Microsoft India today announced the opening of applications for the fourth batch of Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Bangalore, India. Starting October 1, till November 15, Microsoft will receive online (https://www.microsoftventures.com/Accelerators/Bangalore/Form.aspx) applications from technology startups. Shortlisted companies will be informed by November 25, and invited for a face-to-face session with a jury panel on December 13. The final list of startups, which will make it to the summer batch of calendar year 2014, will be informed by December 20, 2013. The four-month acceleration process at the state-of-the-art Microsoft office in downtown Bangalore will begin on January 22, 2014 and end with a Demo Day in May 2014 when the startups will showcase their ideas to key industry influentials, top angel investors and VCs.
Microsoft Ventures Accelerator is a key part of Microsoft Ventures, Microsoft’s three-pronged initiative to offer startups a single point of entry to engage with Microsoft through a broad-based and holistic approach. Apart from the state-of-the-art workspace and access to Microsoft technology and technology mentors, each batch goes through a rigorous, intense and structured four-month program. Microsoft and industry mentors provides startups with hands-on expertise in key areas they need help on most—namely technology architecture, user experience/ design, product roadmap, business model development and connections with early adopters. Each startup pursues three tracks simultaneously – customer development, product development and deepening market traction. The Accelerator program team tracks their progress every week, and shares the report with mentors who provide them valuable feedback.
Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in India is currently hosting its third batch of startups, with 80% of the 22 companies who have graduated over the last two batches already having received funding.
Inviting applications for the new batch, Ravi Narayan, Director, Microsoft Ventures in India, said, “We are looking for exceptional entrepreneurs who are building companies for India and global markets. Our network of about 150 mentors along with our vast network of partners will prove very beneficial to any startup looking to make it big in Cloud, internet, mobile and data analytics technologies. We love startups that are solving interesting problems, requiring enormous scale.
Kunal Lagwankar, founder of AdSparx, one of the startups in the current batch of Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in India, said: “We have benefitted tremendously from the comprehensive support — infrastructure, access to some terrific mentors and advisors, investor network and most importantly, access to top decision makers in potential customer companies. Being among top startups in the country keeps us on our toes in the competitive environment and makes us work harder to achieve our goals. The Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program is very well-structured and designed to give the necessary boost that AdSparx needs.
Santosh Panda, Chief Executive Officer, Explara, alumni from the second batch which graduated on June 21, 2013, said: “Being at the Accelerator was a great experience – we completely rebranded our company and reworked our technology architecture during the four months we spent there, and it proved to be a highly important move. Our users have a much better experience, thanks to the decisions we made here, under the guidance of our mentors.
Microsoft Ventures Accelerator hosts two batches a year, from July-November and January-May. The winter batch of 2013, which is also the current batch of startups being accelerated at the facility, will graduate on November 29, 2013.