Microsoft commits $500M to a new startup program

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Microsoft has announced a new program, Microsoft for Startups that delivers access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits that helps startups grow their customer and revenue base.


As part of the program, the Redmond-based company is committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems.

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

Notably, Microsoft for Startups replaces the BizSpark program, which encouraged startups to build on its Azure cloud computing platform by offering some free services to growing companies. The new program works similarly, offering up to $120,000 in Azure services to qualified companies.

Microsoft for Startups is bolstered by Microsoft's other startup efforts, including Microsoft ScaleUp and Microsoft Ventures. Microsoft previously offered access to co-selling opportunities to companies backed by its corporate venture arm. Expanding that offer to ScaleUp participants brings in more teams, beyond those who are right for an equity deal. The more teams Microsoft can get on board with the co-selling program, the more teams it can get building on top of Azure. As companies grow, their use of Microsoft’s cloud should grow with them.

New Microsoft Reactor spaces are also set to open up in London, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Shanghai, and Beijing over the next month, Microsoft says. These join the existing Reactor spaces in Redmond, Seattle, San Francisco, and New York.

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