BEIJING, July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Microsoft is announcing the launch of Microsoft Ventures in China, a startup initiative that aligns the BizSpark program, the Accelerator program, and the Seed Fund. This announcement coincides with a number of milestones for the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure in China: The first anniversary of the Microsoft Accelerator in China opening, the Demo Day for the second class, and the introduction of the third class. Ya-Qin Zhang, Corporate Vice President and Chairman of Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group, Samuel Shen, Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group, David Lin, Director of Microsoft Ventures Greater China, as well as participants of all three classes, Accelerator mentors, as well as dozens of venture capital investors will be attending the event.
Microsoft Ventures is a coordinated global effort that offers tools, cloud computing resources, expertise, and global routes to market by providing mentorship, technology guidance, seed funding, joint selling opportunities, and other entrepreneurial support that enables startups to achieve business success at a faster rate.
"Here in China, Microsoft Ventures will adhere to our global strategy to foster innovation by building up local entrepreneur ecosystem," said David Lin, Director of Microsoft Ventures Greater China. "We will bring together BizSpark program, Accelerator, and a seed fund in collaboration with the investment community, mentors, government, and technology partners to provide full circle of support to the startups so that they can create successful businesses."
The Microsoft Ventures Accelerator China, which was recently awarded with "Innovation Incubator" by the Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park Administration Committee, introduced its second class on December 20, 2012. At Demo Day, the 20 startups will be presenting their distinctive products and services built on Microsoft technologies and platform. Backed by rich industrial knowledge and experiences, iRock Technologies, Jinan Tianbo, Facishare, TalentCloud, and Protection & Ease among others from the class are slated to deliver services that will stand out in the global marketplace.
As one of the only three shale data analysis companies in the world, iRock Technologies helps oil and gas companies efficiently analyze rock samples to increase the productivity in crude oil recovery and accurate shale gas extraction. The company develops digital core analysis software and storage on Windows Azure. Rock samples are scanned in the system, which creates and analyzes 3D images to aid the recovery and extraction.
Agriculture is one of the strategic focuses in China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). Bill Gates has also appealed for innovations in agricultural technology over the past few years. TalentCloud leverages emerging IT technologies, such as Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, and Mobile Internet, to help farmers in the Guangxi Autonomous Region, where agriculture serves as a key pillar of the region's economy. The company is now a Microsoft solution partner in the agriculture industry.
"Cloud computing is transforming the global technology and business landscape. The recent public preview of Windows Azure in China is of significance to startups, who are eager for opportunities of disruptive innovations," claimed Ya-Qin Zhang, Corporate Vice President, Chairman of Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group. "We are excited to work with these promising startups in this Accelerator program. They are going to build a cloud ecosystem in China together with Microsoft, who is on a journey of transformation."
17 startups were selected for the third class from a total of 260 teams after several rounds of assessments. Most of these teams come from Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, and other regions of China, with a few from abroad. Their focus are very diverse, ranging from keyless electronic signature, big data mining and services, big data solutions for business intelligence and decision support in the financial sector, to wearable health management devices, to name a few. The third class will be held for six months from July 2013 December 2013.
"Ever since the launch of its 'China Go Big' plan last September, Microsoft has been adhering to the three pillar strategies of 'Innovative China, Competitive China, and Talented China,' along with a few deliverables. The widely acclaimed Accelerator is one of the most representative," said Samuel Shen, Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group. "We are looking forward to promoting these programs to more cities, and helping startups achieve business success."
The entrepreneurship has been a global phenomenon, where the venture ecosystem supported by Microsoft alone is fairly impressive. Since 2008, more than 75,000 startups from over 100 countries have received access to tools and resources through the BizSpark program. Since launching Microsoft accelerator programs two years ago, 114 startups have graduated in Seattle, Tel-Aviv, Beijing, Bangalore, and nearly all that sought a subsequent round of funding received it. Microsoft is expanding to further locations including Paris, Berlin, Moscow, and Rio de Janeiro. The Bing Fund, renamed the seed fund from Microsoft Ventures, launched in 2012 have invested in dozens of startups, and helped them build their businesses and improve their technologies. To date, Microsoft Accelerators, globally, has produced four companies that have been acquired.
SOURCE Microsoft Ventures