Microsoft re-launches $500m start-up program

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A new Microsoft program is kickstarting, one which aims to tighten the bond the company has with startups. 

Microsoft for Startups will bring the company’s technology and marketing expertise to newly formed companies. It will also includes a co-selling program, meaning that in a sense, Microsoft will be selling whatever these startups are building.

“The program provides dedicated resources to prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their cloud solutions to enterprise organisations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organisation and partner ecosystem,” Charlotte Yarkoni, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of growth and ecosystems, wrote in a blog post.

The company will also tweak its current programs to offer better support to startups. Microsoft is committing $500 million to the cause within the next 24 months, running joint sales engagements and offering startups both community space and access to its tech.

Talking to TechCrunch, Yarkoni said she spent a lot of time with startups in and out of Microsoft’s ecosystem, and that it’s not free credits that startups want, it’s more help from Microsoft to bring their products to the market.

“We started building around this concept of helping to broaden the reach for startups and go beyond the typical cloud credits to how we build a different program,” said Yarkoni. “How can we evolve our accelerator program and pull that forward and also think through how we can build more of a campus and neighborhood feel.”

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