Last October, the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub made its debut in a limited preview. The goal of the platform is to provide solutions to help startups grow. Microsoft says it has taken feedback from entrepreneurs and is now launching Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub in wide release.
More importantly, a startup no longer needs funding to join the Founders Hub. That means any startup can apply to take part and receive benefits from the program.
Microsoft for Startups Founders Up is an extension of the Microsoft for Startups platform that has been available in 2018. It adds a service for receiving Microsoft benefits to help a startup grow.
Founders Hub works as an extension by providing users with direct access to coaching and the ability to use popular products like Microsoft Teams, Azure, and Microsoft 365. The company says it wants to give entrepreneurs a way to create ideas along with Microsoft technology.
Microsoft points to three core areas where the Founders Hub can help:
Unlocking Innovation for All: Startups often face issues when launching, such as venture capital requirements or the needs for third-party evaluation. Microsoft's platform removes those restrictions, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on innovation.
“Our ambition is to make the global startup ecosystem more representative of the world at large regardless of background, location, progress or passion,” says Jeff Ma, vice president, Microsoft for Startups. “As an experienced founder, access to a diverse network – to validate ideas, get advice and coaching – was instrumental in my success and is something we aim to provide to every founder through the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub.”
Technology Benefits that Grow: Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub helps innovators increase development speeds by leveraging services like Microsoft Cloud and GitHub. Microsoft has also announced an extension of its long-standing partnership with OpenAI. In a unique collaboration, AI tools like Codex and GPT-3 are bundled into the Founders Hub.
“Navigating the headwinds of building a startup can be challenging – from focusing on innovation and connecting with investors to finding product market fit,” points out Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI, Microsoft. “Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub meets founders where they are, offering best-in-class developer tools and a breadth of cloud offerings across every function, so startups can reduce costs and accelerate development with a partner they can trust.”
Access to mentorship and guidance: Nepotism can often give some startups an unfair advantage, while often having the right connections also speeds along growth. Microsoft for Startups evens the playing field by providing specific training materials, including:
- “Technical Support: Startups can join 1:1 technical advisory sessions and access 24/7 technical assistance.
- Network and connect: Connect and network with hundreds of experienced mentors in the Microsoft Mentor Network for access to expert feedback and advice.
- Startup-Centric Training: Founders can access self-led learning, events and content addressing the unique needs of startups.”
Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is launching today, and you can read more about it at Microsoft's official page.
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