Microsoft will support thousands of African startups through partnerships across the regions. The company will also collaborate with venture capital investors to boost funding access for African startups.
Microsoft announced today intentions to promote 10,000 African businesses over the next five years through a number of programmes that would include relationships with accelerators and incubators across the continent.
It also announced plans to collaborate with venture capitalists to expand funding access for African entrepreneurs by releasing $500 million in “possible” investment.
Microsoft has already announced collaborations with Banque Misr, Global Venture Capital, and Get Funded Capital.
These projects will be carried out by Microsoft’s newly founded Africa Transformation Office (ATO), which will drive Microsoft’s strategic goals in Africa through collaborating with public and private organisations.
ATO startups lead Gerald Maithya, stated, “Our goal in forming these alliances with venture capitalists is to broaden the network of prospective alliances between Microsoft, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs. As a result, more money will be made accessible to eligible entrepreneurs,”
Microsoft announced ties with accelerators and incubators such as Grindstone, Greenhouse, FlapMax, and Seedstars to provide markets, technical skills, and funding opportunities. African companies will be able to access Microsoft’s global Founders Hub, a self-service hub that provides startups with a variety of resources and access to mentors.
Opportunities to co-sell to Microsoft’s corporate and enterprise customers are also available
through the Founders Hub.
ATO managing director Wael Elkabbany said, “There is great potential for Africa to become a vibrant powerhouse of digital innovation on the global startup landscape. Our goal is to witness an explosion of local inventions that will benefit not only Africa’s digital economy, but to global society.”
Microsoft joins the growing list of IT corporations launching initiatives aimed at African startups.
Google announced a $50 million Africa Investment Fund last year, aimed at early- and growth-stage entrepreneurs on the continent, as a follow-up to its Google for Startups Accelerator Africa programme.