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Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure launched in India

Microsoft announced the launch of the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure (India) here today. The first-such program to be launched by a technology company in India, Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure (India) will host 10 select early-stage startups onsite for four months and take them through a deep immersion program, focused on helping build businesses that take advantage of the Cloud.

Starting today till July 1, 2012, Microsoft will receive online applications from startups. Any application that can be built using the Cloud platform and can operate in any business or market segment is eligible to apply. Ten applicants, selected through a rigorous process of screening, will be invited to join the program in Microsoft’s office in downtown Bangalore, starting September 3, 2012. For the next four months, they will have access to the best workspace, finest infrastructure, top mentors and all the tools needed to create the most successful startups.

The selected startups will also have access to all the resources of Microsoft’s BizSpark program and $60,000 in Azure credit through the Microsoft BizSpark Plus program. They will be able to leverage the unlimited possibilities enabled by an open and flexible cloud platform, the Metro user interface on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, and much more.

A key ingredient of this program is the exclusive mentorship and coaching that the startups will receive from successful entrepreneurs and leading Venture Capitalists, and from top technical and business leaders in the industry, as well as at Microsoft.

"The Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure is a particularly exciting program and we are thrilled to launch this initiative in India. Through this unique initiative, Microsoft is partnering with leading industry mentors to provide startups with the much needed support they need to innovate and become successful businesses. We are not only providing them technical and business guidance and mentoring, but also connecting them to prospective VCs and investors. The success of this program will be measured by the success of these startups. Microsoft will have no stake in these companies,” said Amit Chatterjee, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt Ltd.

Microsoft is in the process of finalizing its roster of mentors from across the Indian technology and business landscape as well as its own leadership base. Registration for the accelerator opened today and startups from all over the world are invited to submit their applications here: The list of 10 shortlisted startups will be announced in July and classes will commence in September. At the end of the 4-month period, Microsoft will organize a Demo day where the startups will pitch their ideas to key industry influencers and to top angel investors and VCs for funding.

About Microsoft India:
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, USA. It has had a presence in India since 1990 and currently has offices in nine cities - Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune.