India, February 7, 2013: Microsoft today announced the list of 13 select technology startups which will constitute the second batch of the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure program in India.The 13 startups are 360 Living, Adepto, DeckApp, Frintit, Harness, I7 Networks, Label Guild, Profoundis, Qubole, SupportBee, TableGrabber, Tuebora and Visarity.
Microsoft received more than 350 applications from early stage technology startups, with exciting ideas across Big Data, augmented reality, healthcare, education, mobile applications, social networking, security, etc., during the two month period starting November 23, 2012.The final 13 were selected after several rigorous rounds of screening by a panel of judges comprising senior leaders from the industry and Microsoft.Starting March 1, 2013, the 13 startups will be hosted in the state-of-the-art Accelerator facility in Microsoft’s Lavelle Road office, and undergo a four-month deep immersion program under the guidance of elite mentors from the industry and Microsoft.
Announcing the second batch, Mukund Mohan, CEO-in-residence, Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure, said: “Apart from India and the US, we even received applications from countries like Spain and Australia. This clearly signals the strengthening of a global startup culture, and I feel honored to be driving a marquee initiative in India which is contributing towards strengthening this ecosystem.The experience of working with the first batch of 11 startups, which graduated on January 11, 2013, strengthened our belief in the potential of this program. Hence we decided to host two batches every year, and also expand each batch size. This is our summer batch, the winter batch will open up for application on May 1, 2013.”
Congratulating the startups, Ravi Gururaj, Vice-President, Products, Citrix and Co-Founder of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels (India chapter), said: “Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure has emerged as a much sought-after platform for all startups who want to kick start, nurture, reinvigorate and scale up their ventures. I am confident of the success of the new batch—they are sure to match world class standards, and will be much sought after by investors.”
Anil Joshi, Head of Operations at Mumbai Angels, said: “Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure is a great platform for startups and has given new dimensions to this space.” Sandeep Singhal, co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners, said “It was extremely heartening to see the quality of entrepreneurs, their passion and depth of thinking around the problems they are targeting. I expect this batch of Accelerator companies to continue on the success of the first batch.”
Microsoft had announced the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure program in India in early 2012. For four months starting September 3, 2012, the first batch of 11 startups, comprising amplyfy.me,CipherGraph, CloudInfra, Gameizon, HealthifyMe, HireRabbit, Nowfloats, Plustxt, Sparsha Learning, Whiteshark and World Without Me were incubated in the state-of-the–art Accelerator facility in Microsoft’s Lavelle Road office. Under the guidance of 100 plus mentors from Microsoft and the industry, they underwent a deep immersion program to help them achievethe right product-market fit, a robust go-to-market strategy, strong branding, deep connection with customers/partners/investors, and develop well-rounded teams. The first batch graduated on January 11, 2013, at a Demo Day held at the Accelerator facility, where they presented their progress before a 200+ audience comprising founders, mentors, venture capitalists and angel investors from India.
Describing the four month incubation period for the second batch, Mukund said: “All the 13 startups have great ideas. But they need support in a few critical areas to be able to mature those ideas into long-term profitable businesses. Our program is intended to focus on those areas.We will provide them access to our 100+ mentor network, from within and outside India, who are fully committed to ensure their success. We will connect them to our vast network of early adopters so that they can define their product/market fit before a formal launch to market. And we will drive these four months as an intense boot camp where we will track the weekly progress of each startup and share reports with their mentors. It is going to be a lot of hard work, while we learn from each other, and have a lot of fun too!”
About Microsoft India:
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, USA. It has had a presence in India since 1990 and currently has offices in nine cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune.