Microsoft aims to take startups in Asia from idea to unicorn 

Microsoft has launched the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub in Asia to empower startups’ ambitions and fuel innovation to drive economic and societal progress for Asia and beyond.

In a statement, the software giant said its Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is a new digital and truly inclusive platform for founders in Asia. 

It adds that the platform offers over US$300,000 (RM1.26 million) worth of benefits and credits, giving startups free access to the technology, tools, and resources they need to build and run their business.

This include trusted, secure, open-source friendly and compliant cloud platform, to developer and productivity tools including GitHub Enterprise, Visual Studio Enterprise and Microsoft 365.

Beyond access to technology, Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub will empower entrepreneurs to innovate and grow by connecting them with mentors who will provide them with industry, business, and technical support to guide them through their next business milestones, the company said. 

In addition, Founders will have access to Microsoft Learn and a variety of startup and unicorn programs to help them build connections with customers and accelerate their growth, it added.

Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is designed specifically for early-stage startups to lower the barriers of business creation, be a catalyst for entrepreneurship and innovation, and contribute to easing the journey from an idea to a unicorn it said.

The company said this is available to all startups in Asia, including those without third-party backing, as part of Microsoft’s commitment to empower startups’ ambitions to drive innovation from Asia to the world.

Asia has undoubtedly become a hotbed of innovation over recent years, with one of the most dynamic startup scenes anywhere.

Jesus Martin, chief strategy, Microsoft Asia said born in Asia creativity and innovation is accelerating Asia’s position to become the startup region of the world. 

“We are a trusted partner who wants to empower the ambition of startups from idea to unicorn. As a platform company, our cloud services and solutions are designed to empower founders to concentrate on what they do best – innovate at their own pace,” he said. 

“Our aim is to give startups access to the technology that will power their innovation, connect them with customers, and an ecosystem of developers, partners and investors to help them scale in Asia and beyond,” said Martin.

He said Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub was created following extensive research and conversations with hundreds of founders who explicitly shared their need for access to a digital ecosystem that promotes opportunities and democratises innovation regardless of background, location, progress, or passions. 

“We look forward to how our new offering will support more founders in Asia and provide access to the technology, tools, and resources they need to build and run their business,” he said. 

Katrina Lee, chief executive officer of Singapore-based Savour, a B2B platform aimed at securing savings for SMEs, nonprofits and social enterprises while also tackling food insecurity and wastage, said most startups spend so much time trying to find the right partner and the right support. 

“More than just having the best tools, it’s important to be able to connect with experts that can help you unlock the full potential of these tools to increase your productivity, grow your customer base and even improve your marketing.

“The ability to connect with mentors within Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub has been a big help for me,” said Lee.

Microsoft said it continues to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to Asia’s startup ecosystem and founders.

This has included a multi-year partnership with global startup platform She Loves Tech, announced last year, to provide women-led startups in the community with access to Microsoft technologies, dedicated programs and global ecosystem.

Microsoft also expanded Project Amplify, in collaboration with Accenture to support startups across Asia focused on sustainability and social impact, with hands-on support and technologies, mentoring and collaboration opportunities.

“We believe startups from Asia have the potential to change the world – in fact, they have already played a role in transforming Asia’s economy,” said Martin.

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