The three-year partnership to set up a pan India initiative to catalyse the country's technology startup ecosystem was signed today by R A Mashelkar, Chairman, GenNext Ventures and Board Member, RIL, and Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India.
     
The MoU allows GenNext Ventures and Microsoft Ventures to bring together key stakeholders -— academia, students, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporates -- at the GenNext Innovation Hubs.
     
Microsoft Ventures will help GenNext identify, shortlist, on-board promising startups and power the accelerator programme. Microsoft Ventures will also provide these startups access to software and technology advice.
     
"At the end of the accelerator program cycle, GenNext will invest strategically and selectively in some of these IT startups," the two companies said in a joint statement.
    
Mashelkar said: "Technology startups, which are a key source of innovation in India, are at an inflexion point today. While the numbers have grown exponentially year on year, the industry is at a nascent stage."
    
Microsoft India's Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said the initiative, called GenNext Innovation Hubs, is not aimed at generating profits but boosting entrepreneurship.
     
The company's Microsoft Ventures runs an accelerator lab for entrepreneurs in Bangalore, while Reliance Industries already has its venture investing business GenNext Ventures.
     
Entrepreneurs will have to apply for four-month long course aimed at enhancing strategic, tactical and communication skills.
    
Officials, including GenNext Ventures' chairman and scientist R A Mashelkar and Pramanik, at a press conference here refused to give any indication on the investments, including the size of the corpus created to invest.
    
"The first hub will start operations in October in Mumbai, and will be subsequently emulated across multiple cities in India," the companies said in the joint statement.
    
The company's Microsoft Ventures runs an accelerator lab for entrepreneurs in Bangalore, while Reliance Industries already has its venture investing business GenNext Ventures.
     
Entrepreneurs will have to apply for four-month long course aimed at enhancing strategic, tactical and communication skills.