Alibaba Cloud has launched a slew of new initiatives under Project AsiaForward (PAF) to fulfill its promise of bringing learning and business opportunities to startups, talents and developers.
The digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group has teamed up with regional accelerators, including Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) in Singapore, Handsprofit (Malaysia) and Sunwah Innovation Center (Vietnam), to provide mentorship, capital and connections to startups with investors and business partners.
Talents have been an integral part of the project, and after seeing the success of the company’s training programs last year, PAF will roll out more learning opportunities for talents and startups, including open office hour with venture capitalists (VC) to guide them on business issues, technology workshops to offer participants insights on digitalization tools, and business intelligence webinars to pass on the latest industry trends to attendees. Since its launch last year, more than 600,000 talents, 14,000 developers and 850 startups have participated in the project. Many of them leveraged PAF to showcase their business success and gained exposure to interact with more potential customers and partners.
“As APAC continues to transform through technology and digitalization, nurturing digital talent across the region is needed to create a sustainable ecosystem of innovation for the future. The growth of Project AsiaForward is testament to this need among practitioners and companies to accelerate their digital competencies and cultivate future-ready skills,” said Selina Yuan, General Manager for International Business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “As a leading cloud service provider, we are committed to working together with our network of partners in APAC to empower talent and startups across different industries to reach their digital potential.”
Under the project, Alibaba Cloud is also aiming to create a meeting place, gallery, club and workspace via Innov8 in the Sandbox for developers to interact with Alibaba Cloud.
In the Philippines, Finantier, a tech company that promotes financial inclusion by facilitating access to those previously unable to obtain conventional financial services, was named the Asia Star in the Philippines Demo Day, demonstrating it is a good fit for the Alibaba Cloud ecosystem. The company can receive US$60,000 (PHP3.1 million) in Alibaba Cloud credits to further integrate cloud solutions into its operations.
In Singapore, AiTreat, a high-tech company that has built robots to administer physiotherapy treatments, is one of the top-ten finalists in the Singapore Demo Day. As a finalist, the company can receive Alibaba Cloud vouchers, technical support from Alibaba Cloud and exposure to regional VCs for potential investment.
In Hong Kong, Gridmarkets, a cloud-based platform for drug discovery simulation rendering, was named the Asia Star in the Hong Kong Demo Day. The company exemplified the innovation that cloud technologies are enabling.
In Indonesia, HashMicro EVA, an AI-powered recruitment software that automates and saves recruiters time to find the first-rate candidates, was a finalist in the second Indonesia Demo Day. The company is planning to leverage Alibaba Cloud’s resource and technology know-how to further expand its market share locally.
In Malaysia, ClicknCare is a startup that provides teleconsultation services connecting migrant workers with doctors. As a participant in PAF, it had the opportunity to network with developers and young professionals, expanding its exposure to new talent and resources.
In Thailand, Sati, a mental health support app with the mission to create an army of empathetic listeners who are available around the clock for users, is one of the finalists in the Thailand Demo Day.
Since the launch of PAF last year, Alibaba Cloud has committed an initial US$1 billion funding and resources to cultivate a million-strong digital talent pool, empower 100,000 developers and support the growth of 100,000 technology startups in APAC.