The Asia Pacific region will lead a worldwide initiative launched today at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum (GLF) to drive high-tech growth across the globe.
The Web-based initiative will bridge the gap between entrepreneurial high-tech growth companies and the complicated network of venture capitalist and government ecosystems.
In the initial phase of the global initiative, companies in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore will be offered cross-border growth opportunities across the Asia-Pacific region.
Microsoft, Intel, Red Herring, Group Intelligience and Asian Venture Capital Journal all participated in the launch of SoftwareAP.net (http://www.softwareap.net).
With support from each of the participating governments, the initiative is aimed at accelerating the growth of software and Web service providers by providing them with access to funding networks, government assistance, and low-cost, high-value business development services.
The goal is for the SoftwareAP.net business community ecosystem to comprise more than 70,000 information communication technology (ICT) companies across the Asia-Pacific region.
The initiative will also help software companies and participating governments gather valuable census data about the business growth and financing needs of each country's software economy.
Microsoft director, Sal Carrera, said SoftwareAp.net will provide a simple but valuable link to the New York-based tech vendor community with the heart of a vibrant Asian economy.
"Leveraging the Web for trade development is one of our key growth strategies, as our charter membership in US-Channels.com shows," Carrera said.
High-tech companies will register their interest in attracting investment and capital by filling out the "investment readiness test drive" questionnaire online.
If the company scores well enough and wants to apply for funding, SoftwareAP.net will direct it to the appropriate investment channel, including venture capital, angel investor, private equity or debt finance.
For venture capitalists, a profile of their fund will qualify which deals, industries and geographic regions they like to invest in.
This profile will generate qualified deals based on their own criteria. Governments will also be able to take advantage of the initiative with access to profiles of high-growth companies through the deal flow pipeline.
Carrera said over time SoftwareAP.net will become a great reference base for industry as well as governments.
Microsoft vice president, Ralph Young, said innovation is the driving force behind economic growth and development.
He believes it's critical for entrepreneurial economies to focus on four elements for success: fostering education; developing venture capital; maintaining an open business environment; and building global connections.