Microsoft’s Academic Accelerator bridges the gap between Industries and Academia



Microsoft wants to bridge the gap between industries and educational institutions. Today, in India, the company announced ‘Academic Accelerator’, a program that aims at “building a long-term association between industry and academia in India.”.

India produces over half a million engineers every year. While some of them go ahead and do great in the fields of science and technology, most, however, lack real-time practical experience. The program aims to brush off the skills of the students and make better jobs available to them. 

“The program aims to expose students to critically important technology trends and practices during their formative years, thereby preparing them with vital skills and experiences that will enrich their careers and fuel innovation and impact from India,” said Vinod Anantharaman, head of business management, Microsoft India, R&D.

Academic Accelerator works in two phases. The first one is a workshop. At the event, students are introduced to various aspects of working at a high-technology firm, and the kind of gadgetry they are exposed to. Whereas, the second phase is known as ‘hackathon’. At the hackathon, students build real-world applications. Having just come out of the betas, Academic Accelerator has tied up with 10 engineering colleges in India. All of these colleges are IITs- the most prestigious engineering institute of India. 

These workshops are made in accordance with the academic curriculum of the aforementioned colleges. And hackathon products are made available under the name “” for anyone at partnered colleges to access. 

When Microsoft was experimenting with this feature in late 2012, students stood out and made some amazing apps like Amazing Logo and Lengua, both of which are available at the Windows Store. “The students are working on 15-16 such apps now,” Anantharaman added.