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Microsoft for Startups Shanghai Innovation Day: Microsoft-Empowered Entrepreneurship Igniting China’s Innovation Ecosystem

Microsoft laid out its commitment and strategy to increase momentum of China’s startup ecosystem at the Microsoft for Startups Shanghai Innovation Day. Microsoft for Startups will broaden its initiative in China to strengthen the journey from ideation to innovation by providing additional access to Microsoft resources and technologies. Greater numbers of startups, developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) will be empowered to achieve more.

New offerings will go beyond the immersive Microsoft ScaleUp accelerator programs in Beijing and Shanghai, which target emerging Series A companies. It creates a holistic path for growth for early-stage startups, offering free Azure credits and technical support to prove concepts, raise capital and commercialize their solutions. Once ready to scale and sell to global companies, they can apply to the Microsoft ScaleUp Program. Startups may also enter the Microsoft for Startups initiative at later stages.

“The mission of Microsoft for Startups is to empower innovators at every stage of their growth to achieve more,” said James Turnbull, CTO of Microsoft Startup Advocacy. “We help startups build and integrate with cutting-edge technologies, including Azure and open source technologies, as well as introduce Microsoft Learn, a Microsoft global online learning platform, to startups to allow them to start utilizing Microsoft technologies faster. We’re driven by a ‘help first, sell last’ culture. The success of the startups we work with is our success. This year, we’re excited to be creating even more partnerships with government, VCs, industry-leading enterprises and tech communities to build a stronger innovation ecosystem.”

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The Microsoft ScaleUp Program introduces startups to Microsoft’s global cutting-edge technology resources to drive business model breakthroughs. There are Microsoft ScaleUp Programs located worldwide in BangaloreBeijingBerlinLondonShanghaiSydney and Tel Aviv. Since January 2017, Microsoft ScaleUp Shanghai has successfully accelerated 60 startups with a total market valuation exceeding 71.2 billion RMB.

James Chou, Managing Director and CEO-in-Residence, Microsoft for Startups, North Asia Region, outlined examples of Microsoft’s commitment and future vision, “Microsoft for Startups serves as an important link between Microsoft and the global startup innovation ecosystem. This year, we are focused on forging comprehensive and in-depth partnerships with governments, VCs, industry-leading companies and technology communities. We see more and more ecosystem partners pledge to work closely with us to build a stronger ecosystem of innovation together. Our next step will be to land our best practices across the nation to encourage more China startups to take advantage of our programs and resources.”

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As of February 2019, Microsoft ScaleUp in China has successfully accelerated the growth of 302 startup companies.

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Innovation ecosystem empowers industry and business

These programs all support a virtuous cycle of innovation and customer success, inclusive of the core elements of Microsoft’s ecosystem approach. Microsoft connects China startups, developers and ISVs with resources both global and local, including those from the Microsoft for Startups Initiative and Microsoft Research Asia.

Microsoft for Startups participants join Microsoft’s worldwide partner ecosystem and gain access to its benefits. Go-To-Market services, including joint marketing and sales plans, help qualified startups accelerate enterprise sales, participate in Microsoft-sponsored events, and provide opportunities for distribution through key Microsoft channels and cloud marketplaces. At the same time, Microsoft uses its full sales engine to help startups co-sell their solutions to Microsoft top accounts and reach global customers.

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In particular, Microsoft helps China developers and ISVs upgrade their solutions with the most advanced Microsoft tools and technologies, through technical trainings, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) workshops, and sponsored Hackathon events with Microsoft partners.

With this model, Microsoft connects innovative China startups with the world’s top companies – both local and global – to help them do more with data, create new digital products and business models, and deliver new business success. These efforts are backed by Microsoft research innovation and technology contributions in China that draw from decades of leadership.

In the new wave of digitalization led by AI, IOTs and other technologies, industries have taken advantages of AI to accelerate innovation and promote their own transformation and upgrading,” said Alain Crozier, Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region. “Through these industry-leading platforms and technological advantages, Microsoft aims to empower a wide range of partners and developers to create a strong innovation ecosystem. Microsoft’s holistic approach of enablement further contributes by more widely providing entrepreneurs with services and support as we connect them with our customers, including the world’s top 500 enterprises.

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