Microsoft wants to accelerate the growth of startups in Africa and fast-track investment in Africa’s startup ecosystem. By providing support to 10,000 startups over the next five years to enable them grow. A new partnership with accelerators, tech hubs and incubators across Africa including Grindstone, Greenhouse, FlapMax and Seedstars will seek to provide startups with access to markets, technical skills, and funding opportunities.
Through the intiative, startups will get access to technology, skilling programs and an opportunity to co-sell with Microsoft. They will also get support from Microsoft engineering and product teams for co-innovation opportunities.
Microsoft believes the vibrant African startup market is well placed to become a cornerstone of the continent’s digital economy. However it represents less than one percent of total investments worldwide. Wael Elkabbany, Managing Director, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office, points out, this needs to change.
“Investments into Africa’s startup ecosystem are growing at an exciting pace. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there are more than 640 active tech hubs across Africa, accelerating innovation and creating employment, particularly among the youth.”Wael Elkabbany
Microsoft will also partner with key B2B-focused start-ups, scaleups, “soonicorns” and unicorns across a range of leading African industries. As well as startups concentrating on developing solutions for SMEs. Microsoft will tailor each partnership based on the needs of a startup says Gerald Maithya, Startups Lead, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office.
“We understand that each start-up is unique and exists beyond the limitations of a one-size-fits-all partnership model. Therefore Microsoft will tailor each partnership to the needs of individual start-ups, providing support and access. – Whether to technology, markets and co-sell opportunities, funding or digital skills. – To enable them to grow and contribute to the wider economic growth of Africa,”Gerald Maithya
Microsoft is also partnering with venture capital investors to facilitate access to $500 million in potential funding and has launched the Startups Founders Hub in Africa. Through the Africa Transformation Office, Microsoft will enable digital transformation powered by Africans for Africa.
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