Qualifying startups will receive US$120,000 worth of Azure credits each year and complimentary co-working space at Microsoft Innovation Centre to grow their businesses
SINGAPORE – 15 July 2015 – Microsoft today announced an expansion of the Microsoft BizSpark Programme in Singapore, introducing two new features to boost support for the 4,000-strong local technology startup community. This includes the launch of the BizSpark Residency Programme that houses startups with promising market potential at the revamped Microsoft Innovation Centre, and an enhanced BizSpark Plus Programme that provides US$120,000 (S$162,000) worth of Azure cloud services credits per year (up from US$60,000 [S$81,000] per year previously) to qualifying local startups.
“Microsoft is committed to growing the local startup ecosystem by providing the latest technological tools, support and market visibility to help them succeed. Since the launch of Microsoft BizSpark in 2008, we have worked with close to 1,300 startups in Singapore and some of them have gone on to impact the world with their innovations. With the expanded BizSpark programme, we now have a much-improved platform and support system to help more local startups scale their businesses quickly. Through this, we hope to help grow the entrepreneurial spirit in Singapore and foster a culture of innovation to unleash future innovators who can change the world with their creations,” said Nobuhiro Ito, Director for Developer Experience & Evangelism, Microsoft Singapore.
Launched in Singapore in 2008, Microsoft BizSpark is a global programme that helps startups grow their businesses by providing them with access to technology products, business and technical support and market visibility. BizSpark also offers member startups access to a network of over 40 partners, enabling them to connect easily with a wide pool of incubators, investors, advisors and government agencies.
Under the newly-expanded programme, the new BizSpark Residency Programme offers 1,200 square feet of complimentary co-working space at the revamped Microsoft Innovation Centre located at One Marina Boulevard to promising local startups. With the aim to further grow the area into a startup hub within the city centre, the programme enables startups to be placed in an environment that fosters innovation, with easy access to Microsoft’s technical evangelists for guidance in scaling their businesses. In addition, startups can also benefit from the centrally-located and accessible office in the heart of the central business district, as well as the cost savings from the complimentary office space and accompanying business facilities.
With the introduction of the BizSpark Residency Programme, three promising local startups will be the first to operate out of the revamped Microsoft Innovation Centre. One of the startups – KUMO Pte Ltd – offers an innovative enterprise integration platform built on Azure to help companies operate their businesses more efficiently through the automation of time-consuming processes and the capturing of invaluable data that would typically be lost through human inefficiencies. Since joining Microsoft BizSpark three months ago, KUMO has since doubled its revenue and is on course to multiply this growth further with its entry into the BizSpark Residency Programme.
“We are extremely grateful for Microsoft’s strong support for a local startup like us. Getting accepted into the BizSpark Residency Programme is a great honour, and to be able to work at a prime location within the central business district, surrounded by elite teams at one of the most predominant technology conglomerates in the world, provides constant inspiration to our team. With Microsoft’s support and the technical training provided to us, we have since gained invaluable advice and insights on how to build and maintain a scalable business. We hope that our KUMO Enterprise Integration Platform can complement what Microsoft is accomplishing with Azure, and take it a step further to enable small and medium businesses in Singapore and the region to operate much more efficiently with our solution,” said Charlotte Tang, CEO of KUMO Pte Ltd.
The second startup is Grezzy, whose brainchild is the white-label FireRunner Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. Grezzy is currently focused on developing health-focused solutions for connected devices, primarily white-label wearables, targeted at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), fitness centres and health organisations. Since joining Microsoft BizSpark, Grezzy has inked a deal with Norway’s Wooflander AS to develop its dog-tracking solution, and will now go on to pitch their solutions to more companies across the globe.
The third startup is Apvera, who is in the final stages of developing their threat intelligence platform, named Insight™. This platform helps businesses identify potential threats for enterprise security through extensive user profiling and adaptive behavioural learning.
Finally, the expanded Microsoft BizSpark also features an enhanced BizSpark Plus Programme that provides US$120,000 (S$162,000) worth of Azure cloud services credits per year to qualifying local startups, doubling the amount of Azure credits being offered to startups since its launch in 2012. Starting July, qualifying startups will receive US$10,000 (S$13,500) worth of Azure credits every month for a year, which they can spend on Azure – a flexible, comprehensive and powerful cloud platform for the creation of web-based applications and services – to power their business. Some of Azure’s key offerings include the Azure App Service, a set of tools designed to power mobile, web and other applications, as well as Azure Machine Learning, a powerful cloud-based predictive analytics service for big data mining, artificial intelligence and more.
To sign up for the Microsoft BizSpark Programme, startups can simply complete the steps at the BizSpark website to get up to three years of free software, support and visibility. Microsoft BizSpark members can also receive up to US$750 (S$1,013) a month in Azure credits for use on cloud services.
To join the BizSpark Plus Programme, startups will need to be nominated by Microsoft’s partner in Singapore – NUS Enterprise – in order to qualify. NUS Enterprise provides a complete suite of support programmes for local startups to test, share and grow their ideas for a wide array of business areas ranging from information communications and technology fields to biomedical and social enterprises.
“NUS Enterprise is honoured to be selected as one of the BizSpark Plus accelerators and we look forward to partnering Microsoft to enhance the range of support for our startups. Moving forward, we also hope to see Microsoft extending their extensive network of business partners and clients who could leverage upon the solutions and services offered by our dynamic startup community,” said Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise.
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About NUS Enterprise
NUS Enterprise is a University-level cluster that provides an enterprise dimension to NUS teaching and research involving the University’s students, staff and alumni. The functions of the Enterprise Cluster complement the academic cluster of the University to nurture talents with an entrepreneurial and global mindset. NUS Enterprise promotes the spirit of innovation and enterprise through Experiential Education, Industry Engagement & Partnerships and Entrepreneurship Support. www.nus.edu.sg/enterprise