Microsoft has signed an MoU with ISRO to empower spacetech startups across India with technology tools and platforms, go-to-market support, and mentoring
Spacetech startup founders in India will now have free access to various tech tools and resources for their business operations through Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub
Spacetech startups in the country are taking big strides, with the likes of Agnikul, GalaxEye Space, and Skyroot raising funding over the past few months
Tech giant Microsoft and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday (January 5) announced a collaboration to fuel the growth of spacetech startups in India.
The Washington-based company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ISRO to empower spacetech startups across India with technology tools and platforms, go-to-market support, and mentoring to enable them to scale and become enterprise-ready.
The collaboration comes at a time when India is witnessing promising developments in the spacetech segment helped by various government-led initiatives, and more startups are emerging in the sector. In mid-2022, around 60 startups were registered with ISRO, while over 100 spacetech startups were active in the country.
Following the collaboration, spacetech startup founders in India will now have free access to various tech tools and resources for their business operations through Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, Microsoft said in a statement.
The resources would include technical support to build and scale on Azure, best-in-class developer and productivity tools including GitHub Enterprise, Visual Studio Enterprise, and Microsoft 365, and access to smart analytics with Power BI and Dynamics 365.
“ISRO’s collaboration with Microsoft will greatly benefit space tech startups in their analysis and processing of vast amounts of satellite data for various applications, using cutting-edge methods like AI, machine learning and deep learning,” ISRO Chairman S Somanath said. “The Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is a useful platform for bringing together startups and providers of technology solutions to support the national space technology ecosystem.”
Besides providing access to technology, Microsoft will also offer mentoring support to spacetech entrepreneurs in areas including space engineering, cloud technologies, product, and design, fundraising, and sales and marketing. Founders will also have access to Microsoft Learn for tailored startup-centric training content and programs that would help them build connections with the industry and potential customers.
Microsoft and ISRO will jointly organise knowledge-sharing and thought leadership sessions for the startups with space industry experts.
“Spacetech startups in India are playing a significant role in advancing the country’s space capabilities with the power of technology. Through our technology tools, platforms, and mentorship opportunities, we are deeply committed to empowering space tech startups in the country to drive cutting edge innovation and accelerate scientific discovery,” said Anant Maheshwari, president of Microsoft India.
Boosted by the growth in spacetech startups, Ajay Kumar Sood, principal scientific advisor to the Government of India, last year said that the country is on the path to have SpaceX-like ventures in the next two years. The government is also working on a new space policy to incentivise private sector and startups.
As per a report, the spacetech market in India is expected to grow to $13 Bn by 2025, increasing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% between 2020 and 2025.
Microsoft’s Growing Focus On India
Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, who is on a visit to India, appreciated the rate at which India is producing public digital goods.
“From healthcare, personal identification to payments, India has truly led the world in digital adoption,” said Nadella while speaking at the Microsoft Future Ready Technology summit in Bengaluru on Thursday.
In a tweet, Nadella also shared a picture of his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “It’s inspiring to see the government’s deep focus on sustainable and inclusive economic growth led by digital transformation and we’re looking forward to helping India realize the Digital India vision and be a light for the world,” the India-born CEO wrote.
Highlighting the importance of the Indian market for Microsoft during the event, Nadella stated that the tech giant will continue to invest in India. He said that Microsoft already has over 200 centres in India, along with three Microsoft regions, and it will come up with a fourth region soon.