Eureka Nova, an open innovation company under New World Development (NWD), and Microsoft Hong Kong are calling for international startups focused on robotics and AI to join the second round of their GBA Accelerator programme.
The programme aims to help these startups to scale by co-developing solutions with businesses with the NWD group ecosystem in Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The next cohort of the GBA Accelerator is now open for application.
The GBA Accelerator identified technology improvement opportunities from NWD's residential, retail and construction business units; from increasing customer engagement within the group's retail properties to automating services in property management.
"Breaking into a market as large as the GBA can be difficult and Eureka Nova has acted as a bridge between these startups and the NWD businesses needed to help them succeed. The startups have also been networking with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors to develop their go-to-market strategies,” said Paul Sin, director of technology and transformation at NWD.
Besides showcasing their technologies in NWD's properties, Sin added the startups have learned to localise their solutions for an entirely different customer base and what business requirements are necessary to win over large B2B clients.
Eureka Nova launched the inaugural cohort of the GBA Accelerator programme in September 2021, targeted at robotics and AI startups looking to scale their business across the GBA.
The programme attracted applications from around the world to develop solutions that solve real-world business problems for New World China Land, K11 MUSEA, 11 SKIES, Property Management, and Hip Seng.
Nine have been selected for their robotics and AI solutions – four from the Chinese Mainland, four from overseas, and one from Hong Kong. During a five-month incubation period, the nine startups received development support and training by Eureka Nova, while seizing the opportunity to work closely with NWD's business units.
Startups from GBA Accelerator’s inaugural round to pilot solutions
Three international startups from the first cohort of nine – Trace from the US, DeepBrain AI from South Korea and R-Storm from Mainland China – will pilot their innovative solutions in NWD's businesses in the coming month for them to test and refine their products and go-to-market strategy in the GBA.
These solutions will eventually have the opportunity to be integrated into New World businesses in Hong Kong and Guangzhou:
- Trace has been developing an Augmented Reality (AR) tour guide technology that can transform any living space, retail store, mall and museum into an interactive brick-and-mortar digital experience for in-person visitors.
- DeepBrain AI develops real-time video synthesis, speech synthesis and Natural Language Processing (NLP) from actor-enabled videos to create interactive AI human avatars with multi-language capability that customers can engage with to address their customer service needs.
- R-Storm specialises in autonomous window cleaning robots that offer a cost-effective and safe alternative for cleaning high-rise buildings. Their window cleaning robot utilises image recognition, pressure sensors and wide-angle cameras to carefully analyse each window to ensure accurate cleaning.
Meanwhile, the six other startups that composed the first batch of the GBA Accelerator program also had the opportunity to land their technology in New World Development's construction and facility management lines of business.
They were able to land four commercial pilots and co-develop two product collaborations with New World Development. These internal business units look forward to continuing such discussions to provide a gateway for these startups in the GBA.
Building cloud-native applications
Microsoft Hong Kong, the technology partner for this accelerator programme, has been supporting the startups to bring their innovations and solutions to life by enabling them to build, run and manage applications on Microsoft Azure.
The startups have deployed Azure's wide range of products, such as AI, IoT, machine learning and mixed reality to help realise their business propositions and innovative dreams while accelerating the digital transformation of the GBA.
"A robust, trusted, and secure cloud infrastructure is essential for innovative companies in this cloud-first era. As part of our mission to deliver enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure to support the GBA's digital economy, we launched Azure Availability Zone in Hong Kong last year to add additional capabilities and improve resilience for companies in the GBA,” said Cally Chan, general manager, Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau.
She added: “We support innovative international startups to land their innovations on Azure technology to develop scalable and agile solutions in a secure environment and bring their ambition to life. We wish to continue paving the way for more tech unicorns to enter the GBA."