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Microsoft, IDG Ventures join hands for start-ups

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CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE, INDIA: Microsoft India today announced that it has partnered with IDG Ventures, a provider in venture capital services, to launch their 'Early Stage Funding Program' for the start-ups.

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Through this program, the start-ups would be able to access Microsoft's latest tools and technologies under their BizSpark program for no upfront costs, and would be provided with funding up to Rs 25 crore by IDG Ventures.

“The current economic scenario is the right time for the start-ups grab opportunities. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Oracle, who are big names today, were started in periods like this” said Rajan Anandan, managing director, Microsoft India.

He said the potential for the Indian start-ups are huge. “There is a large opportunity in the domestic industry, where they can cater to.”

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Since its launch in last December, 275 start-ups have been empowered by Microsoft's BizSpark Program.

IDG Ventures India, a US$ 150 million venture capital fund, is planning to invest up to Rs 100 crore for the start-ups under this program.

“We are looking forward to fund 1000 start-ups this year compared to last year's 700. We are beginning to see a sophisticated industry in India, with growth in sectors such as telecom, education, health care, and cloud computing,” said Sudhir Sethi, founder, chairman and MD, IDG Ventures India.

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“Even in this scenario of financial crisis, start-ups can emerge to cater these segments by providing right value propositions and meeting required price points with strong leadership team,” he added.

N Bringi Dev, executive director, TiE, said that the three major concerns faced by start-ups today are availability of finance, access to market, and proper mentoring or support.

“Through this program a start-up can avail to training, support, funding, and community building, which would help them in moving forward with energy and vigor,” he added.

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The program also provides support by TiE, an organization that fosters entrepreneurship globally and mentoring by Prof. S.Sadagopan, the founder director of the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore.

The program is open to technology companies that are under three years old with less than Rs 5 crore of annual revenue.

The companies would be asked to send their business plan to IDG for evaluation, and start-ups that meet the investment criteria would be further funded.

Start-ups can apply to this program in their site, www.idgvcindia.com.

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