Huawei announced its plan to invest US$100 million in startup support recently at its inaugural Spark Founders Summit, which took place simultaneously in Singapore and Hong Kong. Huawei said the investment would go towards its Spark program, which aims to build a sustainable startup ecosystem in the Asia Pacific region over the next three years.
Huawei has been helping Singapore build the first startup hub in APAC since 2020 and has expanded the program to many countries in APAC in the past year. At the summit, Huawei also announced that this program would focus its efforts on developing four additional startup hubs – in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam – with the overarching aim of recruiting a total of 1,000 startups, out of which 100 are scaleups, into the Spark accelerator program.
Three additional startup-related initiatives were launched by Huawei at the event: The Spark Developer Program, which aims to nurture a developer ecosystem powered by HUAWEI CLOUD in the Asia Pacific region; the Spark Pitstop Program, designed to onboard and support startups on HUAWEI CLOUD to accelerate product development; and the Spark Innovation Program (SIP), focused on facilitating enterprise innovation through the Spark startup ecosystem.
The Spark Founders Summit was attended by representatives from many prominent Asian startups, academia, various industries and governments, and the media, as well as more than 50 regional top venture capitalists and over 300 startup founders. Speeches and panels at the event focused on the social value of this startup ecosystem and how startups can promote technological and ecosystem innovation to contribute to local communities and drive socioeconomic development.
Huawei Senior Vice President and Board Member Catherine Chen opened the summit by emphasizing how important startups are to social advancement and what Huawei is doing to support startups: “We all know how brilliant startups and SMEs are. They are the innovators, disruptors, and pioneers of our times. These companies account for two-thirds of jobs worldwide, create two-thirds of new jobs, and generate almost 50% of global GDP. 34 years ago, Huawei was a startup with just 5,000 dollars of registered capital. Recently, we have been thinking: How can we leverage our experience and resources to help more startups address their challenges? Doing so would allow them to seize the opportunities posed by digital transformation, achieve business success, and develop more innovative products and solutions for the world.”
Zhang Ping’an, CEO of Huawei’s Cloud Business Unit, noted, “Since its launch in 2017, HUAWEI CLOUD has been the world’s fastest-growing cloud, and has driven the growth of countless startups. Last year, we launched the Spark Program in Asia Pacific. Through this program, we are working with local governments, leading incubators, well-known VC firms, and top universities to build support platforms for startups in many regions. Now 40 startups are participating in our program.”
“‘In Asia Pacific, for Asia Pacific’ has been our unchanged commitment for the past two decades,” said Jeffery Liu, President of Huawei Asia Pacific, “Leveraging Huawei’s global customer base and full-stack technologies, the Spark Program will invest over $100 million in the next three years, and provide comprehensive support to build a sustainable startup ecosystem and create new value for the dynamic region.”
Huawei recognizes startups as key partners in creating social value and contributing to communities around the world. At the Spark Founders Summit, Huawei unveiled the latest data on its innovation research programs with startups. The data shows solid relationships between Huawei and more than 2,000 partners from across the Asia Pacific region, with ongoing initiatives to build support platforms in close partnerships with governments, top VCs, and leading universities in Hong Kong and Singapore.