Microsoft has announced its plans to support 10,000 startups over the next five years through a series of initiatives including partnerships with accelerators and incubators across the African continent.
The company also announced its plans to partner with venture capital investors to grant more access to funding for startups in Africa by unlocking $500 million in “potential” investment. Microsoft said that it is already working with Banque Misr, Global Venture Capital and Get Funded Capital.
Recently, Microsoft established Africa Transformation Office (ATO), which drives the company’s strategic initiatives in Africa by partnering with public and private organizations. ATO will be in charge of executing these initiatives.
The goal in establishing these partnerships with venture capital investors is to extend the network of potential partnerships between Microsoft, venture capital investors and startups, thereby increasing the funding made available to eligible startups, according to ATO startups lead Gerald Maithya.
Microsoft is also creating partnerships with accelerators and incubators like Grindstone, Greenhouse, FlapMax and Seedstars to provide markets, technical skills and investment opportunities.
Microsoft is also granting access its global Founders Hub to African startups. The global Founders Hub a self-service hub providing startups with a variety of resources and access to mentors. It also includes opportunities to co-sell to Microsoft’s corporate and enterprise customers.
“There is huge potential for Africa to become a thriving hub of digital innovation on the global startup landscape. Our ambition is to see an explosion of local inventions that will contribute positively not just to Africa’s digital economy, but to global society,” ATO managing director Wael Elkabbany said.