IIT Kanpur join hands with Microsoft to enable ‘future-ready’ startups

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G P VARMA

Kanpur/Noida, November 16, 2022: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has joined hands with Microsoft to enable ‘future-ready’ startups that can lead on many fronts. IIT Kanpur’s technology business incubator Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre, which works with young innovators and incubates new technology, knowledge, and innovation-based startups, has collaborated with Microsoft to launch the “Azure Society of Excellence”. The two enterprises have entered an MoU to launch this program in close partnership. Under this program, SIIC, IIT Kanpur and Microsoft will work together to support the startups by extending mentorship, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities. The program will also enable access to ‘Founder’s Hub’- a talent-employability program for the future-ready startups in SIIC, IIT Kanpur’s incubation ecosystem.

The collaboration will help startups at IIT Kanpur to avail benefits of Microsoft Software and services, access to GitHub, M365 resources, training, and skilling on Azure, mentors network, which includes exclusive access to Microsoft leadership and expert guidance from Microsoft Valuable Professionals (MVP), Azure Influencers, and startup founders. The Microsoft Mentor Network will also lend their support to provide expert feedback and advice on topics ranging from product roadmap to business plans and facetime with high-value VCs.

The MoU exchange ceremony received participation from prominent attendees from the incubation ecosystem at IIT Kanpur and Microsoft. The participants included Shri Akshay Tripathi, IAS Managing Director, UPLC; Prof. AR Harish, Chairman, Governing Body AIIDE-CoE; Dr Nikhil Agarwal, CEO FIRST IIT Kanpur & AIIDE CoE; Microsoft Officials, along with six innovative startups from AIIDE-CoE incubation ecosystem.

The event started with an inaugural address by Dr Nikhil Agarwal, which was followed by a welcome address by Prof. AR Harish and a special address by Akshay Tripathi.

Dr Nikhil Agarwal, during his welcome address, said, “This event today will initiate the foundation of a new avenue for the budding entrepreneurs where expert support and software technologies will come together to create a juncture for a better tomorrow for all and catalyse the journey of scaling-up for the modern Indian startups. I express my deepest gratitude for this collaboration.”

Under this program, the startups from the institute will also get access to flexible, scalable resources such as API Integration with GitHub, visits to Microsoft Tech Center in Bengaluru for demonstration of tech value and scheduled in-person/online sessions. Furthermore, they can avail access to Microsoft ISV – Independent Software Vendors, and opportunities to work with Microsoft, and list on the Microsoft Marketplace.

Himani Agrawal, Country Head, Azure, Microsoft India, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with SIIC, IITK which will further enhance our respective startup acceleration efforts to provide an environment with the right support and structures and enable innovators to scale faster. With the Azure Society of Excellence, startups will be able to build innovative cloud-native apps and solutions to drive economic growth, which is inclusive, trusted, and sustainable.”

Commenting on the MoU exchange between SIIC and Microsoft, Prof. Ankush Sharma, Prof-in-charge, Innovation & Incubation, IIT Kanpur commented, “This collaboration between IIT Kanpur and Microsoft will help startups at SIIC reach new heights. Microsoft offers an excellent software pool, structure and expert support which, as and when blended with the innovations of our innovators, will make a remarkable difference in the society plus the startup ecosystem.”

Prof. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Co-PIC, Innovation & Incubation, IIT Kanpur, added, “Association with Microsoft would allow the young innovators to use critically needed soft-infrastructure which would have otherwise cost them a significant sum. I truly app

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