Microsoft Ventures: Enabling Entrepreneurs Ideate, Build & Grow their Startups

By Ravi Narayan, Director, Microsoft Ventures in India
Friday, November 28, 2014
By Ravi Narayan, Director, Microsoft Ventures in India
Microsoft Ventures is a strategic partner for promising startups around the world focused on business growth & development, industrial strength technology and beautiful usable products.

Entrepreneurship is an increasingly global phenomenon. The recent explosion of startups is fueled by a low barrier to entry, lower costs to take an idea from concept to action, readily accessible online/mobile marketplaces, and plummeting hosting costs. If we go by numbers, we see approximately 65000 startups that come up in the U.S., 6500 in China and India witnesses around 1000-1500 startups coming up every year. There is a substantial increase in numbers year-on-year, specifically with the product startups and it's an exciting time for the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Having said that, entrepreneurs at any maturity level still need a lot of assistance, and there are more resources than ever available to help them. Microsoft Ventures, a global initiative, helps spawn ecosystems and generations of new businesses globally. We created the BizSpark program about 6 years ago to help provide startups with software to help more than 50,000 companies build their business. Our value proposition is simple: Microsoft is here to help startups create successful businesses.

Revenue Not a Prerequisite, Idea Must be Viable

Microsoft Ventures looks for innovative seed-stage startups focused on next-generation solutions in the broad categories of enterprise software, security, big data systems and services, artificial intelligence, natural user interface, advertising, gaming, smart cloud services and other SaaS offerings. These could be in the context of established industry verticals and could exist online, on mobile or offline. We want startups with both inspirational vision and demonstration of ability to execute.

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