The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur has partnered global IT bellwether Microsoft to promote ‘future-ready’ startups in India.
IIT Kanpur’s technology business incubator Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), which supports innovators and incubates new technologies, knowledge and innovation-based startups, has signed an MoU with Microsoft to launch the Azure Society of Excellence.
Under this program, they will work together to support startups by extending mentorship, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. It will also enable access to ‘Founder’s Hub’- a talent-employability program for startups in the IIT Kanpur’s incubation ecosystem.
The pact will help startups to avail benefits of Microsoft software and services, access to GitHub, M365 resources, training and skilling on Azure, which includes exclusive access to Microsoft leadership and expert guidance from Microsoft Valuable Professionals (MVP), Azure influencers and startup founders.
According to the IIT Kanpur, the Microsoft Mentor Network will lend support to provide expert feedback and advice on topics ranging from product roadmap to business plans and facetime with high-value VCs.
Himani Agrawal, Country Head, Azure, Microsoft India, said, “The collaboration will enhance our respective startup acceleration efforts to provide an environment with the right support and structures and enable innovators to scale faster.”
Prof Ankush Sharma, Prof-in-charge, Innovation & Incubation, IIT Kanpur commented, “The collaboration will help startups reach new heights. Microsoft offers an excellent software pool, structure and expert support which, as and when blended with the innovations of our innovators, will make a remarkable difference in the society plus the startup ecosystem.”
SIIC, IIT Kanpur is one of the oldest incubators in the country. It was established in 2000 when the entrepreneurial ecosystem was still at a nascent stage in India.
Azure Centre for Excellence is an initiative by Microsoft India for the incubation cells in India’s leading academic institutes to meet the tech needs of Born In cloud tech startups and digital natives.
With this, Microsoft aims to establish Centre of Excellence (CoEs) within these incubation cells and help startups with resources including business and technical guidance, free software tools, expert mentorship and knowledge to faculty and students.