We are using the Microsoft name to open big doors – we’re organising carefully curated meetings where the startups will meet with potential enterprise customers relevant to them. It’s not about pitching and networking, but rather a biz dev. infusion to the companies’ veins.– reads the official blog of Microsoft Accelerator about its First Global Startup Roadshow.
In this spirit, the Accelerator hosted 15 startup CEOs (out of +500) from its global portfolio for a five-day event in Silicon Valley and Seattle in June. The aim was to help these startups in their mission to penetrate the US market and help them strengthen their presence and scale up. In addition, Microsoft also hosted Silicon Valley investors for 1:1 “speed dating” with the CEOs who are about to disrupt their industries. Startups also got the opportunity to leverage Microsoft’s internal resources for face-to-face meetings with Microsoft executives from various fields including business, marketing and sales groups.
The selected group of 15 startups represented its industry-diverse portfolio (IoT, Cyber Security, Marketing, Retail, Productivity, HR, Enterprise Devtools and more) from locations all over the world such China, India, Germany, UK, France, Israel and the US. Out of these, two were Indian startups- iBotControls – which is an IoT platform of choice for connected products and the industrial Internet world and the other was ShepHertz – an omnichannel enterprise platform for digitisation.
We spoke to Ravi Subramanyam, founder & President, iBot and Siddhartha Chandurkar, Founder & CEO – ShepHertz, to understand what the experience like and did the road show fulfil what it promised? Here are the excerpts:
Inc42: What did the roadshow comprise of? Who all did you meet?
Ravi: The objective of the road show was divided into two parts. Firstly, we had the opportunity to explore what’s in store for us in terms of business in the Silicon Valley. Secondly, we also got a chance to meet and connect with the ecosystem of customers, partners and investors who wanted to know more about our innovations. This opportunity allowed us as a company to benchmark ourselves amongst other competitors in the US market.
We spent the first two days in San Francisco – Silicon Valley and the next three days in Microsoft’s Redmond HQ in Seattle. Day 1 started at Sand Hill Road which is located right in the middle of Silicon Valley and is also known as the cradle of VCs in the Bay area. Our journey kick-started at the Quadrus conference centre. We met with Bernice Paris, Head of Operations and Portfolio-Microsoft