Microsoft today announced the launch of its accelerator for Windows Azure in India . After being launched in Seattle and Tel Aviv, Israel recently, Microsoft is launching this initiative in Bangalore and Beijing today. We at YourStory interacted with Amit Chatterjee, Managing Director at Microsoft India R&D and Amaresh Ramaswamy, Senior Director at Microsoft R&D to learn more the accelerator program.
With this initiative, Microsoft is taking the support given through the Bizspark program one notch higher by providing not just resources and tools but also a work-space in Bangalore, infrastructure and mentoring from various industry stakeholders. Although the accelerator will be located in Bangalore, startups from anywhere in the world can apply as long as they are interested to be part of the program in Bangalore during the incubation period. Microsoft will support the selected startups by introducing them to successful entrepreneurs, investors and service providers. Microsoft will also facilitate interactions between the selected startups in different regions where the program is operational - Seattle, Tel Aviv, Bangalore and Beijing. "We hope to build a community of startups who can tap into each other's knowledge and leverage Microsoft platform and network to offer cutting edge products and services" said Amaresh Ramaswamy.
The Accelerator has been started after looking into four main factors which is driving the startup ecosystem in India:
- A huge Domestic Market
- Very strong Talent Pool
- Investor Interest
- Access to global markets
The startups no longer build products restricted to the local market and have highly scalable models. "These when clubbed with good investment backing, can build companies for the future." said Amit Chatterjee. Talking about funding, $10 billion were invested in the Indian startups in 2011 and there are $23 billion in dry funds. Since 2004, 500 companies saw exits and this number can only go up. Apart from the $60,000 in Azure Credit, the other plus about the program is that Microsoft doesn't take any equity or debt in the startups. The focus area for this Accelerator which will be based out of Microsoft Research Office in Lavelle Road in central Bangalore is varied ranging from eComemrce (global scale) to mobile (any OS) to gaming to media to social.
Find out more about the accelerator here.