Microsoft shelling out $500m to fund UK startups

A new programme to help startups grow in the UK has been launched by Microsoft.

The company is committing $500 million to support Microsoft for Startups globally, with part of that money being used to help early-stage firms in this country.

Margot James, small business minister, has described smaller companies as the “backbone of our economy”, adding that the UK has “an excellent record in creating businesses, coming third in the OECD’s ranking for start-ups”.

Microsoft is helping to ensure this trend continues by offering businesses involved in its UK scheme help with sales, access to new community spaces and Microsoft technology – including Office 365 and Dynamics 365 – development tools, technical support and a share of $120,000 in free Azure credits.

“We’re excited to announce Microsoft for Startups, a new program that delivers access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits that helps startups grow their customer and revenue base,” Charlotte Yarkoni, corporate vice-president of Growth and Ecosystems at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.

“We are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems. Startups are an indisputable innovation engine, and Microsoft is partnering with founders and investors to help propel their growth.”

Microsoft’s global network of 40,000 sales representatives and hundreds of thousands of partners will also help startups in the programme.

Their goal is to ‘drive adoption of Microsoft cloud solutions into companies of all sizes and industries worldwide’, Yarkoni added. “The programme provides dedicated resources to prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their cloud solutions to enterprise organisations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organisation and partner ecosystem.”

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