Microsoft announced its plans to support 10,000 Startups in Africa over the next five years through a series of initiatives, including partnerships with accelerators and incubators across the continent.
The tech giant has also announced its intention to work with venture capital investors to increase access to finance for Startups on the African continent, unlocking more than 500 million dollars in “potential” investments. Microsoft said it is already working with Banque Misr, Global Venture Capital and Get Funded Capital.
These initiatives will be carried out through the recently established Africa Transformation Office (ATO), which guides Microsoft’s strategic initiatives in Africa, working with public and private organizations.
“Our goal in creating these partnerships with venture capital investors is to expand the network of potential partnerships between Microsoft, venture capitalists and Startups, thereby increasing the funding available to eligible Startups,” said Gerald Maithya, head of the Startups involved in ATO.
Microsoft said it is building partnerships with accelerators and incubators such as Grindstone, Greenhouse, FlapMax and Seedstars to provide access to new markets, technical skills and investment opportunities.
Microsoft’s global Founders Hub, a self-service hub that provides Startups with a variety of resources and access to mentors, will also be available to African Startups. The Founders Hub also includes opportunities for co-sales to Microsoft corporate and enterprise customers.
“There is huge potential for Africa to become a thriving digital innovation hub in the global Startup landscape. Our ambition is to see an explosion of innovation that will contribute positively not only to Africa’s digital economy, but also to the global society,” said ATO CEO Wael Elkabbany.
Microsoft joins the growing list of tech companies taking initiatives to support Africa’s Startups. Last year, Google launched a 50 million dollars Africa Investment Fund that targets Startups in an early and growth stage across the continent.