Microsoft Hong Kong on June 22 introduced its Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, a program designed to help startups across Asia succeed by providing free access to technology, tools and other resources.
The Asia-wide platform is designed to help startups achieve their local and international ambitions through a winning combination of technology and mentorship
The Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub provides all-around support for all stages of startups that have scaled and need to develop a robust business model and no matter in traditional industries or emerging businesses. It is based on direct input from founders around the support necessary for success. A core element highlighted in this research was access to a digital ecosystem that promotes opportunities and democratizes innovation.
More than 40 Hong Kong startups participated in the “Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub” program, including AlgoBot, Clearbot, Know Your Customer, and Sensestek. (From left to right) Mr. Rex Tsang, Founder of AlgoBot Limited, Mr. Utkarsh Goel, Co-Founder of Clearbot, Ms. Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau, Mr. Kelvin Tse, Director for Global Partner Solutions at Microsoft Hong Kong, Ms. Kennix Yeung, Representative of Know Your Customer Limited and Mr. Kelvin Wong, CEO of Sensestek Solutions Limited.
“We created the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub to help advance the startup ecosystem and strengthen the status of international innovation and technology centers such as Hong Kong,” said Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau. “Since launching the platform, Microsoft has empowered more than 2,000 Hong Kong startups through partnerships and local programs. Together with HKSTP and Cyberport, we aim to continue to remove the barriers to success for local startups and ensure they fulfill their potential to positively impact the local market and beyond.”
Free access to Microsoft tools and platforms for startups
The program offers startups benefits worth more than US$300,000. This includes Azure credits, access to Microsoft technology including Microsoft 365, Teams, Power Platform and Power Automate Dynamics 365, as well as the use of GitHub Enterprise, and LinkedIn. Startups also enjoy exclusive offers from trusted partners such as OpenAI, Ansarada and Drata.
Participating startups are eligible for a global mentorship program through Microsoft’s network. This comprises advisory from Azure technical experts at any stage of implementation, and curated learning and content from the Microsoft for Startups Founders School, which aims to help founders understand how to reach their business goals and sharpen their technical development ability. Microsoft also enables startups to accelerate their presence in the market by helping them forge connections with a broad customer base.
Azure as the choice to build the business and track record
Microsoft Azure is a key component for businesses looking to grow and innovate. More than 95% of Fortune 500 and 90% of Hang Seng-listed companies run on it due to its strength as a foundation built on security, proactive compliance and commitment to privacy. It is comprehensive, offering more than 200 products and services; it is open source and flexible, allowing customers to build and deploy using whatever tools and frameworks best suit them.
Grow businesses with Microsoft’s support on Go-to-Market and Co-sell Program
Apart from the technology enablement that the program offers, Founders Hub will be a starting point for startups to become part of Microsoft’s Partner Network, and be beneficial from a series of go-to-market services. The Microsoft Seller Alignment will assign qualified startups to a dedicated success manager, who will help them navigate the co-sell experience with Microsoft. With the qualified products and solutions, startups will be supported by the Microsoft Co-sell Program – Microsoft sellers are paid to sell those solutions to their customers. This unique set of resources and programs offered by Microsoft will help startups expand into international markets when they have demonstrated customer success.
More than 40 Hong Kong startups participated in the program, including AlgoBot, Clearbot, Know Your Customer, and Sensestek, and they have achieved the following results.
AlgoBot: Established Tick-by-tick data analysis with Azure.
Clearbot: Use of Azure AI to collect up to 15L oil wastage and 200KG of floating waste on each deployment.
Know Your Customer: Riding on Go-to-Market partnership with MSHK, Know Your Customer’s client list now spans across 18 markets in banking, FinTech, payments, real estate, corporate services and legal sector.
Sensestek: With Microsoft Azure, the survival rate of hairy crabs in Hong Kong has surpassed hairy crabs produced in Yangqing Lake.
Empower their business with social impact
As a part of Microsoft’s positive impact initiative, Microsoft is dedicated to helping startups to solve global, social and environmental challenges. Members of the Founders Hub program are invited to join the Entrepreneurship for Positive Impact program, where Microsoft will provide the technology, guidance, and support that members need to empower their businesses with social impact.