Funding will be provided to 12 companies aiming to develop technology to extend internet access through Microsoft's Affordable Access Initiative.
Microsoft has named the grant recipients in its latest funding round through the Affordable Access Initiative, which promotes new access technologies to expand internet reach around the world. The startups and entrepreneurs awarded the funding are all working to bring internet access to regions and communities lacking such coverage.
In the latest round of funding, Microsoft named 12 businesses in 11 countries that will be given grants from the Affordable Access Initiative. Companies that qualify form a grant are those who seek to expand new technologies, such as Microsoft's plans to harness TV white space to create more internet connectivity in rural areas.
The aim of the project is to “democratize access to the Internet through grants, commercial partnerships, connecting new leaders and community engagement,” according to the firm.
Startup companies from around the world are able to apply for funding, and the latest round will give grants to the following firms:
Movivo (United Kingdom), ARED (Rwanda), Ekovolt (Nigeria), New Sun Road (Uganda), C3 (Malawi), Vista (Botswana), AirJaldi and Zaya Learning (India), WiFi Interactive (Philippines), Kelease (Indonesia), Tambero (Argentina), and Axiom (United States).
Microsoft will provide these companies with financial funding and will also offer programs that mentor the startups in developing their technology. Redmond will also make its research and development teams available to the companies through annual conference calls.
“To further empower people and organization in communities benefitting from the Affordable Access Initiative. Microsoft Philanthropies will make digital literacy, online safety, and computer science education programs available through its global YouthSpark initiative, as well as cloud product donations and training for nonprofits,” Microsoft says.