New World Development Company Limited ("NWD" or the "Group") announced today that Eureka Nova, a NWD open innovation company, in partnership with Microsoft Hong Kong has been helping international startups scale in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) under the GBA Accelerator programme. Through a bespoke curriculum, the startups are empowered with resources to solve real business problems by co-developing solutions with businesses within the New World 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. Following five months of incubation, 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.
Paul Sin, Director of Technology & Transformation at New World Development, said, "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. In addition to showcasing their technologies in NWD's properties, 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."
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 company's enterprise-grade cloud computing platform. The startups have utilised Azure's wide range of products, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning and Mixed Reality (MR) to help realise their business propositions and innovative dreams while accelerating the digital transformation of the GBA.
Cally Chan, General Manager, Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau, said, "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. As the sole technology partner of the GBA Accelerator programme by Eureka Nova, we support and encourage 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."
Solutions that the three international startups have to offer 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.
In addition to the above, six other startups from around the world also had the opportunity to land their technology in New World Development's construction and facility management lines of business. This batch of startups was 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.
Learn more about the accomplishments of this cohort at the GBA Accelerator website here. Recruitment for the second cohort of the Accelerator has begun, this time with a focus on supply chain, logistics and robotics. Interested startups and parties are welcome to reach out to apply here or learn more here.
Eureka Nova, an open innovation platform powered by NWD, 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. The nine startups will receive development support and training by Eureka Nova, while seizing the opportunity to work closely with NWD's business units.