Google is bringing its Demo Day event to Asia for the first time this September and now the search giant has opened applications for startups wanting to take part.
Google’s Demo Day are akin to a short version of an early-stage startup program. As the name suggests it’s a Demo Day but without the months-long program leading up to it. The company instead identifies promising companies, and it works with them ahead of the demo day to give mentoring, coaching and perfect a pitch that is delivered to VCs and others from Google’s entrepreneurship network who attend the demo day.
Aside from working closely with Google and earnings Google Cloud credits, Google says its events help get startups connected and raise capital. To that end, it says that startups which have pitched at Demo Days have raised a cumulative $259 million from investors.
Events have been held in North America and Europe, with some participating companies from Asia, but this coming event — which takes place in Shanghai on September 20 — will be the first on Asian soil.
Companies wishing to apply should visit the sign-up site before the deadline of July 1 at 11:59 pm SGT.
The move is a further sign that Google is escalating its presence in Asia, and particularly in China.
In past months, we’ve seen Google agree to a partnership with Tencent, invest in China-based startups — biotech-focused XtalPi and live-streaming service Chushou — and announce an AI lab in Beijing. Added to that, Google gained a large tech presence in Taiwan via the completion of its acquisition of a chunk of HTC, and it opened a presence in Shenzhen, the Chinese city known as ‘the Silicon Valley of hardware.’
Beyond China, Google has made its first direct investments in Asia-based companies by backing India’s on-demand service Dunzo and Southeast Asian ride-hailing unicorn Go-Jek.