Fast Forward

American venture capitalist, well-known author, and entrepreneur Brad Feld once said, “they say it takes a village to raise a child and a startup is not different.” It takes a whole community to raise a successful startup company that can grow, scale, and contribute to a healthy economy, he added.

It is true that to achieve success, startups need to operate within a larger network of reputable companies that can help lift each other. Collaboration and innovation have been at the heart of the success of businesses forever but in light of the ongoing pandemic, working together and fostering ecosystems that help startups and SMEs grow has become a necessity.

In fact, several studies and reports have cited collaboration and partnerships to be key for post-pandemic recovery for startups in the APAC region and across the globe. A 2020 PwC study states that for complete economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and after this crisis, stakeholders need to realign their future path based on strategic intent and focus. The study highlights “fostering a collaborative innovation ecosystem” as one of the key pillars that will be critical to Asia Pacific’s journey over the next 10 years.

Collaboration is key when it comes to early-stage startups

In 2019, the failure rate of startups was around 90%. The research concludes 21.5% of startups fail in the first year, 30% in the second year and 50% in the fifth year, and 70% in their 10th year, and one of the main reasons for their failure is the lack of a collaborative ecosystem.

While collaboration is important for small and big companies alike irrespective of what stage they’re at, when it comes to young startups that are still in Series A to C stages, collaboration is an absolute imperative. An ecosystem that boosts business growth, guides these young companies towards success, and fosters partnerships that result in business development and scalability, is a necessity.

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Some of the key elements that a collaborative ecosystem can help young startups with include:

  • Exposure: Startups need to be able to engage with peers and learn about best common practices, industry standards, and so on.
  • Technological know-how: They need knowledge and skills to be able to leverage technology and gauge the right platforms to test and develop products.
  • A robust network: Growth and expansion can only happen if they have access to the right network of both investors and B2B startups for partnerships and collaborations.
  • A supportive community: Startups also need access to global markets with the help of partner organisations and network retailers and distributors, among others.
  • Mentorship and guidance: Startups can future-proof their growth and scalability through continuous mentorship and support.

These elements are not easy to come by, especially for newcomers in the startup ecosystem. While there is no dearth of programmes like accelerators and incubators that claim to help young startups thrive, unfortunately, rarely are they able to offer benefits as complex and comprehensive as the ones mentioned above.

Enter Fast Forward with HPE!

To fill this gap and help series A to C startups, Fast Forward with HPE is fostering a robust and supportive community for startups that focus on providing B2B services and solutions.

Fast Forward with HPE! is a unique startup programme that focuses on helping startups accelerate innovation, create collaborative opportunities, develop business strategies for future growth, and ultimately expand their footprints beyond the APAC region. This programme brings the smartest ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of digital startups, top venture capitalists, accelerators, and leading technology vendors together with industry leaders, consultants, and experts.

With a keen focus on early-stage digital startups that have proven B2B Enterprise Solutions and have raised funds within the past 1 year, Fast Forward with HPE aims to help build a community that cultivates startup growth and scalability.

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Fast Forward with HPE! 2021’s list of qualifying startups is a rich mix of tech startups working on the latest and most cutting-edge technologies such as cloud, AI, and AR across different industries like construction and retail. These promising early-stage startups are based in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia.

Series A qualifying startups in this year’s cohort are Cloudpick, DataVLT, viAct, Transcelestial, Quincus, Tagspace, and weR. H3Dynamics is the only Series B startup. This year’s cohort also includes two pre-Series A startups Hashstacs Pte Ltd and SeventhSense.

Participating startups this year were judged by industry leaders and experts, including Narinder Kapoor, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huey Lih, Heng General Manager for Channels, Service Provider & Ecosystem Sales Asia Pacific, and Amit Gupta, CEO & Founder of Ecosystem.

Nurturing leaders of tomorrow through collaborations and support

With this programme, startups are able to learn from industry experts from HPE, Intel, and HPE’s ecosystem partners as well as from successful peers such as Tookitaki, Ninja Van, Netflix, Dropbox, Logitravel, and GoJek. They are also able to develop their products by leveraging mentorship on technology as well as utilising test and dev environments. The programme connects these startups with industry-relevant VCs, investors, and other B2B startups in the region looking for partnerships and collaborations.

The cohort also gets a chance to grow with HPE’s select installed base customers and partner network of resellers, distributors, Sis(System Integrators), ISVs (Independent Software Vendors), OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), and alliances on top of the unique opportunity to reach out to HPE global customers.

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Furthermore, HPE Fast Forward’s live pitch day series will see the top ten startups present and pitch their business proposal before a select group of HPE leaders, partners, and venture capitalists.

With an array of benefits, community support being one of the highlight advantages, participating startups from HPE’s Fast Forward are poised to reach great heights. To learn more about the programme, visit their official page here.

You can access the pitches at FAST FORWARD WITH HPE “Pitch Day” Live Episode 1 on January 13, Episode 2 on January 20, and the final Episode on January 27.

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This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by HP Enterprise

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