Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub now open to all — no funding needed
Despite being vital to innovation and growth, by some estimates, over 90% of startups will go out of business in their first year.
As part of its goal of better understanding what startups need to be successful, especially when getting started, and based on feedback from thousands of entrepreneurs from around the world, across a range of backgrounds, Microsoft announced the unveiling of its Startups Founders Hub.
Open to anyone with an idea, the platform is designed to address the most common challenges startups face, and its centered around three key areas:
- Unlocking innovation for all: Microsoft envisions a startup ecosystem that is open to all — from idea to exit. To that end, unlike others in the industry, the company does not require startups to be “investor-backed” to sign up and access benefits. So, the platform eliminates traditional barriers founders face when getting started, such as venture capital requirements or third-party validation to help any founder regardless of background, location or access be successful.
- Technology benefits that grow: Founders consistently share that the startup journey is unpredictable and filled with uncertainty. The software company wants to provide flexibility for startups to work with Microsoft as they shape their businesses. With the platform, startups can build their businesses at their own pace with up to $150,000 of Microsoft Azure.
As usage increases, founders can unlock additional credits over time. Also, the platform provides free access to more than $100,000 in powerful development and productivity tools including GitHub, Microsoft 365 and more.
And to address the unique needs of startups, Microsoft unveiled a partnership with OpenAI, an AI research and deployment company whose mission is to ensure general-purpose AI benefits all of humanity. The two will provide founders with exclusive access to $1,000 of credits, three free months OpenAI API Innovation License and free consultation with an OpenAI expert. Founders can start building new products with OpenAI’s API which offers access to one of the most advanced language-based AI models in the world, GPT-3.
- Access to mentorship and guidance: Successful founders have shared that access to coaching and advice is a key factor in hitting their next milestone. Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub connects founders with industry veterans, access to startup-friendly training technical guidance including Microsoft Learn, Microsoft’s comprehensive learning and skilling platform.
Becoming a founder is no longer about “who you know.” Through the platform, startups can connect with industry veterans, access tailored startup-centric training and innovate quickly with expert technical guidance, the company said.
“At Microsoft, we aim to create and maintain a healthy ecosystem where our partners and customers can thrive. Startups play a pivotal role in a thriving ecosystem given their outsized ability to push the entire ecosystem forward,” it stated.