (site and catalog), Tony (eligibility and donor programs), the global tech team (Aletha, Dave, Mark, Sehat, Philip), Aron (site installation), Ted and Mike (database assistance), Olan and Jim (back office support of test orders), Carol, Susan & Monica (donor programs implementation), Tony / Canny / John of HKCSS (for last minute help in translation), Nick (deployment support), Vyria, Djeneba and Mark (global team relations and PNGO set up) and Mike and Rebecca for their guidance.