GenNext Ventures partners with Microsoft India to launch innovation hubs

GenNext Ventures, the venture investment management arm of Reliance Industries, today signed a three-year partnership with Microsoft India, through Microsoft Ventures in India, to set up GenNext Innovation Hubs, a pan-India initiative to catalyze the country's technology startup ecosystem.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today by Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, Chairman, GenNext Ventures, and Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India. The MoU allows GenNext Ventures and Microsoft Ventures to bring together key stakeholders—academia, students, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporates--at the GenNext Innovation Hubs and offer some of the most critical resources that startups need to be successful. Microsoft Ventures will help GenNext identify, shortlist, on-board promising startups and power the accelerator program. Microsoft Ventures will also provide these startups access to software and technology advice.

"The emerging trends in India's technology startup space are fascinating--both in numbers and in diversity of ideas. At Microsoft, we have had a long-standing commitment to innovation, not just within but also in the IT ecosystems of markets we operate in. Microsoft Ventures is leading that for us in India. With this partnership, startups in India will have access to GenNext Ventures' deep industry experience and Microsoft Ventures' knowledge and IT industry network and strength." - Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India

The first GenNext Innovation Hub will start operations in October in Mumbai, and will be subsequently emulated across multiple cities in India. The hub at Mumbai will provide the opportunity to a select group of entrepreneurs to launch or re-engineer their company through an immersive, four-month-long program. Startups in the program will have access to business mentors, technical and design experts, and plug and play office space. At the end of the accelerator program cycle, GenNext will invest strategically and selectively in some of these IT startups.

The Mumbai GenNext Innovation Hub is now open to receiving applications for the accelerator program. Startups are requested to apply online at, and the last date for receiving applications is September 25, 2014.

Image Courtesy: Microsoft Ventures in India

Abhishek Baxi