The startup-focused arms of global IT giants Microsoft and Accenture have announced a partnership to help growth-stage technology business-to-business (B2B) startups in India excel in national and international markets.
Announced at Microsoft Accelerator's flagship event Microsoft ThinkNext 2018 in Bengaluru, the programme will help startups in India that specialise in artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, fintech, big data, security and customer experience solutions.
Microsoft Accelerator and Accenture Ventures will help selected startups with enterprise readiness and go-to-market opportunities - an action plan that specifies how a company will reach customers and be competitive.
The startups will gain access to the IT giant's global network, helping them deploy solutions in large Indian and global client environments, improvise their business models and sharpen their go-to-market strategy.
“Today, the need is to create a collaborative environment and bring startups and corporates together to co-create and co-innovate," said Bala Girisaballa, managing director of Microsoft Accelerator.
The partnership will also see Microsoft and Accenture jointly hosting startup events and summits in India.
The Microsoft ThinkNext 2018 event also marked the graduation of Microsoft Accelerator’s 11th winter batch, with 11 startups passing out of the branch.
These include banking and financial solution providers i-exceed, Clonect, and KrypC; retail tech startups Ace Turtle and MintM; AI-based solutions Kata.ai, Liv.ai, and VideoKen; and deep tech companies Docswallet, MegDap and GIEOM.
Microsoft Accelerator is a global programme that works with market-ready startups to provide the tools, resources, connections, knowledge and expertise to scale their businesses.
Microsoft had restructured its startup programme to separate its venture arm and the accelerator programme.
Microsoft Ventures, under which the accelerator programme was run so far, is now a pure venture unit that will focus on Series A-and-beyond investments while the accelerator focuses on encouraging startup under its seven accelerators across the globe.
According to Microsoft, the five-year-old accelerator programme has produced 130 startups in India and 750 globally.
In December, Microsoft Accelerator had announced a partnership with Wipro, India’s third largest IT player.
The partnership was aimed at identifying technology solutions that can be integrated across Wipro’s existing business verticals and to offer the startups enrolled in its accelerator programme comprehensive go-to-market opportunities.
With its CoInnovate programme, Microsoft Accelerator also partners with large companies including Temasek, TCS, Citi, and Reliance Industries to power their startup programmes.
Accenture Ventures partners with and invests in growth-stage companies that create innovative enterprise technologies.