Microsoft has announced plans to support 10,000 startups in Africa through a series of partnerships with incubators and accelerators throughout the continent.
It also plans to work with venture capital investors for African startups by raising USD 500 million in ‘potential’ investment. Microsoft said that it is already working with Global Venture Capital, Banque Misr, and Get Funded Capital for this project.
The recently established Africa Transformation Office (ATO) will be responsible for facilitating these initiatives. The office is a catalyst for propagating Microsoft’s strategic initiatives in Africa by partnering with private and public organizations.
Gerald Maithya, head of ATO startups was quoted saying that the company’s goal in these collaborations is to extend the network of partnerships between Microsoft, startups, and venture capitalists to expand the scope of funding available to eligible startups.
Microsoft’s most recent collaboration with incubators and accelerators like Greenhouse, Grindstone, FlapMax, and Seedstars seeks to bolster investment opportunities, market reach, and technical skills.
The global Founders Hub owned by Microsoft, a self-service hub that equips startups with resources & access to mentors, will also be made available to startups in Africa. The Founders Hub also provides the option to co-sell to Microsoft’s enterprise and corporate customers.
Managing Director at ATO, Wael Elkabbany said that it is potential for Africa to become a major hub for digital innovation for startups globally. The company seeks to promote local inventions that will contribute to Africa’s digital economy as well as the global startup landscape.
Notably, Microsoft is now focusing on the growing list of tech companies that are launching initiatives to boost the startup scene in Africa. Last year, Google launched a USD 50 million Africa Investment Fund for early-stage startups, succeeding its Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program.
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