Huawei’s annual flagship startup event, Spark Founders Summit (SFS), has kicked off in Bangkok, Thailand. In conjunction with Huawei Connect, the two-day SFS is expected to gather around 5,000 attendees at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center this year.
Spark Founders Summit is a celebration of the Huawei Spark startup ecosystem and showcases how Huawei can help startups face an ever-changing digital world.
SFS is bringing together key ecosystem players, connecting founders, policymakers, enterprises and investors to discuss Asia’s digital future, harness thought leadership and best practices and showcase products and upcoming startups. A key highlight of the summit is the tri-party government panel that was concluded during its first day. This panel involved representatives from the Thailand, Singapore and Indonesian governments speaking on their respective countries’ startup ecosystem strategies and programs.
Leo Jiang, Chief Digital Officer, HUAWEI CLOUD APAC, said, “SFS 2022 is a follow-up of last year’s success in Singapore and Hong Kong. We’re coming back bigger and better; having government and industry leaders from the region to share important conversations on shaping the regional and local startup ecosystems, addressing opportunities and challenges intersecting technology, society and digital economies.”
Huawei Spark reaffirms its global startup ecosystem strategy, which aims to help startups scale and grow by leveraging the Huawei Cloud platform, accessing technology, commercialization and fundraising support. Initially launched in Asia Pacific in 2020, Huawei Spark is now also in Latin America and will soon be in Africa, Europe and the Middle East in the coming year as the program is going global to help more enterprises grow and scale efficiently with the cloud.
Every year, Huawei Spark holds the Spark Ignite Global Startup Competition with an open call for startups all over the world. With more than 3000 applications in the last 24 months, Spark Ignite Global is now one of Asia’s biggest tech startup competitions. Currently, more than 120 startups are part of Huawei Spark, with a handful collectively securing more than US$50 million in the last 12 months at Pre-A and A.
Jacqueline Shi, the President of Global, Marketing and Sales Service, HUAWEI CLOUD, shares that “HUAWEI CLOUD will fully support startups with technology and digital community. In the next three years, HUAWEI aims to empower 10,000 startups around the world to accelerate their growth via the HUAWEI CLOUD platform and ecosystem.”
The speaker line-up will also feature regional unicorns such as Patrick Cao, the President of GoTo, and venture capitalists such as Yutong Zhang, Managing Director of GSR Ventures. Both startups and venture capitalists regard Southeast Asia as the next frontier of growth, with startups focusing on unlocking market potential and venture capitalists looking out for the next regional unicorn.
Ten selected startups from Thailand will showcase their companies and products during the Spark Ignite Thailand Finals on September 21. The quality of applications received is a testament to Thailand’s growing startup scene, with the finalists receiving select one-on-one mentorship sessions with top Huawei executives. The winners will go on to win up to $125,000 in cloud credits and benefit from access to Huawei technology, expertise and go-to-market partnership.
Spark Founders Summit is one of the first waves of tech events returning to the scene as the region is opening up and recovering from COVID. Vitavin Ittipanuvat, Executive Director of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, a Huawei Spark ecosystem VC partner and a judge for the Spark Ignite Thailand 2022 competition, believes that “through every crisis, there’s always an opportunity. We are happy to support Huawei’s Spark Founders Summit event as part of their continuing trust and commitment in the Thai startup ecosystem. There is obviously a lot of work ahead collectively by everyone in the community, but we trust it will be another exciting year for all of us to collaborate and grow stronger together through the challenging times.”