As speculated, Satya Nadella is now in India, for a three-day long visit to re-inforce Microsoft’s focus towards towards the country. And just as the visit commences, we already have a major announcement for Startups.
The company today launched a new program called ‘100x100x100’, focused specifically on B2B startups. Under this new initiative, Microsoft will bring together 100 ‘committed’ companies and 100 early stage startups on a single platform. Each participating company will then commit to spend $100K over a course of 18 months on solutions provided by the SaaS startups. More than 50 startups are part of the program at launch.
Microsoft is banking on the ‘FOMO’ factor that has gripped a large section of traditional and modern enterprises, when it comes to adapting to a more digital-driven economy. While startups benefit by getting early clientele for their products, enterprises will gain a fast track path to their digital transformation through faster adoption of SaaS solutions. It will make available a variety of curated, ready to launch, enterprise grade solutions from startups with a proven track record.
Talking about this rather unique initiative, Microsoft India president Anant Maheshwari said, “This initiative will help build scale and create amazing opportunities for startups. Businesses can now fast-track their digital journeys through easy adoption of enterprise-grade solutions. We’re excited to see the outcomes of these partnerships.”
The initiative is open to Microsoft co-sell enabled startups associated with Microsoft India with Startups. As part of the program, these startups will also have access to regular speed-contracting sessions with prospective customers at Microsoft industry and customer events. The program will be conducted with the support of ecosystem partners and industry associations including the Delhi and Mumbai Chapters of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).
Microsoft has been fairly active when it comes to India’s startup ecosystem. The company, under its ‘Microsoft for Startups’ program, allows early stage B2B startups to leverage Microsoft’s Azure marketplace, enterprise sales team, and rapidly growing partner ecosystem. Under this initiative, the Microsoft ScaleUp program is designed for Series A-C startups.