Huawei announced on Tuesday its plan to invest $100 million in startup support at the inaugural Huawei Cloud Spark Founders Summit, which took place simultaneously in Singapore and Hong Kong.
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 scale-ups.
Also at this summit, Huawei launched its Cloud-plus-Cloud Collaboration and Joint Innovation Program, to further ramp up its support for startups around the world. Huawei will devote ongoing efforts and leverage its complete business portfolio in the cloud-plus-cloud collaboration space to foster technological innovation, global and local services, and business ecosystems, accelerating the growth of startups.
The 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 initiatives under the Asia Pacific Spark Program 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:
“Startups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are the innovators, disruptors, and pioneers of our times. Thirty four years ago, Huawei was a startup with just $5,000 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,” he said.