Bengaluru: In its efforts to support the startup ecosystem in the country, Microsoft has launched a program for nurturing and scaling startups that are leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI). Microsoft AI Innovate is a 10-week initiative that will support startups in India leveraging AI technologies, helping them scale operations, drive innovation, and build industry expertise. Both B2B and B2C startups from diverse industries including financial services, healthcare, education, agriculture, space, manufacturing and logistics, retail, and e-commerce are invited to participate in the quarterly cohorts of this immersive program. Supported by TiE Mumbai, the launch cohort will kickstart in November 2021.
With the third largest ecosystem for startups in the world, India holds opportunities for emerging businesses to accelerate innovation across industries. Through this exclusive program, Microsoft will focus on providing tech and business opportunities to startups for improving their solutions, transforming their organizations and building responsibly to make AI accessible to everyone. The program will also enable startups to reach out to newer customers and geographies with Microsoft’s sales and partner networks. The selected startups in each of the cohorts will have access to industry deep-dive sessions and AI masterclasses by industry experts, mentoring by unicorn founders, skilling and certification opportunities, among other benefits.
“Microsoft’s vision is to help every startup across industries turn meaningful innovation into actionable results. Microsoft AI Innovate will create an engaging platform to empower startups with opportunities to build, scale and transform with agility. We are committed to ensuring that every startup gets expert guidance and best-in-class tech resources for strengthening their approach to the responsible use of AI,” said Sangeeta Bavi, Director, Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India.
Catering to both technical and business audiences, the program will bring together leading-edge tech knowhow, global GTM partnerships as well as engineering and research experts from Microsoft. It offers a range of benefits to startups across different tiers:
- All startups: Qualified Seed to Series B startups will be provided with technical enablement benefits including Azure benefits (in addition to free cloud credits), product engineering support, unlimited 24×7 technical support amongst many other benefits. They will also receive support with business and sales acceleration needs such as marketplace onboarding.
- Co-sell startups: Startups with enterprise-ready solutions will be provided opportunities to build their solutions alongside a dedicated team of professionals. They will get go-to-market support as well as co-selling benefits with Microsoft’s sales team and partner ecosystem. The startups will also get access to top partner and customer events to strengthen their networking reach.
- Co-build startups: Enterprise-ready startups will be supported to envision their solutions with industry experts, future proofing their technology with dedicated professionals as well as enhancing production with expert partners.
Microsoft AI Innovate aims to bring together startups, corporates, industry bodies, governments, and venture capital firms, and create a shared platform for learning and innovation.