Access to cloud computing for Azure Data and Artificial Intelligence services, Azure Internet-of-Things, Azure Healthcare Bot, Identify Management, and more would also be accessible to startups.
Microsoft is continuing with its sector-specific approach to support startups. After software-as-a-service, agritech, social and other spaces, the company has now launched Microsoft for HealthTech Startups programme for young technology businesses in the e-healthcare space. The programme in collaboration with startup incubator Social Alpha would help startups for “co-selling and co-building tech tools,” Microsoft announced on Thursday, for better healthcare solutions. The Covid pandemic had forced businesses and startups to rethink around better and faster access to the right healthcare facilities for people. These startups “are reimagining solutions for some of the most pressing healthcare challenges. Technology innovation with advanced data and analytics capabilities is a critical enabler as we build trusted and reliable solutions at scale,” said Sangeeta Bavi, Director – Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India.
Startups at the seed to Series C stage would have access to Microsoft Azure storage, functions, and support and can get up to $120,000 (two years) of free Azure Cloud Credits. Startups would be able to “create sales opportunities with Microsoft sales team, channel partners, and access top advisory network and programs.” Access to cloud computing for Azure Data and Artificial Intelligence services, Azure Internet-of-Things, Azure Healthcare Bot, Identify Management, and more would also be accessible to startups.
Bengaluru-based Social Alpha is a multistage incubation cum investment platform focusing on social, economic, and environmental challenges to be solved by startups. The incubator has supported more than 20 healthtech startups working around treatment, diagnostics, devices, and more. The tie-up would help startups with “programmatic support through product innovation labs, sandbox pilots and structured incubation initiatives that offer knowledge services, bootcamps and masterclass sessions with mentors as well as tech and industry experts,” Microsoft said. “Our partnership with Microsoft for HealthTech Startups will focus on enabling these companies fastrack their progress with some of the best technology resources and accelerate their innovation pathways,” said Manoj Kumar, Founder and Chairperson, Social Alpha.
Microsoft has been among the earliest backers to startups in India in multiple ways including its corporate venture arm, corporate accelerator arm, in-house programmes, and more. “It’s no longer about the big eating the small, but the fast eating the slow. Some large corporates believe that they can create entrepreneurs and entrepreneur labs. This is good but the reality is that it’s really the startup founder coming in, who has a different way of looking at a problem and solving it. So I think lots of corporates have realized that they need to absolutely invest in innovation,” Lathika Pai, Country Head, Microsoft for Startups (MFS) – MENA and SAARC regions had told Financial Express Online in an interview.