Microsoft India has announced consolidation of all startup related offerings under a single umbrella. In alignment with the recent Microsoft Ventures announcement, Microsoft India will now offer startups a single point of contact through a broad-based and holistic approach that includes BizSpark, Microsoft Ventures Accelerators, and Seed Funding from Microsoft Ventures.
In June this year, Microsoft announced the creation of Microsoft Ventures, a coordinated global effort that offers the tools, resources, expertise and routes to market by providing mentorship, technology guidance, seed funding, joint selling opportunities, and other benefits.
Microsoft Ventures is intended to be a strategic partner for promising startups around the world focused on business growth & customer development, industrial strength technology, and beautiful usable products. The program strengthens the resources Microsoft provides entrepreneurs across mature and emerging markets alike.
Since 2008, more than 75,000 startups from over 100 countries have received access to tools and resources through the BizSpark program. Since launching the Accelerator programs two years ago, 114 startups have graduated, and nearly all that sought a subsequent round of funding received it.
In India, Microsoft Ventures will be spearheaded by Mukund Mohan, the erstwhile CEO-in-residence for Microsoft Accelerator in Bangalore, India. Ravi Narayan, previously the managing director of MentorPartners, has joined the team and will be responsible for Microsoft Ventures Accelerator and its connections with other community initiatives. Kattayil Rajinish Menon will drive broad community engagements as part of the BizSpark program for startups with other accelerators, incubators, industry forums as well as Microsoft customers and partners in India.
Announcing this change, Mohan said: "Through this coordinated effort, we will now engage with entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey from ideation to maturity and support them with compelling offerings."
"Our community evangelism program will provide entrepreneurs easy access to technology and resources, so that they can focus on exploring ideas. The accelerator will provide access to mentors and technical experts so that they can convert their ideas into products. The fund will offer seed investments to startups that demonstrate early business success. In all, through one focused effort we will provide the tools, resources and expertise that startups need as they innovate, build and grow," he added.
The startup ecosystem is evolving very fast in the country. Since 2006, there has been a 302 percent growth in number of new companies, varied in terms of technology and ideas. By unifying various efforts under a single umbrella, Microsoft Ventures will give entrepreneurs a single point of entry to engage with Microsoft in an intuitive and friction-free way.