Second Annual Microsoft Global Startup Roadshow Week in Review
Ravi NarayanGlobal Director, Microsoft Startup Growth Partners
This post was written in collaboration with Yonit Soloducho, Program Manager for Microsoft Startup Growth Partners' Customer Access Program.
Last week, we hosted our second annual Microsoft Global Startup Roadshow, bringing together 15 top startups from our global portfolio for five days packed full of valuable trainings, customer introductions, networking opportunities and more. As their strategic partner, our goal is to help enterprise-ready startups building deep technology solutions find the connections and resources they need to grow and scale.
We kicked off the week at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond with an insightful roundtable with Satya Nadella. It’s no surprise that our startups were grateful for the opportunity to speak with Nadella about their companies, but perhaps they were even more honored to be on the receiving end of thoughtful questions from the Microsoft CEO. Tania Yuki, CEO of Shareablee, a graduate of the Microsoft Accelerator in Seattle program, expressed her appreciation for the reciprocal startup-Microsoft relationship: “It just felt like a really organic session and got me really excited that Microsoft also wants to learn with the companies that are learning with them.”
Other sessions from day one of the Roadshow included a roundtable with Jeana Jorgensen from Microsoft’s Go-to-Market program, a session on corporate M&A and strategic business development led by Cyra Richardson, and a Q&A centered on evangelism with Steven Guggenheimer (CVP of Developer Experience) and Kurt Steck (GM of Developer Experience).
On the second day of the Startup Roadshow, our later-stage startups met with 15 Microsoft corporate customers from the Seattle area in a “speed dating” exercise that helps both startups and corporates find their ideal business match. Sanjoe Tom Jose, CEO of Talview, a graduate of the Microsoft Accelerator in Bangalore said: “At the corporate access event, the opportunity to meet with senior leadership from these large corporates and understand where we can collaborate is going to open up a lot of opportunities for each of us, which can lead to a lot of potential business.”
Days two and three included other key moments, such as an Enterprise Readiness session led by Microsoft’s Alec Saunders and Didem Un Ates, media training from Conrad Egusa (CEO of Publicize), sales training from James de Reuck, and an Innovation on Azure session from Mark Russinovich. We also had the honor of sitting down with EVP of Cloud & Enterprise Scott Guthrie for a roundtable and Azure deep dive. In addition to learning from industry leaders, our 15 startups from 8 different tech ecosystems (New York, London, Belgium, Berlin, Paris, India, China, and Tel Aviv) shared founder dilemmas with one another in breakout sessions that enabled peer-to-peer mentoring and knowledge sharing.
We ended our time in Seattle meeting Corporate Vice Presidents and learning to negotiate from law expert Danial Reisner, who led a workshop as entertaining as it was informative. The Startup Roadshow resumed in Silicon Valley, where we kicked things off talking all things funding with Leo de Luna, Managing Director of Microsoft Ventures. Our startups had the opportunity to meet with another 15 Microsoft customers at the Startup Roadshow’s second corporate access event in five days.
On the final day of the Global Startup Roadshow, our startups had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch their companies to Microsoft Chairman John W. Thompson and rounded out the week with fireside chats with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and author, speaker, and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki.
The feedback from our startups has been overwhelmingly positive. CEO Stijn Polfliet, CoScale’s CEO and a graduate of Microsoft Accelerator in London, shared his experience: “The Roadshow actually exceeded my expectations. There were a lot of opportunities talking to existing customers and partners from Microsoft, and what I’ve seen this week by talking to some of the high-level executives like Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie, Mike Neil today is really amazing—all the executives have invested a lot of their time in adopting the ecosystem, a much broader ecosystem than what Microsoft was working with before.”
As we celebrate our accelerator program’s 5th year in existence and our 600-strong alumni network, we’re more focused than ever on providing startups the support, mentorship, and resources they need to scale and grow. We believe our deep tech expertise and access to corporate customers makes Microsoft the preferred partner for enterprise-ready startups.
Combined, the startups that joined us for the Microsoft Global Startup Roadshow have raised $150 million to date and most have begun selling to Fortune 2000 companies.
Combined, the startups that joined us for the Microsoft Global Startup Roadshow have raised $150 million to date and most have begun selling to Fortune 2000 companies. Learn more about the 15 companies that hail from all across the globe below and stay tuned over the next several weeks as we share some of the outcomes and takeaways of the Startup Roadshow from the participating startups themselves.
Agolo creates advanced summarization software which utilizes AI and machine learning to create information summaries in real-time. Agolo’s summarization platform scans and groups massive streams of documents to create human-readable summaries. The company provides multi-document summarization API services, a user-facing platform that summarizes thousands of news offerings and customized integration with private data silos (e.g. decades of consulting analyst reports and research).
AllMobilize is China’s leading enterprise browser and HTML5 solution provider which develops a cross-device, secure and managed browser enabling enterprise employees to work across any device. The AllMobilize solution makes websites adaptive to all major mobile devices, significantly improving customer experience as well as mobile revenue.
CloudCherry is an omni-channel (in store, tablet, online, app) voice of customer platform that helps brands track, measure and improve customer experience. The Cloudcherry platform provides real-time Customer Sentiment Mapping and Experience Analytics for a consolidated representation of the customer journey.
Cognisess creates a predictive people analytics tool, which enables businesses to predict future performance, retention and talent development potential based on the sum of hundreds of millions of data points in real-time using machine learning. Cognisess’ software provides people analytics for recruiters and organizations in one application; combining neuroscience, video, and game mechanics.
Coralogix is a machine learning powered log analytic service which helps software companies avoid getting lost in their log data. Coralogix uses proprietary machine learning and DNA mapping algorithms to learn any software flow and actively deliver actionable insights without the need of the user to define any rule or alert. The solution enables companies to solve production problems automatically, and drastically reduces issue detection & resolution times.
CoScale creates a cloud monitoring & smart analytics platform that provides full-stack performance monitoring (built for webscale and microservices applications) enabling businesses to capture web and business performance analytics that can impact the user experience and provide insight into business metrics.
Illusive Networks is a deception-based cybersecurity company with patent-pending technology that neutralizes targeted attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) by creating a deceptive layer across the entire network. By providing an endless source of false information, illusive networks disrupts and detects attacks with real-time forensics and without disruption to business.
IPlytics develops a market intelligence tool that leverages the use of e.g. patent files, scientific articles, standards documents or company data empowering users to identify insights on relevant technology trends and market competition. All data sources are publicly available and constantly updated to ensure transparency and up-to-date information. The underlying machine learning algorithm processes billions of data points and enables an intelligent linking, clustering and visualization of comprehensive data sources.
Logmatic.io creates a SaaS log management platform empowering users to troubleshoot and monitor operational problems better and faster. Using the Logmatic.io platform, customers can improve their software and business performance by leveraging their machine data. Logmatic.io indexes more than 100 million documents on their production platform, and the company guarantees customers the freshest data from the internet, making them available in the user interface within seconds.
Paladion is a cyber security company that provides a cloud based risk management service specializing in information security, threat management and compliance. Paladion OnDemand combines AI, human analysts and security process automation to provide high-speed cyber defense for datacenter and cloud assets.
Sensoro is an Industrial IoT technology company that provides ultra-long-range IoT solutions with industrial-grade wireless sensor network that merges ultra-long-range communication with proximity Bluetooth Low Energy technology for enhanced asset tracking, energy management and environmental monitoring.
Shareablee is a social media marketing analytics company that has a web-based platform that provides audience intelligence, competitive benchmarking and actionable insights for social media. Shareablee is the first and only industry-level measurement solution for media companies and brands wanting to understand the impact and effectiveness of their cross-platform social media campaigns.
Solebit LABS is a cybersecurity company with solutions that prevent advanced cyber attacks from penetrating the enterprise network. With a non-behavioral approach to detecting and preventing APTs and zero-day attacks creating a logical “No Code Zones” around internal networks, Solebit provides automatic real-time prevention of targeted cyber attacks.
Talview is an assessment technology solution provider which leverages NLP, Machine Learning, Video Analytics for a mobile-video hiring solution that enables companies to transform the way they hire. Using Talview, a company can accept applications, showcase the company, conduct automated asynchronous and live interviews, video proctored written & code tests and complete on boarding formalities remotely on mobile/tablet and PC.
Velostrata creates cloud workload mobility software that enables the realtime movement of workloads to and from the public cloud in minutes. The software utilizes agentless, WAN-optimized and fail-safe cloud workload mobility technology to enable hybrid cloud bursting and even full-scale datacenter migration. Velostrata software makes it possible for enterprises to build a dynamic, multi-vendor hybrid cloud so IT managers can move workloads from on-premises data centers to and from the public cloud in minutes.
Persuading company bosses to take on new, disruptive technologies can be a struggle. Luckily, there are a host of benefits to taking on new and emerging tech – it’s just a matter of finding ways to sell it to those C-Suite decision makers.
Joining Microsoft’s San Francisco Founders’ Day gave me a chance to engage with other Microsoft alumni, and an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities I face on a daily basis as a startup CEO and founder.