Today Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft Ventures; a collection of tools, resources, and expertise for entrepreneurs. The program helps provide mentorships, technology guidance, seed funding, and other benefits to those looking to startup their business.
Microsoft Ventures will be a three part program featuring a community, accelerators, and seed funding. The company states that anyone with a “great idea” can benefit from the community and easily access resources that will help “to turn a great idea into a business”.
The Redmond company isn’t new to supporting startups; they have been helping entrepreneurs obtain Microsoft tools and technologies through their BizSpark program since 2008. Since then, over 75,000 startups from over 100 countries have been supported.
Microsoft Venture Accelerators will allow startups to apply for an immersive 3-6 month program. The program currently supports accelerators in Bangalore, Beijing, Paris, Seattle, and Tel-Aviv – the program will soon expand to include Berlin, Moscow, and Rio de Janeiro.
Companies applying to Microsoft Ventures must have a full-time founding team, “a bold vision for tackling a real problem”, technology driven solutions and less than $1 million raised.
The Venture program will provide access to business mentors, technical and design experts, development tools and key resource – all to help entrepreneurs succeed with their startups.
In 2012 Microsoft launched the Bing Fund to provide seed money for startups; now, Microsoft will evolve the program by adding additional funding. To be eligible, a company must have a viable product on the market that demonstrates consumer traction and an alignment to Microsoft domain expertise - the company will than receive direct funding from Microsoft.
Microsoft Ventures is still in its infancy and seats to the program are currently full. Businesses interested in partnering with Microsoft can still visit Microsoft Ventures’ website to sign up and receive more information about the program.
Do you have any great ideas raring to get to market – anyone here in or have a company that uses BizSpark?
Source: The Official Microsoft Blog