Huawei to invest US$100 million in Asia Pacific startup ecosystem over 3 years
Huawei has been helping Singapore build the first startup hub in APAC since 2020, and has expanded the program to Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia in the past year. At the summit, Huawei also announced that this program would focus its efforts on developing four additional startup hubs
Huawei announced its plan to invest US$100 million in startup support today at its inaugural Spark Founders Summit, which took place simultaneously in Singapore and Hong Kong. Huawei said the investment would go towards its Spark program, which aims to build a sustainable startup ecosystem in the Asia Pacific region over the next three years.
Huawei has been helping Singapore build the first startup hub in APAC since 2020, and has expanded the program to Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia in the past year. At the summit, Huawei also announced that this program would focus its efforts on developing four additional startup hubs – in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam – with the overarching aim of recruiting a total of 1,000 startups, out of which 100 are scaleups, into the Spark accelerator program.
In Thailand, Huawei Thailand collaborated with depa, NIA and other well-known partners to kick start "Spark Ignite 2021 – Thailand Startup Competition" in June 2021, calling for tech startups across Thailand to join this competition for a chance to enter the Huawei Spark Accelerator programme. This competition, aiming to be one of Thailand's biggest and most influential start-up events, will highlight key aspects Thailand's start-up ecosystem, feature 10 high potential startups from the whole country, and connect founders, venture firms, corporations and government.
The Spark Founders Summit was attended by representatives from many prominent Asian startups, academia, various industries and governments, and the media, as well as more than 50 regional top venture capitalists and over 300 startup founders. Speeches and panels at the event focused on the social value of this startup ecosystem and how startups can promote technological and ecosystem innovation, to contribute to local communities and drive socioeconomic development.
Three additional startup-related initiatives were launched by Huawei at the event: The Spark Developer Program, which aims to nurture a developer ecosystem powered by HUAWEI CLOUD in the Asia Pacific region; the Spark Pitstop Program, designed to onboard and support startups on HUAWEI CLOUD to accelerate product development; and the Spark Innovation Program (SIP), focused on facilitating enterprise innovation through the Spark startup ecosystem.
Huawei Senior Vice President and Board Member Catherine Chen opened the summit by emphasizing how important startups are to social advancement and what Huawei is doing to support startups: "We all know how brilliant startups and SMEs are. They are the innovators, disruptors, and pioneers of our times. These companies account for two-thirds of jobs worldwide, create two-thirds of new jobs, and generate almost 50% of global GDP. 34 years ago, Huawei was a startup with just 5,000 dollars of registered capital. Recently, we have been thinking: How can we leverage our experience and resources to help more startups address their challenges? Doing so would allow them to seize the opportunities posed by digital transformation, achieve business success, and develop more innovative products and solutions for the world."
Zhang Ping'an, CEO of Huawei's Cloud Business Unit, noted, "Since its launch in 2017, HUAWEI CLOUD has been the world's fastest-growing cloud, and has driven the growth of countless startups. Last year, we launched the Spark Program in Asia Pacific. Through this program, we are working with local governments, leading incubators, well-known VC firms, and top universities to build support platforms for startups in many regions. Now 40 startups are participating in our program."
Zhang continued, "Starting today, we are stepping up our support for startups through four new initiatives, aimed at cloud-plus-cloud collaboration, continuous tech innovation, global and local services, and high-quality business ecosystems. Today, we launched our Cloud-plus-Cloud Collaboration and Joint Innovation Program, through which we will support startups with US$40 million worth of resources. Half of that investment is coming from HUAWEI CLOUD, half from Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). In 2021, our plan is to support 200 startups in the HMS ecosystem, and share our network of channel resources with developers worldwide who together serve 1 billion Huawei device users. In addition, we will open an HMS Developer Innovation Center to support 100,000 HMS cloud-native developers."
More and more startups are pursuing end-to-end digitalization as they move towards a fully connected, intelligent world. HUAWEI CLOUD infrastructure works in conjunction with Huawei Mobile Services to support startups from all industries. Huawei's cloud offerings help developers and partners to unify accounts, development platforms, and app distribution and operation. HMS is now the world's third largest mobile app ecosystem, and is helping many startups expand their global influence. Currently, 4.5 million developers from over 170 countries and regions rely on HMS.
Huawei recognizes startups as key partners in creating social value and contributing to communities around the world. At the Spark Founders Summit, Huawei unveiled the latest data on its innovation research programs with startups. The data shows solid relationships between Huawei and more than 2,000 partners from across the Asia Pacific region, with ongoing initiatives to build support platforms in close partnerships with governments, top VCs, and leading universities in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Huawei rounded off the series of announcements with plans to give developers access to its global network of channel partners, including the world's top 50 telecom carriers and local banking institutions. Finally, in terms of talent development, Huawei will build an HMS Developer Innovation Center to cultivate future talent in cooperation with 210 leading universities across the Asia Pacific region.
"'In Asia Pacific, for Asia Pacific' has been our unchanged commitment for the past two decades," said Jeffery Liu, President of Huawei Asia Pacific, "Leveraging Huawei's global customer base and full-stack technologies, the Spark Program will invest over $100 million in the next three years, and provide comprehensive support to build a sustainable startup ecosystem and create new value for the dynamic region."
As the 1st global cloud vender who established local region (physical data centers) to provide REAL local services in Thailand, HUAWEI CLOUD is committed to help Thailand realize the visionary blueprint of Thailand 4.0 and to cultivate a digital ecosystem in the digital age. Huawei has launched online training series called Cloud Diary, which joined hands with local customers and partners from every industry to share best cloud-based experiences in agile innovation, reaching more than 700,000 total views among developers, universities students, teachers and enterprise employees. In 2021, it will continue sharing digital era's necessary knowledge in the most close-to-life way.
Meanwhile, the HUAWEI CLOUD Warrior Workshop is operating monthly to cover IT practitioners from various enterprises including SMEs and Startups. Trending topics like Security and Compliance, Server and Database Migration to Cloud, Machine Learning, Enterprise Intelligent and Data Platform on Cloud, are hands-on practiced under professionals' step-by-step instruction. Currently around 30 SMEs and startups are joining each session.
In November 2020, during POWERING DIGITAL THAILAND: HUAWEI CLOUD & CONNECT, the first Cloud Developer Contest of HUAWEI CLOUD Thailand is held. It encouraged participants to develop and deploy solutions that benefit Thai people and society at large by leveraging HUAWEI CLOUD's basic and advanced services. As Mr. Abel Deng, CEO of Huawei Thailand emphasize, "Thailand is already a forerunner in Cloud, AI, and 5G adoption which will be the major driving force to implement cloud and intelligent transformation in various industries. The readiness of infrastructure is considered to be foundations for a digital economy. Therefore, we aim to bolster Thailand to become the Digital Hub of ASEAN to achieve Thailand 4.0 strategy."