More support for APAC startup ecosystem soon from Huawei

Huawei announced its plan to invest US$100 million to the APAC startup at the inaugural Huawei Cloud Spark Founders Summit, which took place simultaneously in Singapore and Hong Kong last week.

Huawei said the investment would go towards its Spark Program in the Asia Pacific region, which aims to build a sustainable startup ecosystem for the region over the next three years. Huawei has been helping Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand build their startup hubs. 

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 into the Spark accelerator program and shaping 100 of them into scaleups.

Also at this summit, Huawei launched its Cloud-plus-Cloud Collaboration and Joint Innovation Program, to further ramp up its for startups around the world. 

Asia Pacific Spark Program

Three additional initiatives under the Asia Pacific Spark Program were launched by Huawei at the summit. They include 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 startups on HUAWEI CLOUD to accelerate product development; and the Spark Innovation Program (SIP), focused on facilitating enterprise innovation through the Spark startup ecosystem.

“Startups and SMEs are the innovators, disruptors, and pioneers of our times. 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.”, said Huawei Senior Vice President and Board Member Catherine Chen.

“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.” added Zhang Ping’an, CEO of Huawei’s Cloud Business Unit.

The HMS Developer Innovation Center aims to cultivate future talent in cooperation with 210 leading universities across the Asia Pacific region.

More and more startups are pursuing end-to-end digitalization as they move towards a fully connected, intelligent world. 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.

Jeffery Liu, President for Asia Pacific Region of Huawei, added that “Leveraging Huawei’s global customer base and full-stack technologies, the Spark Program will invest more than US$100 million over the next three years, and provide comprehensive support to the establishment of a sustainable startup ecosystem that creates new value for this dynamic region.”

Prognosis good for startup ecosystem here

One of the biggest concerns for any startup today is access to funding. For tech startups, funding is the key ingredient in ensuring they can develop their ideas and start their business. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the venture capital (VC) investment landscape globally. However, in the Asia Pacific (APAC), it has not dampened the spirits of startups and organizations seeking early-stage funding. GlobalData’s Financial Deals database showed the share of early-stage funding rounds remained at more than 65% which is promising for startups here.

For example, startups in Indonesia, along with micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) form the backbone of the business landscape in Southeast Asia’s (SEA) largest economy, which has in recent years seen a shift towards a healthy and dynamic startup ecosystem. Taking the workforce and youthful, millennial-owned landscape of business in Indonesia, Indonesia is set to achieve and drive strong economic recovery. In fact, millennial MSMEs will be the key force behind Indonesia’s economic rebound.

The prognosis is good for fintech startups in Indonesia – their platforms will see continued usage due to their user-centric design, convenience, and ease of use despite any difficulties that might have been presented by the pandemic. This resilience would then translate into helping the startup and MSME sectors to survive, and with the proper capital, ideally thrive.

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