BEIJING, CHINA - Today, Microsoft Ventures held the preliminary recruiting round for the fifth Microsoft Ventures Accelerator (MVA) session in Beijing. Rahul Sood, Global General Manager and Partner of Microsoft Ventures, a former global entrepreneur himself, attended the session. He shared and exchanged insights with dynamic Chinese business innovators on important trends driving global innovation and entrepreneurship.
Sood reiterated Microsoft Ventures' commitment to helping Chinese entrepreneurs succeed both in China and globally in line with the overall Chinese innovation agenda. The event also featured previous MVA participants in a panel discussion and demos from 15 Chinese startups aspiring to be recruited by MVA and to receive funding from investors.
Sood emphasized that Microsoft Ventures' strategy for China is to leverage in-depth understanding of the local business environment and the needs of Chinese startups to empower and enable a new generation of business and technology innovators. "China is seeing an unprecedented wave of entrepreneurship thanks in part to a maturing environment for startups. We are very impressed by the enthusiasm and excellence that Chinese entrepreneurs are exhibiting every day. Their efforts will enrich and invigorate the global innovation ecosystem benefiting China and the world," Sood said. "Microsoft is excited by the innovation and entrepreneurship in China both at Microsoft and in the wider innovation ecosystem. Our Venture investments and related support are key ways we contribute towards building an innovation-driven society and economy. We appreciate the opportunity to work with and learn from such dynamic entrepreneurs by leveraging our unique global perspective and resources."
Two panels of leading venture capitalists and founders of startups discussed a range of issues and opportunities at the session. Topics included general entrepreneurship and innovation conditions in China, as well as trends for technology development in China and globally. Fifteen startups were then selected to give one-minute presentations of their ideas during a demo session. Sood offered his advice on the skillsets needed for innovation and startups and shared the qualities necessary to be successful entrepreneurs.
Startups that are selected for MVA will have access to MVA offices and resources around the world in a bid to help Chinese startups compete on the global stage.
"We are delighted to see China's startups grow and develop so quickly," Wang Qiang, the co-founder of the Zhen Fund and New Oriental Education, and a guest venture capitalist speaker in the panel, said. "More and more startups are developing rapidly with the help of organizations like Microsoft Ventures. As a vocal supporter of startups, Microsoft Ventures brings their global vision and resources to help them take their place on the world stage."
Since its China launch in July 2012, the MVA program has provided a wide range of support to 66 startups, more than 90 percent of which have received financing. Two startups that had received support during previous MVA sessions shared their stories of rapid growth and success at the event. Class Box, one such company, has launched a service that is now the application of choice among more than six million college students in China. 91Jinrong, an online financial intermediary website from the third MVA session, received RMB60 million in Series A funding during its participation in the Accelerator program, with more than RMB300 million in daily loan transactions. Its finance product Zeng Zhi Bao ("Value-added Treasure") received RMB300 million in subscriptions in the first week after its launch. The outstanding growth of these two companies has further inspired the enthusiasm of entrepreneurs for MVA in China.
After preliminary recruitment for MVA wraps up in Beijing on May 2, Sood will travel to Hong Kong as part of Microsoft Ventures' commitment to supporting Chinese startups and promoting innovation development across the Greater China region.