Bangalore, India, June 18, 2015: Microsoft Ventures in India today announced the launch of new corporate engagement initiative – Innovation for Corporates (ICI) at Think Next 2015. The program aims to work with enterprise businesses to develop and implement different models to attain innovation driven growth by engaging with startups. By acting as a catalyst between the corporates and startups, Microsoft Ventures aims to accomplish game-changing transformations in the innovation space and take the Indian technology industry to next level.
ICI will initially offer three programs, namely Market Access Program (MAP), Partner in Acceleration (PIA) and High Performance (Hi-Po) program.
- MAP will bring startups and enterprise businesses together to showcase the latest offerings, designed to make enterprise growth more efficient.
- Under PIA, corporates will be allowed to leverage on Microsoft Ventures’ knowhow, resources and network to setup their own engagement with startups including accelerator/incubation programs, deal flows, events etc.
- The ‘Hi-Po’ Program will work with top startups which are nominated by corporates to build them into stronger businesses.
Speaking on the occasion, Ravi Narayan – Director at Microsoft Ventures in India said, “We have been working with various corporates for years to help them with their business problems with innovation from startups. More and more enterprise businesses are looking at us for guidance, and we are positive that institutionalizing our efforts under Innovation for Corporates Initiative (ICI) will help us scale up and help even more businesses. This is in line Microsoft’s philosophy of being a platform company that enables its partners to build products to suit their needs.”
Over the last three years, Microsoft Ventures in India has built a portfolio of 74 startups through its programs, with an impressive $500,000 average funding and four exits till date. It has established a thought leadership with its partnerships and presence in world’s top startup ecosystems – Tel Aviv, Paris, London, Beijing, Seattle, Berlin. In last one year, it has increased its focus on corporate engagement and has helped several enterprise businesses by leveraging on its position in the startup ecosystem.
In 2014, it also partnered with Reliance Industries for their accelerator program, GenNext Innovation Hub. Speaking on the partnership with Microsoft Ventures, Vivek Rai Gupta – GenNext Venture Fund said, “Our partnership with Microsoft Ventures has been very successful. We got a running start for GenNext Innovation Hub and together, we have been able to mentor the startups and help them gain traction very fast. We are looking forward to growing this association, as we expand our reach with more Innovation Hubs in future.”
Microsoft Ventures has also partnered with NASSCOM’s 10000 Startups Program and facilitated various dialogues for leading businesses across verticals like Healthcare, Mobility, IoT and Financial Technologies. The corporate venturing arm of Microsoft is in advanced talks with many Indian and global giants already and will start delivering innovation into their businesses.
Innovation Buzz at Think Next
Think Next 2015 saw over 400 CXOs from leading corporates, Microsoft, investors, thought leaders, and other Microsoft Ventures’ partners come together to push the innovation agenda for the ecosystem. The conclave also showcased some of the top technology products built in the country and the graduating Summer 2015 batch – AdPushup, Frilp, iReff, DailyRounds, Uninstall.io, iBot, FortunePay, CustomerXPs, FlamecoTech, WAGmob and Gazemetrix.
The keynote speaker, Tyler Bryson, General Manager – Marketing & Operations, Microsoft India during his address spoke of the culture of innovation at Microsoft that is driving excitement and enthusiasm across the ecosystem. Recent products like Holo Lens & Skype Translator are prime examples of innovation coming to the fore. Microsoft Ventures also introduced a new series – Think Next Talks, bringing speakers from across the industry and cultural spectrum to discuss how innovation can improve work and life.
The ongoing series, Think Next Roundtables continued its tradition to address trending issues in the ecosystem. With iSPIRT, Microsoft Ventures brought in leading entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists and thought leaders in its two panels – Are Indian startups in a valuations bubble?’ and ‘What does it take for SaaS businesses to get to $1mm ARR?’ and drew great interest from the attendees.
About Microsoft Ventures
Microsoft Ventures is a global initiative to help entrepreneurs build great companies. Working with startups at every stage of maturity, the initiative provides the tools, resources, and expertise startups need to succeed. Visit Microsoft Ventures at www.microsoftventures.com to learn more about how Microsoft is helping the next generation of smart companies take flight.
About Microsoft India
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 6,500 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research and development and customer services and support, across nine Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft is committed to touching and transforming lives and businesses in India through technology.