Today at Think Next 2015, Microsoft announced three new partnerships for its #CoInnovate program. The program seeks to connect mature startups with corporations to facilitate greater market access for entrepreneurs. And now the program is expanding in India with three new partners, including Citi India, part of the multinational commercial and investment bank Citigroup; Kyron, a launchpad for enterprise startups; and Patni Healthcare, a firm set on transforming specialty healthcare in India through technology.
The three new partners will work with Microsoft and startups in India through #CoInnovate’s three distinct programs. CoInnovate is comprised of:
- Market Access Program (MAP) which connects corporates to startups in the business vertical where their interests lie.
- The High Potential program (Hi-Po) is where corporates nominate startups they want to work with to be accelerated at Microsoft Ventures in order to speed up their business potential.
- The Partner in Acceleration (PIA) program where Microsoft Ventures helps organizations set up their own accelerator / incubator program by sharing knowhow.
The partnerships announced today will span all of #CoInnovates programs to help spur on late stage startups. Citi India will be working through the Hi-Po program to find new technologies and solutions for client’s banking, e-commerce and transaction needs. Microsoft Ventures, the arm of Microsoft that runs #CoInnovate, will also work with select startups that participate in Citi’s own startup acceleration program, the Citi Mobile Challenge 2015.
Kyron will partner with Microsoft Ventures to help power their corporate accelerator and diffuse best practices and grow new connections in the startup ecosystem. This will give Kyron’s pool of startups access to a larger market of corporate partners and resources. Finally, Patni Healthcare will work through #CoInnovate’s MAP program to connect with healthcare startups, which can become part of their new technology based approach to hospitals and healthcare in general.
When speaking at Think Next 2015, Ravi Narayan, Director of Microsoft Ventures in India, highlighted the importance of this collaboration, saying:
Microsoft Ventures has always aimed to be an enabler for the startup ecosystem. During the last few years in India, we identified that market access remains one of the biggest stumbling blocks for startups, while corporates and governments often struggle to identify the right business partner. #CoInnovate is the bridge that can connect the two and we are happy that we have been able to bring such reputed partners on board today.
Along with the recent announcements by Satya Nadella at Future Unleashed, today’s announcement shows Microsoft’s commitment to increasing the breadth of its support for startups in India. Between empowering startups, supporting local development efforts, and expanding their own commercial reach, 2015 has marked some sizeable investments in the second most populous nation on the planet. What are you thoughts on Microsoft’s multipronged attention to India? Let us know in the comments section below.