Huawei launches Spark program to accelerate deep tech startup growth in Asia Pacific

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    Global leading ICT provider Huawei called on deep tech companies in Asia Pacific to participate in the Huawei Spark accelerator program at the online Huawei Cloud Summit 2020 Singapore recently.

    The hybrid global startup accelerator program aims to incubate and accelerate startup growth and build an ecosystem for startups in the APAC region.

    Organized by Huawei Cloud in partnership with Enterprise Singapore and Startup SG, Huawei Spark kicked off in Singapore as a global startup competition. Huawei will provide millions of dollars to support deep tech startups with a focus on the firms with the use of 5G, AI/Machine Learning & Analytics, IoT, Mobile Edge Computing, and Mobile & SaaS applications.

    “Huawei Cloud is committed to building a robust ecosystem for shared success. We will continue to support and enable our partners in Asia Pacific region as well as invest in talent cultivation and joint solution innovation through programmes like Huawei Spark and the AI Lab. By leveraging our collaborative Connectivity + Computing + Cloud synergy, we are able to provide an intelligent, automated, information-driven platform for partners’ content, applications, and algorithms. Together, we will build a thriving ecosystem and usher in a fully connected, intelligent world moving forward,” Daniel Zhou, President of Huawei Cloud & AI Business Group, Asia Pacific Region said.

    Startups that are accepted into the Huawei Spark program will receive free Cloud resources from Huawei, hardware support including AI modules and AI-based intelligent industry solutions, along with open-source software supports such as AI framework, database and OS to develop their own applications, services and hardware appliances.

    Subject to a startup’s maturity, Huawei will offer multi-tier support from seed stage to late stage, including financial support in terms of cloud credits up to USD125,000, AI development fund up to $100,000, technical and training as well as go-to-market support.

    Eligible startups will gain access to Huawei’s unique ecosystem of resources through a three-tiered ‘sell-to, sell-with, and sell-through’ model named, Spark Fire. Huawei could be the first potential client for these startups and will engage with them as business partners, giving startups access to its wide-ranging enterprise client portfolio globally. On top of that, startups will be able to reach over 600 million Huawei mobile users through the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) system and Huawei App Gallery, and millions of enterprise users across the globe through Huawei’s Cloud marketplace.

    “Innovation is borderless, and flourishes through collaboration. Huawei will always focus on infrastructure as well as enabling our ecosystem partners with cloud and AI capabilities,” Leo Jiang, Chief Digital Officer of Huawei Cloud & AI Business Group, Asia Pacific Region said.

    Huawei has received more than 200 applications from global startups since applications opened on 10 August. To participate in the Huawei Spark 2020 startup competition, startups can submit their proposals until 4 October.

    The top 15 startups will be shortlisted to proceed to the next round where Huawei experts will mentor the companies and finetune their business proposals, before the top five will be selected to pitch virtually to a panel of judges in November.

    “We fully believe that startups could grow faster and healthier with proper mentoring and support through the Huawei Spark program, and create more job opportunities to support the recovery of economies, not just regionally, but also globally,” Jiang commented.

    The top two winners will be fast-tracked to compete as one of the Top 100 global startups at SLINGSHOT 2020, part of SLINGSHOT x SWITCH, and will also be awarded US$125,000 in Cloud Credits, a S$30,000 Startup SG Grant, and admission to the Accelerator tier.

    The Huawei Spark 2020 Final will be held online as part of the Singapore Fintech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SFF x SWITCH 2020) and partner competition, SLINGSHOT 2020.

    The summit also showcased Huawei Cloud’s partnership with Singapore’s Nestia, a one-stop lifestyle app and platform designed to help people search for local information easily. Working with Huawei Cloud has allowed the company to expand their range of services including Cocos Game Integration, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) image processing, and content moderation. The app now offers a more enhanced experience across its service offerings for its 200,000 daily active users, of which 96.6% consists of local audiences.

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