Microsoft has selected 54 tech startups from five states to be part of its ‘Highway to a Hundred Unicorns’ initiative that works with local governments to strengthen the startup ecosystem in each state.
The states chosen are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Kerala and Telangana. Three from each state will win a year-long mentorship programme and a two-day founder bootcamp. This is part of the tech giant’s efforts to enable the startup ecosystem in Tier 2 cities across the country.
Spider G, Locanix, AI Aeronautics, Greenovative Energy, Medcords, Wholesalebox, Rapidor are some of the 54 selected startups. “Through ‘Highway to a Hundred Unicorns’, we’ve been able to reach some highly promising innovators from each of the five states,” said Lathika Pai, country head, Microsoft for Startups – MENA and SAARC. The full list can be seen here.
The top tech startups were selected through ‘Emerge-X’ competition. They additionally also win Azure credits and other business and tech benefits.
Here are the 54 startups selected:
Talking about plans ahead, Pai said that in the next phase of the company’s journey, they will be engaging with more startups, accelerating their growth and providing them with Microsoft’s platform to go global.
The competition received more than 530 applications and was organised in Hyderabad in association with the Telangana government.
The initiative is part of Microsoft for Startups programme which is designed to support startups as they build and scale their companies. Till date more than 650 startups have participated in a total of five such events. These startups were offered mentorship and guidance through technology workshops on Azure, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
Wholesalebox and Rapidor are among the participating 52 selected startups in the programme that have received recent fresh funding from one of the participating investors.
The tech giant also supports startups through its Microsoft ScaleUp programme (previously known as Microsoft Accelerator). The programme is designed for Series A startups and offers access to sales, marketing and technical support. Eligible startups partake in the programme at one of the company’s eight global locations followed by ongoing support from a team of success managers.
In December 2019, the accelerator initiative announced that it extended support to 18 startups in the last one year. The startups that were selected in the programme will be leveraging Microsoft’s tech expertise and global enterprise clients. Through this initiative, Microsoft will help startups which are on their product development stage to explore emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and blockchain among others, and gear up for Microsoft’s co-sell programme.