In a bid to provide access to entrepreneurial, technology and financial resources in one place to accelerate the success of high-potential technology startups, IDG Ventures India and Microsoft India announced an ‘Early Stage Funding Program’. This partnership will offer dual benefit to the startups registering for Microsoft BizSpark wherein they will get a funding of up to 25 crore rupees by IDG Ventures and access to Microsoft suite including the latest tools and technologies at no cost.
The program is open to technology companies that are under three years old, and whose annual revenues are less than Rs 5 crore (US D 1 million). Companies meeting these eligibility criteria will be offered access to development software through Microsoft’s BizSpark program; and asked to send their business plans to IDG Ventures for evaluation. Startups that meet the investment criteria of the VC will be provided access to funding of up to Rs 25 crore.
Speaking at the launch of the program, Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Microsoft India, said, “In the three months since we launched BizSpark, 200 startups have been empowered with access to genuine software at absolutely no cost. The partnership with IDG Ventures and their commitment of this corpus of funds for startups gives deserving startups a chance to really accelerate their growth. Given the reality of the economy today, we do believe innovating for India is critical – and this is exactly what BizSpark aims to do. The program is committed to helping startups succeed and thereby, enabling the growth of local innovation in India.”
Microsoft BizSpark, announced in December 2008 in India, provides startups with software, support and visibility at a time in the lifecycle when they are most valuable and least affordable – during their first three years, with no upfront costs and minimal requirements. Microsoft has already impacted 200 startups with BizSpark by providing professional software at no charge. This initiative by IDG in partnership with Microsoft India aims to join the dots between software access and capital funding.
Commenting on the value of early stage funding to technology entrepreneurs, Sudhir Sethi, Chairman and Managing Director, IDG Ventures, said, “In the current economic scenario, lack of adequate funding is likely to be a key barrier to success of young technology companies. We are keen to demonstrate our commitment to the startup community by offering financial resources to deserving young technology companies. We plan to evaluate over a thousand business plans by the end of the year and commit funding to the top few candidates.”
Startup companies can apply for the Microsoft-IDG Ventures Early Stage Funding Program on www.idgvcindia.com by providing a basic description of their business – location, annual revenue and founder profile. The company will be sent a code to access free software from Microsoft BizSpark if it meets the eligibility criteria; and if it does, will also be asked to share a detailed business plan IDG Ventures for evaluation for venture capital funding.
Commenting on behalf of the startup community, Vinay Kumar, CEO of startup Stratoshear Technologies, said, “We are excited to be supported by IDG Ventures and Microsoft in our startup journey. We have already got access to design and development software from Microsoft, and have submitted our business plan to IDG Ventures for venture capital funding. I look forward to getting more visibility, mentorship and networking opportunities through our participation in this program”
Source: Financial Express