Tech giant Microsoft has launched a programme, Microsoft AI Innovate for scaling, nurturing leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI). The initiative is aimed to bring together corporates, startups, industry bodies, venture capital firms and governments, and to create a shared platform for innovation and learning.
"With the 3rd largest ecosystem for startups in the world, India held great opportunities for emerging businesses to stimulate innovation across industries," said Microsoft on Wednesday, October 20.
Startup From Different Industries Are Welcome
This 10-week initiative would support startups in India leveraging AI technologies, helping them scale operations, build expertise, and drive innovation. Supported by TiE Mumbai, the launch unit will kickstart in November 2021. The first cohort will focus on logistics and manufacturing, and the second one will focus on fintech. Both B2B and B2C startups from diverse industries, including healthcare, financial services, agriculture, education, manufacturing, space, retail, logistics and e-commerce, would be invited to participate in the programme, as per the company.
"Microsoft AI Innovate will create an engaging platform to empower startups with opportunities to scale, build and transform with agility", The Hindu quoted Sangeeta Bavi, Director, Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India, as saying.
Indian Economy Will Get $90 Billion
The AI programme will also enable startups to reach out to newer customers and geographies with Microsoft partners and a sales network. Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari said," AI technology can add more than $90 billion to the Indian economy, to maximize AI's potential and alleviate its risks. We need to develop AI which is safe and responsible that generates trust. AI has a great power to empower people and institutions to do better, under customers more deeply, share information quickly and enable scientific breakthrough."
The selected startups in each unit will have access to industry deep-dive sessions and AI masterclass by industry experts, mentoring by unicorn founders, skilling and certification opportunities are some of the benefits. Catering to business and technical audiences, this AI programme will bring together leading-edge tech know-how, global GTM (go to market) partnerships, as well as research and engineering experts from Microsoft. Certified seeds to series B startups will be provided with technical benefits, including product engineering support and Azure benefits and other benefits. They will also receive support with sales and business acceleration needs, such as marketplace onboarding.
Startups with enterprise-ready solutions will be provided opportunities to build their solutions alongside a dedicated team of professionals. They will get go-to-market support as well as co-selling benefits with Microsoft's sales team and partner ecosystem. The startups will also access top partner and customer events to make their networking more strong and reachable.