Mumbai, June 24, 2015: : Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI) today signed a three-year partnership with Microsoft India to set up ISDI Creative Accelerator. Powered by Microsoft Ventures, Microsoft’s corporate venturing arm, this is a pan India initiative to catalyze the country’s technology startup ecosystem with design and innovation expertise. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today by Radha Kapoor, Founder and Executive Director – ISDI, Dr. Indu Shahani, Chair of Academic Council, ISDI – and Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman – Microsoft India. The first accelerator will start operations in August in Mumbai, and will be subsequently emulated across multiple cities in India.
The MoU allows ISDI and Microsoft Ventures to bring together key stakeholders – academia, students, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporates at the ISDI Creative Accelerator. It will offer some of the most critical resources in design and innovation that startups need to be successful. This will include a creative workspace in its innovation facility in the Lower Parel Innovation District and access to design-innovation resources including makerspaces, coaching in design, access to design mentorship, and operational support in design. Microsoft Ventures will help ISDI identify, shortlist, on-board promising start-ups and power the accelerator program. Microsoft Ventures will also provide these startups access to software and technology advice. At the end of the accelerator program cycle, ISDI will invest strategically and selectively in some of these IT start-ups.
Radha Kapoor, Founder and Executive Director of the ISDI said, “ISDI is pioneering a creative revolution to translate young dreams into reality through an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem. ISDI will be an epicenter for students, design-innovators, venture capitalists, top-tier corporations and policy makers to drive innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth in mid-town Mumbai’s Lower Parel Innovation District (LPID).” She added, “Design in Tech with a human centered approach is crucial to spark new innovative breakthroughs, improve user-experience and create value in a world of radically changing networks and disruptive technology.”
Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India, said: “Design is core to Microsoft’s experiences, and an integral aspect of many industries. We believe it is critical for us to nurture this ecosystem. In this spirit, we are delighted to join hands with the renowned ISDI to establish a design accelerator for startups. This unique partnership between Microsoft India and ISDI will bring together the best of technology and industry expertise to contribute to the growth and success of design entrepreneurship in the country.”
Dr Indu Shahani, Chair, Academic Council, ISDI, said, “There is no institution better placed than ISDI with its strong creative, innovative culture and its dynamic academicians to transform and boost the start-up scene. This partnership further reinforces ISDI’s new educational model, inspired by the idea of design and innovation as transformative forces in society.
With more than 3000 tech startups, India is the third largest base for young businesses in the world after U.S. and U.K. and it is expected that by 2020 the base will increase to 11,500 tech startups. The ISDI Creative Accelerator in collaboration Microsoft Ventures will contribute to this socio-economic transformation and provide the necessary support in accelerating Creative Entrepreneurship through Design & Innovation intervention.
The ISDI Creative Accelerator at Mumbai will provide the opportunity to a select group of entrepreneurs to launch or re-design their company through an immersive, six-month-long program merging design, technology and business innovation. Start-ups in the program will have access to business mentors, technical and design experts and plug and play office space. They will also have access to mentors who can help them gain valuable market insights for Indian and global markets.
The ISDI Creative Accelerator is now open to receiving applications for the accelerator program. Startups are requested to apply online. The last date for receiving applications is July 25, 2015. The program will commence with the first batch of startups on August 16, 2015.
The Indian School of Design and Innovation ISDI, inaugurated its founding batch of under- and post- graduate studies in July 2013, committing to a new educational model, inspired by the idea of design and innovation as transformative forces in society. Founded by creative entrepreneur Radha Kapoor, in association with Radha’s alma mater, Parsons The New School of Design, New York. ISDI benefits from Parsons’ rigorous curriculum, its prominent visiting faculty, well established student exchanges and global relationships. With creativity, innovation and sustainability at the core of ISDI’s philosophy, ISDI is at the forefront of Indian design creating new career opportunities in design and other creative industries.
Located in Mumbai, ISDI is positioned as a key player the burgeoning Lower Parel Innovation District. It is developing a co-located ecosystem of academia, industry, entrepreneurship and creative capital who will receive support to move from concept to scalable opportunities to conquest (of the world). Through ISDI Ventures, it is now actively investing in innovative design and technology companies from India and overseas with the objective of building successful global businesses that are sustainable, scalable and profitable.
About Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, USA. It has had a presence in India since 1990 and currently has offices in nine cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune.
About Microsoft Ventures
Microsoft Ventures is a global initiative to help entrepreneurs build great companies. We work with startups at every stage of maturity to provide the tools, resources, and expertise they need to succeed. The initiative is broad-based, and includes a community program, accelerators, and a seed fund. Our approach helps startups scale their business, bring innovative services to market and reach new customers. Visit Microsoft Ventures at www.microsoftventures.com to learn more about how Microsoft is helping the next generation of smart companies take flight.