Microsoft ScaleUp Searches for Futuristic Start-Ups

 21 Jun 2018 04.13pm

Microsoft ScaleUp Shanghai has hosted the Think Next demo day for its third cohort of start-up companies involved in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, and blockchain.

Today (June 21, 2018), 14 entrepreneurial teams shared their innovative achievements to more than 400 co-builders of the innovation eco-system at the event.

Microsoft ScaleUp was launched to bring benefits to the technology giant's research and development in digital transformation as a service (DTaaS) by working with companies to advance various industries with scientific and commercial applications.

Commenting after attending the event in China, Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Chairman of Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group and Managing Director of Microsoft Research Asia, said: "Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing, continue to evolve, making digital transformation an important issue that no company, organization or even government can turn a blind eye to.”

Early this year, Microsoft launched a new initiative known as Microsoft for Startups that aims to accelerate the growth of start-ups around the world.

It offers co-selling options to start-ups, along with expanded access to Microsoft technology, increased technical and business support, and new community spaces that promote collaboration within local ecosystems.

Over the next two years, Microsoft is committing US$ 500 million to become the first major cloud provider to offer co-selling options to startups.

Microsoft ScaleUp is planning to help Chinese alumni companies ‘Go Global’ and overseas alumni companies ‘Go China’.

Read a Port Technology technical paper by Mare Straetmans, Managing Director, PortXL: Digital Transformation: Are Start-Ups the New Leaders?

In July 2017, Roadstar.ai, a start-up for unmanned-driving solutions, became a Cohort 2 alumni company at Microsoft ScaleUp Shanghai.

With full support from Microsoft ScaleUp, Roadstar.ai launched R&D centers in both Silicon Valley and Shenzhen, and completed open-road tests in the US.

It hit a record high with unmanned driving tests, including an average of one manual intervention per month in California, and several hours without manual take-over in high-complex urban road conditions.

Roadstar.ai secured an A-round financing of $128 million in May 2018, the largest amount for unmanned-driving solution developers in China.

Microsoft ScaleUp Shanghai introduced many global automobile manufacturing and automobile parts companies such as BMW, Honda, ZF Group, Friedrichshafen, and Continental AG to help them to go global.

James Chou, Managing Director and CEO-in-Residence of Microsoft for Startups Shanghai, reviewed the accelerator's major progress and global upgrading efforts in innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem development.

Chou said: "We connect startups to Microsoft's global sales engine, and bring solutions from these startups to Microsoft's global clients, which addressed startups' pain point in gaining clients at early stages of development, and therefore accelerates their growth.

“Another focus of ours is to continue to develop a more comprehensive innovation ecosystem and to build a better community of developers and entrepreneurs to foster and support innovation and entrepreneurship in China.

“In addition, helping Chinese startup companies to enter the overseas market and enabling overseas startup companies under Microsoft ScaleUp to come to the Chinese market will be our next major goals.”

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