Microsoft announces new BizSpark One program for select high potential startups
Microsoft’s BizSpark program, designed to catalyze the success of entrepreneurs by making Microsoft’s end-to-end software solutions available to early-stage startup businesses, witnessed remarkable success in India with over 1000 startup companies joining the platform in the last one year. Building on the momentum, Microsoft India is now turning its focus to high potential startups with the launch of BizSpark One
BizSpark One is an invitation-only program designed to accelerate the growth of selected high potential startups through a one-on-one relationship with Microsoft and a global community of advisors, investors, and peers. Startups for BizSpark One are selected based on factors such as their potential to succeed in the marketplace and shape the industry’s future with innovative software solutions and their commitment to develop and deploy those solutions.
Announcing the program, Moorthy Uppaluri, general manager – Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE), said, “We are very encouraged by the success of BizSpark in India, especially the overwhelming support we got from our network partners and the community in general. A thousand startups expressing their faith in us is just humbling. More than the numbers though, it is the part we are playing in the life of each entrepreneurial venture that is really exciting. With BizSpark One, we are taking the next logical step in connecting the startups to a global community of technology veterans and experts to help them navigate the challenges of growing a new business. In very simple terms, the idea behind BizSpark One is to cast a finer net to find the startups that are most likely to succeed in the market and shape the industry’s future.”
In creating BizSpark, Microsoft realized that the startup community requires more than the right technology tools to succeed. Startups also need access to marketing channels, creative partnerships and coaching from industry experts. In India, BizSpark Network partners – organizations that specialize in promoting and supporting startups through mentoring, networking, and resources – like The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), NASSCOM, Proto, Headstart, as well as key venture capitalists and various incubation centers – have played a key role in the success of the BizSpark program.
Adding to this, Mohanjit Jolly – Executive Director, DFJ India, said, “In a dynamic economic scenario, we recognize that lack of adequate funding, mentoring and connections is likely to be a key barrier to success of young technology companies. At the same time, the process of identifying and investing in ventures with high potential is rigorous, and the investor community welcomes a program like BizSpark One. It takes us one step closer to offering financial resources to deserving young technology companies.”
Startups selected for BizSpark One will benefit from a deep, one-on-one relationship with a committed partner. Each startup in the program has a dedicated relationship manager who serves as a guide and evangelist to connect the startup with the right people and resources within Microsoft and across its broad ecosystem. Relationship managers learn each startup’s business and deliver a customized plan to help ensure that the resources, assistance, and guidance provided are closely aligned with each startup’s business strategy and needs.
An Indian startup has already been chosen to join BizSpark One: Vembu Technologies Pvt, Ltd, based in Chennai, provides cost effective, network based, disk to disk backup software solutions. Thousands of small businesses, medium-sized businesses, and educational institutions rely on Vembu for on-premise and centralized backups for their heterogeneous environments.
“We enrolled in BizSpark exactly a year ago, and it has helped us in the crucial time of our business by giving free access to tools and applications. And now an extension of the program has provided us an even greater window of opportunity – we are super excited to be among the first startups selected for BizSpark One!” Sekar Vembu, Founder & CEO of Vembu Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Microsoft India will continue to expand BizSpark and the entrepreneurial community to keep pace with the evolving needs of Indian startups and help them succeed.