Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai Jump Starts the Evolution of 14 Startups, The Total Valuation tripled to RMB 6.6 billion in 4 months

China becomes the only country where Microsoft has two accelerators

SHANGHAI, June 22, 2017 — Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It requires vast knowledge, drive, agility, strong conviction and a passion that burns inside and pushes you forward. For Microsoft, the most effective way to empower entrepreneurs around the world on their journey to build great companies is through incubation. With its global Microsoft Accelerator program, Microsoft works with later-stage startups to provide the tools, resources, connections, knowledge and expertise they need to become successful companies, backed by the immense computing power of Microsoft Azure.

The latest accelerator from Microsoft is Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai (MASH), which launched in January 2017. MASH hosted its first batch’s graduation and demo day on June 22, showcasing 14 startups. Since joining MASH 4 months ago, the total valuation of the 14 startups has tripled. 10 out of the 14 startups have received new rounds of funding for a total of 6.6 billion RMB, and one startup has gone public. All startups have adopted Microsoft Azure for public cloud services. During incubation period, MASH delivered more than 200 hours of training and made more than 500 customer and VC connections for the startups.

“The digital transformation of China’s economy presents a huge opportunity for both big companies and startups across all industries,” said Alain Crozier, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Chairman and CEO of Greater China Region. “Microsoft Azure has supported the digital transformation of China since landing in China three years ago. With Microsoft Accelerator China, the company has nourished a thriving local ecosystem of startups to further transform China’s digital landscape. MASH will further empower innovators on this journey.”

Microsoft Accelerator China was founded in 2012 and has built up close relationship with more than 300 investment firms to bridge startups with top venture capitalists. The accelerator strategically teams up with industry leading companies to connect startups with potential long-term clients.  

Now, Microsoft’s accelerators in Beijing and Shanghai boast a combined 170 graduates, whose products and services reach 500 million individual users and more than 2 million enterprise accounts. More than 93% of alumni have raised next rounds of funding. 

As of today, the total market valuation for Microsoft Accelerator China alumni has reached RMB 56.6 billion, which, post-incubation, grew by more than 600%. This success hasn’t gone unnoticed; Microsoft Accelerator has been named “The Best Accelerator/Incubator in China” for five years straight by ChinaVenture Group, China’s leading venture capital and private equity data service company.

During MASH’s first demo day, the first batch graduates shared their strong cloud, artificial intelligence and big data capabilities:

  • SchoolPal Online is a startup using Microsoft .Net technology to develop their backend systems that support hyper-scale concurrency and secure data storage. Over 80 thousand schools in China are relying on SchoolPal’s SaaS service every day.
  • Caicloud has released TensorFlow, a Service on Azure, which greatly reduces the effort and cost that an enterprise would have to spend to create a Deep Learning infrastructure. This service stands as a testimony to Microsoft’s commitment to building an open ecosystem and democratizing AI.
  • MINIEYE is building its cutting-edge computer vision technology for autonomous driving on the Microsoft Azure platform, leveraging its hyper-scale intelligent cloud computing capabilities.
  • Kyligence is the Shanghai based company leading Apache Kylin, an Apache, top level open source project focusing on providing high performance business intelligence analytics solutions on top of Hadoop big data. Kyligence has integrated their solution seamlessly with Azure HDInsight and has made it conveniently available to users via the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
  • EasyRetailPro leverages the rich capabilities that Microsoft Azure offers on big data and artificial intelligence offer a social CRM solution for retail customers. With the help of Microsoft Azure, EasyRetailPro has seen significant progress on their capabilities for retail big data analysis, helping retail chains get deep insight on their customers based on transaction data, social media engagements, and more.    
  • Lavector‘s Brand Vision provides an AI-powered, real-time interactive digital marketing SaaS solution. Deeply integrated with Microsoft Azure’s AI services and features, Lavector’s transparent, intelligent, and agile digital marketing interface drives highly efficient interactions between customers and brands.

MASH launched with full, direct support from the Shanghai Xuhui District government, who has set itself a strategy of “Innovation Drives Development” in an effort to build more hubs of innovation, particularly in the Caohejing Hi-Tech Park. MASH was also made possible through a cooperation with INESA, a regional partner for ecosystem development. As a large state-owned enterprise group, INESA is comprised of 22 wholly-owned subsidiary companies, over 80 subsidiary companies with controlling shares, and 37 subsidiary companies with joint shares, across the globe. Committed as a total solution provider and operator for smart cities, INESA works with MASH to help technology startups achieve better growth with its large client base.

“In order to support a strategy of turning Shanghai into an international center for technology innovation, Xuhui is developing its technology service sector accordingly, especially with help from global incubators and accelerators within our District,” said Mrs. Chen Shiyan, Vice Mayor of Xuhui District Government. “Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai has been made possible through a joint effort by the Xuhui government, Microsoft and INESA, integrating vast resources to support better growth for startups in Shanghai.”

Elton Huang, PwC China Shanghai Senior Partner and James Chou, Managing Director and CEO in Residence of MASH announced a joint program called the Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai FinTech Camp Powered by PwC. The new program will focus on later-stage funded fintech startups, helping them to quickly accelerate and become enterprise-ready companies. PwC China will offer mentorship and customer access to its financial industry clients to the startups. Selected startups will also be able to use the co-working space in PwC’s China Innovation Center in Shanghai.

“This is the first accelerator program resulting from a cooperation between PwC China and Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai,” said Elton Huang. “By leveraging available resources from both companies, we hope to break barriers between large finance service companies and startups and push more tech innovations from ideas to end products.”

China is the only country where Microsoft has two accelerators,” said James Chou. “With support from the Shanghai government, MASH will play an important role in Shanghai’s digital transformation. Furthermore, the Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai FinTech Camp Powered by PwC program will empower entrepreneurs to create more innovative FinTech solutions, helping Shanghai on its journey to becoming one of the world’s leading financial centers.”

The Microsoft Cloud Incubation Program is another initiative by Microsoft China. It is an innovation incubation program targeting newly-founded cloud and mobile services startups in China. Microsoft Accelerator and the Microsoft Cloud Incubation program form an “innovation pyramid” in China. Through the Microsoft Cloud Incubation program launched in 2015, Microsoft, government, and selected partners work together to establish incubation centers across China serving startups who focus on innovation in cloud computing, IoT, big data, machine learning, AI, and mixed reality. With Microsoft Accelerator targeting at later stage startups, Microsoft now has a complete coverage of technology startup’s lifecycle in China.

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SOURCE Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai