Microsoft to push homegrown agri-tech startups via new initiative; top 3 areas where it will help

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Updated: Jun 22, 2020 9:38 AM

The Microsoft for Agritech Startups programme is designed to help startups build industry-specific solutions, scale and grow with access to deep technology, business and marketing resources.

Agritech startup innovations are addressing some of our key challenges connected to agriculture and food production.Agritech startup innovations are addressing some of our key challenges connected to agriculture and food production.

They might be in a minority but their work is inspiring. We are referring to some of the homegrown agritech startups that are transforming agriculture by developing innovative digital solutions to maximise productivity, improve market linkages, increase supply chain efficiency and provide greater access to inputs for agri-businesses. Microsoft has now introduced a programme for such agritech startups.

The Microsoft for Agritech Startups programme is designed to help startups build industry-specific solutions, scale and grow with access to deep technology, business and marketing resources. The programme offers advanced technology and business enablement resources to help agritech startups innovate and scale fast.

Startups can also get access to Azure FarmBeats, which can help them focus on core value-adds instead of the undifferentiated heavy lifting of data engineering.

Available on the Azure Marketplace, Azure FarmBeats enables aggregation of agricultural datasets across providers and generation of actionable insights by building AI/ML models based on fused datasets.

Sangeeta Bavi, director, Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India, said, “Sustainable agricultural technology can transform the global food landscape. Agritech startup innovations are addressing some of our key challenges connected to agriculture and food production. The Microsoft for Agritech Startups programme is among the early steps in the journey towards empowering startups in India and transforming global agricultural practices.”

Spread across three tiers, the programme offers a range of benefits, including tech enablement and business resources:

  • All startups: Qualified Seed to Series C startups can boost their businesses with Azure benefits (including free credits), unlimited technical support and help with Azure Marketplace onboarding;
  • Co-sell startups: Startups with enterprise-ready solutions can scale quickly with joint go-to-market strategies, technical support and new sales opportunities with Microsoft’s partner ecosystem
  • Co-create solutions: Startups that are looking to create digital agriculture solutions have the opportunity to co-build customised solutions with Azure FarmBeats without investing in deep data engineering resources. Using Azure FarmBeats, startups can acquire, aggregate and process agricultural data and rapidly develop their own AI/ML models.

Bringing together startups, corporates, industry bodies, governments and venture capital firms, the programme aims to create a shared platform for learning and innovation.

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