Microsoft kick-starts a unique initiative for supporting start-ups

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Published: September 26, 2019 1:03:10 AM

The impetus on innovation and entrepreneurship in India is helping startups to stem from not just metropolitan hubs such as Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru, but also other tier 1 and tier 2 cities.

Lathika Pai, country head, Microsoft for Startups – MENA and SaarcLathika Pai, country head, Microsoft for Startups – MENA and Saarc

With an effort to promote the Indian startup ecosystem, Microsoft for Startups has launched a new initiative called ‘Highway to a Hundred Unicorns’ that aims to empower startups with mentoring and technology support for enterprise readiness. As part of this initiative, Microsoft will engage with innovators and entrepreneurs through a series of outreach programmes across tier 2 cities. The American tech major will work closely with state governments to strengthen the startup ecosystems in each state. Organised in collaboration with the Industries Commissionerate and iNDEXTb, government of Gujarat, recently more than 250 startups attended the first event at Gandhinagar.

The impetus on innovation and entrepreneurship in India is helping startups to stem from not just metropolitan hubs such as Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru, but also other tier 1 and tier 2 cities. However, some of the key challenges in scaling their businesses include lack of cutting-edge technology support and dearth of mentorship from ecosystem players.

Lathika Pai, country head, Microsoft for Startups – MENA and Saarc, said, “There is a strong pool of ideas and talent beyond the well-known startup hubs of India. Through Highway to a Hundred Unicorns, we will reach out to startups in tier 2 cities and support them to achieve scale at their place of origin. Our tech expertise and experience of engaging with some of the most successful Indian startups will help innovators across the breadth of the country become enterprise-ready and scale their operations in India and globally.”

The Microsoft ScaleUp programme supports Seed or Series A funded B2B and select B2C tech-enabled startups to co-sell with Microsoft sales teams, get access to top tech VCs globally and receive mentorship from the startup ecosystem. Gaining access to large enterprises to co-create solutions or integrate product offerings and designing robust go-to-market strategies for their industry or customer segments are critical in the startup growth journey.

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