An accelerator performs all the parental tasks in the startup ecosystem – which includes honing the skills of the entrepreneurs, helping them to branch out their network, preparing them for investor sessions and preparing them for the realities of the startup world.
In one such effort, Microsoft Accelerator, which is in the process of supporting more mature startups, hosted 15 startup CEOs (out of +500) from its global portfolio for a five-day event in Silicon Valley and Seattle. These startups from the accelerator’s global Alumni Program are currently on a mission to penetrate the U.S. market, and Microsoft’s goal is to help them strengthen their presence and scale up. The startups representation came from startups located all over the world – China, India, Germany, UK, France, Israel and the U.S.
Speaking about the program, Scott Coleman, General Manager, Microsoft Accelerator said “Startups are driving massive technology and business-model disruption that venture investors and enterprises are striving to harness.”
“With over 200 meetings with VCs and potential customers over the course of the Roadshow, that the majority of these meetings started ongoing conversations about business opportunities demonstrates Microsoft's ability to bring together partners that sit at the crossroads of transformation and disruption,” he said.
Let us take a look at the two Indian startups that participated in the show and their learning from it.
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Here’s what CEO and Founder Siddhartha Chandurkar had to say about the tour. “The biggest advantage with this roadshow was that it was focused towards enterprise companies. Apart from meeting the top brass of Microsoft executives, the show exposed us to enterprise customers directly and we met customers who were closing deals at the event within a span of 20 days,” he said.
This kind of event comes as a boon to companies as it opens up several customer and investor meeting opportunities and also helps companies get the right kind of feedback, he said.
The second startup that made it to this roadshow from India was iBot, which builds meta-products called connected processors using a combination of electronics, telecommunications, firmware and cloud capabilities to help makers create connected experiences for themselves and their customers/consumers.
When asked about his experience at the roadshow Ravi Subramanyam Founder & CEO of iBot said that its been a busy season post the road show! MS Accelerator’s team has continuously been following up post the road show and helped them take things forward, Ravi said. The key important take away from the road show is how enterprise companies like iBot are able to leverage themselves using the accelerator across India and the United States, he said.
The main focus of the road show was to create new collaboration opportunities and reinforce their business relationships within the American startup eco-system.