Microsoft have announced the launch of their new program, Microsoft for startups, which will provide startups access to Microsoft’s technology, community spaces and offer joint sales engagements with Microsoft.
Over the last few years, Microsoft have released a series of programs for startups, such as free BizSpark credits and access to Microsoft’s developer and productivity tools. Their newest offering, Microsoft for Startups, is looking like Microsoft’s biggest effort yet to aid startup development.
Microsoft have revealed that they will commit $500 million in their new program over the next two years as they are hopeful the investment will help jump-start deserving startups who they refer to in the below statement as “indisputable innovation engines”, and see as integral to the future of the company and their quest to grow their customer and revenue base.
“We are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems. Startups are an indisputable innovation engine, and Microsoft is partnering with founders and investors to help propel their growth,” read the statement from Microsoft.
Microsoft’s program will take the unique approach of connecting qualified startups with new customers and potential channel partners by allowing them to leverage their over 40,000 sales representatives and well over a hundred thousand partners. This approach will have the capacity to connect startups with the right resources at the right time to enable them to take advantage of new market opportunities.
Additionally, the program will enable startups the access to several of Microsoft’s key features including Microsoft Reactors, Microsoft ScaleUp and Microsoft Ventures.
Microsoft Reactors are co-working spaces which are located in a number of major cities in the United States including San Francisco, New York, Redmond and Seattle. Entrepreneurs, developers, investors and other key business figures can come together in these co-working spaces to interact, learn, share and help each other to develop their businesses and ideas.
Microsoft ScaleUp is an accelerator that provides support for Series A startups that are in their late stage of development by giving them access to Microsoft’s growth programs, such as co-marketing and co-selling opportunities, which give the startups an opportunity to benefit from their infrastructure to support their businesses.
Microsoft Ventures is a corporate venture capital subsidiary of Microsoft which invests and strategically partners with startups that are in their key stages of growth. The program was founded in March, 2016.
Microsoft faces steep competition for the most promising startups as Google has also stepped up its efforts recently to support the startup ecosystem through their various accelerator programmes recently launched. With global tech role models such as Google and Microsoft stepping up their efforts to nurture startups, the future looks bright for the startup ecosystem.