The final 13 were selected after several rigorous rounds of screening by a panel of judges comprising senior leaders from the industry and Microsoft. Starting March 1, 2013, the 13 startups will be hosted in Microsoft’s Lavelle Road office, and undergo a four-month deep immersion program under the guidance of elite mentors from the industry and Microsoft.
Says Ravi Gururaj, Vice-President, Products, Citrix and Co-Founder of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels (India chapter), said: “Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure has emerged as a much sought-after platform for all startups who want to kick start, nurture, reinvigorate and scale up their ventures. I am confident of the success of the new batch—they are sure to match world class standards, and will be much sought after by investors.”
For four months starting September 3, 2012, the first batch of 11 startups, comprising amplyfy.me,CipherGraph, CloudInfra, Gameizon, HealthifyMe, HireRabbit, Nowfloats, Plustxt, Sparsha Learning, Whiteshark and World Without Me were incubated in the Accelerator facility and underwent a deep immersion program to help them achieve the right product-market fit, a robust go-to-market strategy, strong branding, deep connection with customers/partners/investors, and develop well-rounded teams. The first batch graduated on January 11, 2013, at a Demo Day held at the Accelerator facility, where they presented their progress before a 200+ audience comprising founders, mentors, venture capitalists and angel investors from India.
Regarding the second batch, Mukund said: “All the 13 startups have great ideas. But they need support in a few critical areas to be able to mature those ideas into long-term profitable businesses. Our program is intended to focus on those areas. We will provide them access to our 100+ mentor network, from within and outside India, who are fully committed to ensure their success. We will connect them to our vast network of early adopters so that they can define their product/market fit before a formal launch to market. And we will drive these four months as an intense boot camp where we will track the weekly progress of each startup and share reports with their mentors. It is going to be a lot of hard work, while we learn from each other, and have a lot of fun too!” For a few days see a video of Ravi Gururaj explaining the details of the programme on our home page tech video spot