American tech giant, Microsoft has recently unveiled its latest start-up incubation programme in Hong Kong making it one of the big techs including the likes of Amazon to tap into the state’s innovative potential as an international innovation centre.
The new project called Microsoft for Startup Founders Hub is designed to provide Hong Kong-based start-ups with technology and guidance in order to tackle technical bottlenecks and boost business development.
Participants can therefore make use of Microsoft’s products including Microsoft 365, Teams, GitHub Enterprise, and even LinkedIn all for free as well as gaining access to a broader customer base through the introduction to Microsoft’s partners.
The company says it’s committed to advancing the start-up ecosystem and strengthening the state’s status as an international innovation and tech centre through its initiative which is run in partnership with Cyberport business park and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP), a government-owned sector.
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“We aim to remove the barriers to success for local start-ups, and ensure they fulfil their potential to positively impact the local market and beyond,” said Cally Chan, general manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau.
Considering the fact that start-ups are pivotal to Hong Kong’s future, Microsoft says it’s committed to helping its expansion through investment in the city-state.
Hong Kong’s start-up sector has seen robust growth in recent years due to a favourable market environment and government support, having cultivated 18 unicorns to date, said Eric Chan, chief public mission officer of the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Co.
With over 40 local start-ups on Microsoft’s project including Clearbot, an AI-powered marine trash-collecting robot company, AlgoBot, an algorithmic trading marketplace, as well as compliance solutions provider Know Your Customer and sensor and IoT device maker Sensestek.
The start-ups are eligible to enjoy the benefits for up to four years, and businesses with positive social impact will receive even more support from Microsoft, said Kelvin Tse, director of global partner solutions at Microsoft Hong Kong.
Amazon is another tech giant in Hong Kong with the launching of its AWS system announced in collaboration with HKSTP to help nurture start-ups in cloud-empowered fields including biotechnology, AI, and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Also, Meta and Yahoo also kick-started their respective metaverse initiatives in the city in order to explore the next phase of the internet in the city-state.