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Microsoft, iCreate and MeitY Launch iMPEL-AI Program to Foster Budding AI Innovators The program aims to empower India's AI innovators and will screen 1100 AI innovators across India to identify AI Most Valuable Players (MVPs) with the prime focus of the incubation program being on Healthcare, Financial Inclusion, Sustainability, Education, Agriculture, and Smart Cities

By Entrepreneur Staff

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Jean-Philippe, Microsoft India; Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MeitY; and Avinash Punekar, iCreate

International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate) has partnered with Microsoft India to launch the iMPEL-AI (iCreate-Microsoft programme for Emerging Leaders in Artificial Intelligence) programme.

"Artificial Intelligence is transforming how we are engaging with products and services globally. India has the world's largest tech talent pool, and we believe that our leadership in AI can position India as a key stakeholder in every domain," adds Avinash Punekar, CEO, iCreate.

The launch of the joint AI innovation programme was also announced by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).

The program aims to empower India's AI innovators and will screen 1100 AI innovators across India to identify AI Most Valuable Players (MVPs) in stage one. The prime focus of the incubation program will be Healthcare, Financial Inclusion, Sustainability, Education, Agriculture, and Smart Cities.

In stage two, the program will select and scale 100 startups with Azure OpenAI, with the top 25 getting receive go-to-market support from Microsoft's Global Network to develop advanced, globally competitive products.

"India is uniquely positioned to seize the extraordinary AI opportunity. To support this, we need to empower the next generation of innovators to harness AI to solve complex problems and scale positive impact. That's why we are excited to launch the iMPEL-AI innovation program, which will nurture a dynamic AI ecosystem in India and enable AI innovators and entrepreneurs to help bridge the nation's AI skill gap and create new possibilities across the country," said Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, National Transformation Partnerships, Microsoft.

According to the official statement, selected startups will also receive GitHub Enterprise along with OpenAI and Azure credits to build their MVPs.

"The Indian innovation ecosystem has reached an inflection point - there has never been a more exciting time than now because growth so far is just the tip of the iceberg. The Next Wave of startups will come from emerging technologies like AI, semiconductors, and HPC, shaping the future of tech. Our government is committed to shaping, nurturing, and catalyzing the future of Safe & Trusted AI," said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology.

Additionally, Microsoft and iCreate are set to provide AI skilling opportunities to 11,000 innovators, startups, and youth through Microsoft's Learning Management System. "On completion, participants will receive globally recognized certifications from Microsoft, providing a significant boost to their employability and career progression," the official statement read.

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff

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