CNBC recently wrote an article titled How to get Microsoft to mentor your big idea, which I wanted to share, because I get asked this exact question pretty frequently. Last summer I also shared my slide deck, which was an overview of Microsoft Ventures.
From the article:
Microsoft is one of many companies that have created a global accelerator program to invest and mentor seed-stage companies in the U.S. and all over the world. The company’s activities span all corners of the globe, including Bangalore, Beijing, Paris, London, Seattle and Tel-Aviv.
The idea is to get back to its entrepreneurial roots and help support start-ups in a host of areas — from cloud computing to mobile gaming.
Here are the key takeaways that I wanted to highlight:
- To date, Microsoft has mentored 410 seed-stage companies in its accelerator programs worldwide; 54 of those companies went through Microsoft’s U.S. accelerator in Seattle.
- Aside from relocating, start-ups don’t exchange much in return. Microsoft takes no equity in start-ups that participate in its accelerators, and generally provides a stipend to help start-ups cover living expenses. Out-of-town start-ups that participate in Microsoft’s Seattle accelerator, for instance, receive a one-time check of $25,000.
- According to Lavy, 79 percent of start-ups raise an average of $3.7 million in follow-on funding the first year after graduating.
- About 10 to 15 start-ups participate in each four-month class — in China the accelerator lasts six months — and Microsoft will look at start-ups that have raised up to $1.5 million
Have any more questions about Microsoft’s role in engaging with startups? Feel free to reach out. You may also be eligible for our BizSpark program, which grants startups a number of free items, including Azure, developer licenses, and Pluralsight training.-----------------------