Entrepreneurship is an increasingly global phenomenon and entrepreneurs at any level need a lot of assistance and guidance apart from big funds. To meet these growing set of needs across mature and emerging markets, Microsoft has announced the creation of Microsoft Ventures, a combined entity of BizSpark and Startup Accelerator program to provide seed funding to startups.
“Microsoft Ventures is broad-based and takes a holistic approach, featuring a community evangelism program including BizSpark, an accelerator program and a seed fund that works with startups worldwide.,” said Rahul Sood, General Manager, Microsoft Startups.
Microsoft is working with startups since 2008, having more than 75,000 startups from over 100 countries which received access to tools and resources through the BizSpark program. Till date, 114 startups have graduated from its two year old accelerator program. It had also launched Bing Fund in 2012 to provide seed investments in startups, and help them build their business and improve their technology.
Anyone with a great idea can get benefits from it. Microsoft will provide access to technology and resources to help entrepreneurs to turn a great idea into a business.
The BizSpark program will continue to provide access to Microsoft tools and technologies, including Windows and Office, Visual Studio, Windows Azure, and more. Once entrepreneurs realize the business potential of their ideas, they can apply to an 3-6 month accelerator program.
Microsoft is evolving the Bing Fund by adding additional funding to support more startups. Now, Startups can receive direct funding from Microsoft.
Currently, the accelerator is present in Bangalore, Beijing, Paris, Seattle and Tel-Aviv and will be expanding to Berlin, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro.
The recently concluded Microsoft BizSpark tour across 10 cities in India selected 3 startups as the final winners.