Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the US tech giant’s business-to-business spin-off company, is setting up a new innovation program in Singapore. It’s called InnovateNext, a three-year program in collaboration with Singapore’s Economic Development Board.
InnovateNext aims to find promising startups to work with HPE on developing technology for smart cities, internet of things, data and analytics, finance, manufacturing, and more.
Singaporean startup GridComm is the first startup to join the program, which aims to bring on board 12 businesses over the next three years. GridComm has developed smart street lights for cities, optimizing the network so that it consumes energy more efficiently and can be monitored more effectively for repairs.
GridComm announced last year it would list on ASX through a reverse takeover. GridComm CEO Mike Holt tells Tech in Asia the company took part in the program to grow its business faster and improve its data analytics capabilities by collaborating with HPE on its software platform.
HPE will not invest in participating startups itself, confirmed Mohan Krishnan, HP APAC vice president of business development for the enterprise group. He didn’t preclude the possibility of identifying potential acquisition targets for HPE, although this won’t be the focus of the program.
The announcement coincides with HPE establishing its new Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Altogether, HPE plans to invest over US$140 million in its Singapore operations over the next five years.
GridComm’s smart street light platform will get a boost from HPE’s data analytics capabilities.
Voice of the Citizen identifies social trends and opinions by aggregating data on specific topics in specific countries.
HPE and participating startups will collaborate in the co-working space.
A hub for partners and customers
The InnovateNext program includes an incubator called Accelerate Next, which will give startups access to HPE’s tech, expertise, and networks. It will also contain the company’s Innovation Center that will make use of HPE’s cloud computing capabilities to try out new ideas in the abovementioned areas.
Finally, HPE’s Customer Engagement Center will be housed there. It will serve as a showcase of tech developed within the program for HPE’s customers as well as potential business partners for participating startups.
Examples include the Intelligent Edge Immersion Zone, which demonstrates ideas like video analytics and mobility applications for crowd control, security, and smart hotel check-in services; and Voice of the Citizen, a data analytics platform that identifies social trends by aggregating social media posts in a given city or on a specific topic.
Besides GridComm, two more startups have been selected to come on board but HPE isn’t revealing them at this stage.
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