We all know Microsoft as one of the world’s leading technology companies. It currently offers many services and products like computer software, electronics, computers, and all kinds of accessories related to them. We are sure that in today’s world, there is hardly anyone who hasn’t heard the name Bill Gates or Microsoft.
Another thing popular these days, especially in India, is the rising number of startups. Even though the global pandemic going around the world is severely affecting economies of all countries, this is one sector or industry that is continuously growing and flourishing.
We are constantly coming across new and innovative ideas being brought to life by many upcoming startups. Be it the healthcare startups that are coming up with economical and creative ideas to help more and more patients simultaneously, or be the learning and video-conferencing apps that let us learn and work from the comfort of our homes in these difficult times.
What we are trying to say is, with India expanding its startup potential and constantly coming up with great and economic solutions, how could Microsoft stay away from it. Last month, Microsoft announced a special program for Indian agriculture-based startups. This program offers many services like free cloud storage, consultancy, and pre and post-market services to the startups that sign in for the program.
Sangeeta Bavi, the director of the Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India said, “Sustainable agricultural technology can transform the global food landscape. Agritech startup innovations are addressing some of our key challenges connected to agriculture and food production.”
She also added, “The Microsoft for Agritech Startups program is among the early steps in our journey towards empowering these startups in India and transforming global agricultural practices.” This clearly shows that the world is starting to recognize the potential India has in all fields and technologies, and Microsoft wants to join hands with us quickly before we take off ahead of everyone.
It doesn’t matter if your topic of interest is soil development, better irrigation, and fertigation methods, robotic field analysis, specific pest control, weather forecasting, indoor farming, or anything under the sun, the choices are endless. You can get started on any of these topics, and you would still be eligible to get qualified for this program.
What program has Microsoft launched for the startups in India?
Now let us try to understand what the dedicated program encompasses and what all benefits we can expect from it in detail.
The program is named ‘Microsoft For Agritech Startups’ and is a three-levels or tiers to it. This program is available to startups of levels and stages, whether you are a newly established company, also known as Seed to a late-stage growth startup, also known as Series C startups. The benefits offered also vary depending on the size and needs of the startup.
Let us understand what each level tier comprises and which startups can take advantage of it:
- All Startups: This level as the name suggests applies to all startups ranging from Seed to Series C. All startup companies under this tier will be able to avail access to Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure. Additional benefits include free credits of Azure clouds for 2 years, technical support with Office 365, Dynamic 365, Visual Studio, and help with Azure Marketplace. On this platform, you get the option to buy or sell services to other Azure network users.
- Co-sell Startups: This tier is for companies that have ready to sell solutions to sell their products and services by using Microsoft’s partner network. These startup companies can now calibrate with the joint go-to-market strategies of the Microsoft Ecosystem by reaching out to a larger audience. They also have other benefits such as unlimited technical help, and support, along with increased marketing opportunities. Azure MarketPlace also helps you find the right customers for you.
- Co–create Solutions: The startups at this level, get the opportunity to create digital agriculture solutions without investing their money and time or any other resource. At this level, the startup gets the benefits of Azure FarmBeats, which brings together agriculture data points like drones, satellite images, sensors, among other sources. It then uses artificial intelligence and machine language to convert that data into actionable insights.
We hope that this brief guide has helped you understand the basics of the dedicated program launched by Microsoft for agriculture and technology-related startups. For any further details, you can find log on to the Microsoft website.
How can we benefit from it?
This is a great opportunity for startups of all sizes and fundings if you are doing any work in the field of agriculture. Whether you are looking for more funds or more expert guidance for your project this is a great opportunity for you. And we definitely advise you to check out the program to see how you can benefit from the resources to your advantage.
This program aims to help us, “Build industry-specific solutions, scale, and grow with access to deep technology, business, and marketing resources.” It will bring together startups, corporate bodies, governments, and venture capitalists, and all the related parties on a single platform.
It will be a shared platform that represents innovation and learning. It will give a platform to new startups that have innovative and ground-breaking ideas an opportunity to pursue their plans and start working on them after acquiring all the necessary resources. Such startups will now have a team of experts guiding and funding them in every aspect and making better decisions at every step.
This platform will also be great for startup companies that have already worked and developed some product or service and are looking for a reliable medium to market and sell them to their target audience. So whether you are a new or an advanced level startup looking for any kind of assistance, this is a once in a lifetime chance and definitely not worth missing.
So what more are you waiting for? Go ahead, sign up, and get started on the journey of taking your agritech startup shoot through the roof.