Ready to Scale? Apply to the New Microsoft Accelerator in Shanghai
Ravi NarayanGlobal Director, Microsoft Startup Growth Partners
In an increasingly competitive market, startups need all the help they can get finding the right resources, guidance and connections to take advantage of emerging market opportunities. And Microsoft is helping provide just that with our new initiative in Shanghai.
Back in May 2016, we announced the launch of Microsoft Accelerator Shanghai in Caohejing Development Zone, Xuhui District, Shanghai, marking Microsoft’s second accelerator in China. Like our 7 other accelerators around the globe, the Shanghai program will focus on supporting market-ready startups that are prepared to go beyond product development and are poised to scale-up every aspect of their business. Today, our new location opens recruitment for its first batch: 12-15 qualified, later-stage startups will be selected to join the accelerator for a 4-month intensive program.
Selected startups will be provided with comprehensive support from Microsoft, including free office space, first-party services, mentorship, access to top industry professionals and investors, support for Microsoft software, developer tools, and 3 million RMB worth of Azure resources. The tailor-made program will cover all aspects of business, including strategy, various business models, technology and product scaling, branding, marketing, sales and public relations. By leveraging a diverse set of resources from the Microsoft global ecosystem, the accelerator program will help set up these later-stage startups for rapid and sustainable growth.
“Microsoft Accelerator empowers startups around the world on their journey to build great companies. With Microsoft’s unique expertise and extensive ecosystem resources, we not only provide startups with opportunities to present themselves to top investors, but also offer wide-ranging access to global enterprise customers and Microsoft’s partner network. By doing so, we are creating a platform for startups to grow into sustainable global entities.” said Zack Weisfeld, General Manager of Microsoft Accelerator. “In China, the government-led ‘Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation’ strategy is providing a great entrepreneurial environment for the local ecosystem. And we’ve witnessed the passion in China–for the 8th batch recruitment at Microsoft Accelerator Beijing, we received 1,200 applications for 15 nominations. The powerful expertise and global ecosystem behind Microsoft will help entrepreneurs to explore their talent, drive innovation and monetize their solutions.”
With this eighth Microsoft Accelerator now opening in Shanghai in the coming months, China has become the only country with two Microsoft Accelerator programs. Across the globe, 452 startups have graduated from our programs, with total companies funded at 81% and over $1.8 billion total funds raised. In China, Microsoft Accelerator Beijing has been awarded “China’s Best Incubator” for four consecutive years since 2013. Among the 126 graduated startups from Beijing, more than 93% have raised follow-on rounds of financing, and the total market valuation adds up to 38 billion RMB Yuan with 3 startups listed on China’s National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ).
To make best use of Microsoft’s valuable resources, we are seeking market-ready startups: candidates’ products should have month-over-month user growth and the startups should be at the post-seed, pre-series A funding level. Microsoft Accelerator invites startups with technical leadership and deep market insights to apply—Microsoft can help you realize your dream and set your company up for success.