GBA Accelerator Cohort 1
The GBA Accelerator is a robotics and AI startup accelerator designed to help companies scale across the Greater Bay Area. Startups that participate are all equipped to pilot their solutions in specific case studies developed in the New World ecosystem.
What is the GBA?
In 2019, China unveiled the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. This signified the Central Government’s intention to implement an ambitious plan of creating a region that comprise of 11 key financial and manufacturing cities in southern China to foster high technology and innovation, rivaling even Silicon Valley.
The GBA is a megalopolis that groups together the mainland cities of Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Zhaoqing and Zhuhai, along with the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
Its ultimate goal is to become the world’s home of innovation by strengthening cooperation between cities and providing companies with the platform and infrastructure that would spur innovation and facilitate R&D collaboration.
The Chinese Central Government hopes that this grouping also deepens the financial and infrastructure links in the region, contributing to the further improvement of the quality of life of its more than 70 million inhabitants.
NWD Development in GBA:
New World Development has long been a staple of the Guangdong-Hong Kong- Macao Greater Bay Area. Since its founding in 1970, New World Development Company Limited has been a leader in Hong Kong’s bustling commercial and residential developer market and has become one of the largest private property developers in mainland China since its entrance into the market in 1991. The Group’s continued commitment to the GBA can be shown by the contracted sales of 343,000 square meters of residential and non-residential properties in FY2021 alone.
The GBA Accelerator, powered by Eureka Nova, is a business integration programme targeted at startups looking to scale their business across the Area. This first cohort showcased Robotics and AI verticals with nine startups across six countries and regions. The startups received the opportunity to pilot and commercialize their solutions, expand their network, and gain exposure in the Area.
Breaking into a market as large as the GBA can be difficult and this program acts as a bridge between these startups and the NWD businesses needed to help them succeed. Startups are able to network with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors to develop their go-to-market strategy.
As a problem statement driven programme, the GBA Accelerator collected multiple pain points from New World’s residential, retail and construction business units. Increasing customer engagement within the Group’s properties as well as automating services in construction and property management were key problems this programme aimed to address. Providing a pilot location for startups to launch and iterate is invaluable for them to find their optimal product market fit. In addition to this launchpad, earlier stage startups are also given an intensive curriculum to prepare them for their go-to-market strategy in the GBA; individual mentors are allocated to these startups to challenge and provide feedback on their products and service model.
As one of Microsoft’s core commitments to empower startups through our technologies, we are thrilled to partner with New World Development as a premier technology sponsor of the first cohort of the GBA Accelerator program. In line with this, the key focus for us is to foster the flow of technology talent and resources by leveraging our extensive research and innovation capabilities and transforming the Area into a global I&T hub.
Together with NWD, this GBA Accelerator has identified multiple business scenarios for start-ups to innovate. The program will serve as a platform for startups to launch their solutions and optimize until they are ready to go-to-market. As the sole technology enabler in the accelerator curriculum, Microsoft is empowering start-ups to harness the full potential of Azure,
an enterprise-grade cloud computing platform, where they can bring their ambitions, innovations and solutions to life by building, running and managing applications on Azure. The startups will be able to utilize Azure’s wide range of products, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), Mixed Reality (MR) and more. Moreover, we will provide technical advisory to the startups, to help them elevate the commercial value of their solutions to the enterprise-grade. This includes backing these start-ups to fulfill cybersecurity requirements and build internal infrastructure standards to ensure scalability.
Moving forward, we aim to successfully onboard more startups in the GBA, covering sectors such as Robotics, AI and Metaverse, into the Microsoft Partner Network and co-build solutions on Azure. With Azure, Microsoft will strengthen its cross-cloud capabilities to pave the way for dark-to-cloud transformation journeys such as workplace revamp, and Digital Twins envisioning.
Cohort 1 Startups.
Robotic automation of surveying construction set outs and building layouts
Provides fully autonomous commercia robotic floor cleaner
Category: Facility Management
Solving AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) pain points through innovative digital twin technology
Develop and manufacture wide variety of wall construction and painting robots
Commercializes real-time video with real-life application of interactive AI Human solutions
Category: User Experience (UX)
Solving worldwide logistical problems with warehousing robots
Category: User Experience (UX)
Design and manufacture window cleaning robots for high rise buildings
Category: Facility Management
Provides an all-around smart, modular construction solution
Provides the simplest way to AR tours and content in real world locations
Startup will be able to:
In addition to the above, select startups have been further mentored by XNode, our GBA Cohort Curriculum provider. XNode utilized their unique position within Mainland China to provide high-quality Chinese localization services to startups and entrepreneurs, and connect them to top notch domestic and international stakeholders. Startups were able to receive invaluable feedback from local Chinese experts on their business model, product market fit and localization needs in the GBA.