Accenture and Microsoft extend social impact program to APAC

By Kate Birch
With the aim of empowering purpose-driven startups, Accenture and Microsoft expand their joint Project Amplify initiative throughout Asia Pacific

Social impact and sustainability startups are set to get a helping hand from two global tech giants, as Accenture and Microsoft announce the extension of Project Amplify initiative throughout Asia Pacific.

Launched in South Asia last year, the joint project is designed as a way to help social enterprises scale their business models and emerging solutions, helping them to build business models that can lead to more tangible and lasting benefits for a greater number of people around the world.

Having successfully scaled a number of startups to date, Accenture and Microsoft are now focusing on the entire APAC region, and have selected 33 regional purpose-driven startups to receive mentoring and support.

33 social-enterprise startups to receive expertise and mentoring

Hailing from Singapore, Sri Lanka, Australia, India and Cambodia, among others, the program participants will be given access to the latest in technology along with benefiting from the expertise and mentoring of both Accenture and Microsoft.

Microsoft and Accenture Labs will help these social enterprise startups test and validate proofs-of-concept; conduct design thinking sessions to help them re-envision the impact of their solutions; and provide support in exploring and using Microsoft technologies. 

“Social enterprises face many challenges, including access to technology and innovation expertise to scale their solutions,” says Accenture MD Sanjay Podder. “By leveraging the technology experience and networks of both Accenture and Microsoft, we can help bridge the gap.”

Among the Asia-Pacific-wide startups are TapEffect, a social enterprise which is making clean tap-water accessible and affordable for households in rural Cambodia communities; and DIBIZ, a Singapore-based blockchain-powered connected supply-chain platform whose aim is to empower manufacturers, traders, plantations and farmers to adhere to sustainable practices through collaboration.

“We are committed to addressing some of Asia’s most pressing challenges, including expanding access to healthcare, education and finance”, says Ahmed Mazhari, Microsoft Asia President, Microsoft. “I am confident that equipped with the right tools and support from Microsoft, these startups can grow and accelerate Asia’s future as an engine for global innovation, while driving societal progress.”

10 startups selected from India

Among the startups selected are 10 purpose-driven solutions from India, a number of which we highlight below:

1.     Hyderabad-based health-tech Docturnal, launched in 2016, is a provider of affordable healthcare through non-invasive point-of-care screening to proactively detect disease. Its product, TimBre, can detect pulmonary tuberculosis just by recording the audio of a person’s cough.

2.      Founded in 2013, Jaljeevika supports small-scale fish farmers and builds community resilience and capacity to enhance livelihood opportunities using existing water bodies through technology.

3.     Credited with being India’s first Certified B Corp, eKutir is a one-of-a-kind smart farming platform for smallholders that is enabling impoverished communities to develop sustainably.

4.     Based in Bangalore, FluxGen Engineering Technologies uses AI and IoT technologies to help industries monitor their water usage in real-time, helping them to use water resources more efficiently and reduce operating costs.

5.     Already part of three Fortune-500 accelerator programs, BrainSightAI’s goal is to help patients shorten the path to recovery and good health by taking the leap from informed estimation to data-assured diagnosis and data-predicted prognosis

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Project Amplify South Asia pilot

The Project Amplify initiative was born last year initially covering Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, part of a shared vision between the firms to amplify the societal impact of emerging technology with the long-term goal of reaching accelerating regional potential and improving millions of lives globally.

According to Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive VP and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, startups in the social impact and sustainability space are among the world’s most inspiring organisations, and therefore it’s “important that their passion for meaningful innovation and creating positive change is supported”.

The involvement of Accenture Labs is part of the professional service firm’s ongoing Tech4Good program, which focuses on applying emerging technologies in powerful ways to help solve complex social challenges. While Microsoft’s involvement is part of its Global Social Entrepreneurship program designed to empower an ecosystem of tech-enabled startups globally, also addressing social or environmental challenges. 

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