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Microsoft announces two new initiatives to support startups

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Microsoft announces two new initiatives to support startups

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Microsoft AI Innovate will introduce its second cohort, while a hackathon for startups will provide developers with support and resources for creating digital solutions that will help empower social entrepreneurship, business innovation and sustainability

Microsoft announces two new initiatives to support startups
Microsoft India on Wednesday announced two new initiatives in line with its efforts to help entrepreneurs and their organisations innovate and grow. Outlining the initiatives, it said Microsoft AI Innovate will introduce its second cohort, while a hackathon for startups is aimed at providing resources and support to developers for creating digital solutions that empower business innovation, social entrepreneurship and sustainability.
The company, in a statement said, it has strengthened support for startups in India with the two new initiatives. Microsoft AI Innovate's second season is inviting nominations from  Software as a Service (SaaS) startups, whose core applications or services are built using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.
Supported by 'SaaS Insider', the initiative is designed to help startups scale up operations, drive innovation and build industry expertise. "Across the 10 weeks of the programme, startups get to partner closely with Microsoft's engineering and product teams to build their core AI models," the statement said.
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Besides, there are opportunities to work on relevant scenarios with Microsoft's industry, research and engineering experts and receive mentorship along with future-proofing entire teams by getting skilled in technologies such as AI and Machine Learning (ML). "Selected startups receive OpenAI preview and credits, access to industry and technology deep-dive sessions and AI masterclasses by experts, mentoring by startup founders and renowned industry leaders, skilling and certification opportunities, among other benefits," the company said.
Elaborating on the second initiative, it said that in association with Techgig, the hackathon for startups invites teams to turn their ideas into prototypes that are built on Microsoft Azure. "Participating in the hackathon offers startups an opportunity to learn from Azure masterclasses and hands-on training sessions on key technologies such as Serverless, Kubernetes, Data Fundamentals, Java & .NET, Github and Azure AI & ML, among others," the company said.
The top 100 shortlisted startups will receive USD 300 worth of Azure credits as part of the hackathon to build their prototype on Azure. The top three teams will win cash prizes, while the top 25 startups are eligible to join the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub programme, the company said.
Sangeeta Bavi, Director of Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India, said, "The disruptive vision of startups is catalysing our country's innovation engine and we are excited to partner with every startup on this journey."
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