More Than 400 Top Venture Capital Investors, 120 Media Delegates, 500 Industry Partners Attend Event
Microsoft Accelerator Beijing Cohort 10 Demo Day with the theme of “Foreseeing Future” was held on January 24, 2018 at BIFTPARK, Beijing. Demo Day, as the flagship event of Microsoft Accelerator, aims to show the growth of innovative startups in Microsoft’s ecosystem. Daochang An, Vice Director of Torch Center of Ministry of Science and Technology; Changping Li, Vice Director of Haidian District; Alain Crozier, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft China; and Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, CVP of Microsoft Global attended the event. Over one thousand guests, including more than 400 top venture capital investors, 120 media delegates, 500 industry partners, as well as representatives of international and state-owned enterprises, attended the event.
After 145 days of scaling up, Cohort 10 startups graduated successfully. They proudly presented their achievements, in terms of product, business model and market at Demo Day. Instead of a tedious roadshow, 14 founders adapted the TED style presentation to attract the audience with their own visions of applying advanced technologies to the industry. In addition, other star alumni companies like Trio.ai, IT Juzi, Huodongxing, Xinrenxinshi and Turing Robot, along with HoloLens, Surface, BizSpark, Office365, Azure, Dynamics and other Microsoft star products also showed up in the exhibition areas, communicating and collaborating with the audiences at 60 booths.
Whether in the fields of Retail, Manufacturing, Construction, Finance, Healthcare, Education or Agriculture, as long as one is willing to integrate AI, Big Data, Blockchain, IoT, Mixed Reality and Cloud Computing to the existing production, one can find the most cutting-edge technological applications and be a part of this on Demo Day.
Industry Innovation Ecosystem Centered on Microsoft
Microsoft Accelerator Beijing is rooted in Microsoft Asia Pacific R&D Group, collaborating closely with Microsoft Research in Asia, Search Technology Center Asia, and other business departments including Azure, Power BI, BizSpark, Dynamics and Office365, to make Microsoft Accelerator a “Hub for Microsoft Technologies and Startups” and to establish an innovation ecosystem centered around Microsoft.
“Microsoft has been rooted in China for more than 20 years,” said Alain Crozier, CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region. “Microsoft is willing to work with innovative entrepreneurs and partners to connect capital, government and industry leaders, and to empower every person and organization in China to achieve more.”
Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Chairman of Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group, said: “The driving force of global digital transformation comes from three interdependent but mutually reinforcing technology trends: Cloud Computing, Big Data and AI. Large enterprises and startups need to adopt the new technologies above to upgrade products, connect with organizations and users, improve operational efficiency and stimulate employees’ creativity. Through the construction of an open ecosystem, Microsoft Accelerator is able to help all kinds of organizations to accelerate their digital transformations.”
Strategic Upgrade of “Gathering Requirements from Industry and Promoting Applications to Industry”
In order to help scale up the growth of alumni startups so as to become the new leader in the industry, Microsoft Accelerator Beijing creatively proposes the strategy of “Gathering Requirements from Industry and Promoting Applications to Industry” in China starting from Cohort 10. At the same time, it maintains a “Microsoft Accelerator Innovative Ecological System” to attract more Microsoft customers to work together with the Microsoft Accelerator that mutually benefits both.
During the early stages of collaboration between Microsoft Accelerator Beijing and Honeywell, Microsoft Accelerator spotted pain points in logistics, smart buildings and industrial environments. Knowing that Honeywell needs an innovative solution to optimize its user experience and to expand its application landscapes, Microsoft Accelerator provided Honeywell with a lightweight logistics automation solution with high ROI though TechBloom, one of the alumni startup from Cohort 10. With this product, Honeywell is able to optimize logistic decisions with AI, improve the execution path, cut back on personnel costs and reduce inventory backlog.
In order to help alumni startups better understand the demand of New Retail, Jennifer Feng, VP of Wanda Group, carried out a training on “New Retail Demand and Wanda’s Open Innovation.” KPMG Greater China as a partner team carried out a series of trainings in the field of finance and taxation for founders of Cohort 10 alumni startups. On Microsoft Accelerator Open Day, Microsoft Accelerator introduced BPI France to alumni startups (Hyperchain, Innolife and Micai) and connected Delphi’s demands with TechBloom, DataMesh and Bespin Global.
Application of technology to the industry needs specific exposure. At the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week in September 2017, Microsoft Accelerator Beijing, as a representative of outstanding incubators of foreign corporations, along with 13 alumni companies demonstrated the innovation achievements to government officials. Kebai Science, Batch 9 almuni, and Farmfriend, Cohort 10 alumni, received accolades from the Vice President of the State Council. As one of a selected few platforms from big enterprises, Microsoft Accelerator was honored as “Large Innovative Enterprise Platform with Strong Foundation and Driving Force” at the kickoff ceremony of “TOP 10 Innovation Platform” Project in Beijing. In addition, Microsoft Accelerator’s alumni startups occupied half of the list of “2017 China Innovation Pioneer 20.”
In November 2017, Microsoft Accelerator Beijing hosted the first China FinTech Innovation and Application Contest, as well as the Blockchain Applications and Industries Forum, bringing together blockchain experts, investors, entrepreneurs and the media to discuss the application of blockchain and its industrial value. In addition, Microsoft Accelerator Beijing leader team attended the roundtable forum to discuss how AI technologies can be applied to industry at the event of Global Artificial Intelligence Summit in Hangzhou. In the New Retail area, Microsoft Accelerator jointly held “China Retail Technology Emerging Startup Competition” with China Chain Store & Franchise Association, Intel Global and Deloitte China.
Integrating Resources and Sharing Ecosystem, Accelerating Startups in all aspects
In terms of building an alumni business ecosystem, Microsoft Accelerator Beijing launched the “Cooperation Plan for Reciprocal Visits to Innovative Startups” by setting up a platform for communication between alumni startups, in order to help VC investors, key customers and the media reporters to understand innovative startups in depth and help them promote their businesses. On this visiting program, Microsoft Accelerator Beijing invited over 80 customer representatives, investors and media reporters, completed 3 terms of visits, visiting 8 alumni startups in total. It also encourages alumni startups to get through the product upstream and downstream application scenarios, activating the ecological alliance. In this way, alumni startups in different vertical fields in the same industry can jointly sell, promote and complement each other.
By means of customer bridging, Microsoft Accelerator Beijing cooperated with Microsoft Sales and ISV teams to host an average of two daily customer engagement sessions in 14 industries with more than 50 enterprise customers. Through Microsoft Accelerator, enterprises and alumni startups are involved in business engagement in depth, and many alumni innovative solutions have been successfully applied.
As for the capital market, Microsoft Accelerator provided more than 75 online and offline high-quality matching. 14 companies successfully received a new round of investment, with a total number of 0.893 billion RMB, and the total estimation of value is 7.687 billion RMB. In only four and a half months of the accelerating process, Cohort 10 startups increased each of their valuation 1.34 times on average. In terms of brand influence, Microsoft Accelerator Beijing invited 11 media to carry out 79 original in-depth interviews with Cohort 10 founders, drawing a total of over 948,000 hits.
For these remarkable achievements, Lims Wang, CTO of Microsoft Accelerator Beijing said: “From the beginning of Cohort 10, Microsoft Accelerator has upgraded our services and brands to a new level, which is ‘Integrate Resources and Share Innovation Ecosystem.’ We now have the latest strategic adjustment which refers to connecting innovative startups with market, research, customer, and utilization partner resources to integrate technology with industry applications. Office space and other basic incubation services are no longer the core mission. Instead, providing free services throughout the enterprise life cycle, and not taking up shares in any form to seek immediate business benefits, are Microsoft Accelerator’s brand advantages.”
Rooted in China, Serve Entrepreneurs, and Be Proactive
Microsoft Accelerator Beijing, as the first accelerator that Microsoft established in China, is located in the heart of Zhongguancun, Beijing. For five and a half years, it has received substantial support from the local government, to promote the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in China to ultimately upgrade traditional industries.
Daochang An, Vice Director of the Torch Center of Ministry of Science and Technology, remarked: “As an exemplar of open platform, Microsoft Accelerator relies on Microsoft’s strong strategic technology resources to provide startups with professional business services. It is also the model for large enterprises to participate in the public entrepreneurship and innovation. Furthermore, it brings an international perspective to China’s domestic incubators. I think Microsoft Accelerator’s success not only builds upon the number and size of startups it nurtured, but also lies in the ecosystem created by alumni startups. This ecosystem is the most valuable asset of Microsoft Accelerator. Torch Center will continue to support Microsoft Accelerator in the future.”
Since the launch of first Microsoft Accelerator in 2012, Microsoft Accelerator has helped 764 startups, of which 83% have successfully received investment of over $3.6 billion worldwide. Until January 2018, 200 innovative startups in China have joined Microsoft Accelerator. The 200 alumni startups are estimated to be worth than over 85.487 billion RMB, with an average annual growth rate of over 400%. Four of them went public and 14 were merged and acquired. For five consecutive years, Microsoft Accelerator has been awarded “China’s Best Space for Startups,” and alumni business products and services cover more than 10 million corporate customers and 700 million personal users in China.