SOFTWARE VENDOR Microsoft has launched Microsoft Ventures to try to help startup businesses become successful.
Microsoft has dabbled in helping startups try to succeed through its Bizspark programme, however the firm is putting more effort behind this as it tries to get a foothold in the very fashionable and hype-laden world of startups.
The firm announced its Microsoft Ventures plan with Rahul Sood, the man behind boutique PC maker VoodooPC, revealing that Microsoft will provide all-stage support for startups from seed funding to business administration tools.
Sood said Microsoft Ventures is "a coordinated global effort that offers the tools, resources, expertise and routes to market by providing mentorship, technology guidance, seed funding, joint selling opportunities and other benefits". He added that coordinating the firm's various efforts will make it easier for entrepreneurs to talk with Microsoft.
Microsoft said its startup accelerator will look at companies that have received less than $1m in funding so far and are working to "tackle a real problem". The firm said its accelerator program lasts for between three and six months, adding that its existing accelerators located in Bangalore, Beijing, Paris, Seattle and Tel-Aviv will be joined by more in Berlin, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro.
Microsoft didn't say how much money it will invest through its new Microsoft Ventures programme, however given that software rivals such as Google and hardware vendors such as Intel and Samsung have started to invest heavily in both funding and buying startups, it is a safe bet that Microsoft is quite serious about funding and perhaps eventually taking over startup firms that it believes will help it turn larger profits. µ