Mumbai, Feb 26 Aiming to nurture and grow an ecosystem of tech-enabled start-ups focused on social and environmental issues, Microsoft on Tuesday announced the launch of a new social entrepreneur accelerator programme in India and France next month.
The programme named Microsoft-Ashoka Accelerator, is in partnership with Ashoka Foundation, a global non-profit of leading social entrepreneurs, and France-based digital learning startup Simplon.co.
"Microsoft has always been an ardent enabler of the start-up ecosystem in the country," Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said in a statement.
"In partnership with Ashoka and Simplon, this programme will support start-ups with technological and business expertise to sustainably scale their social and environmental impact," he added.
The programme will provide high-potential startup technology access, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud expertise and customised mentoring to accelerate the development of intelligent and effective solutions for social issues.
All the three partners bring complementary skills to unlock new ways and methodologies through technology for start-ups, not only to accelerate their impact but to change norms on pressing issues in society.
While "Ashoka Foundation brings entrepreneurs, Simplon would bring the understanding of IT and social entrepreneurship and will act as the vital integrator and Microsoft would bring the much needed AI and intelligent cloud technology expertise", said Frederic Bardeau, Co-Founder and President, Simplon.co.
Moreover, "Microsoft for Start-ups" will extend the benefits of its flagship programme ScaleUp to help the shortlisted startups scale their projects and enhance their impact on society.
This will include Azure credits, connect with local communities and experts as well as co-selling opportunities, the statement said.