Microsoft Corp has announced the expansion of the Microsoft Ventures partnership program into Africa starting in Kenya as part of its 4Africa initiative.
“The expansion into Africa was conducted as part of the recently launched Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative and will therefore prioritize startups in key sectors including agriculture, education and healthcare,” reports Business News.
The initiative was initially introduced in June as a coordinated global effort to offer tools, resources, expertise and routes to market for startups through partnerships with accelerators globally.
Microsoft has chosen 88mph as its first African accelerator partner because of its proven model of helping launch and secure funding for innovative African startups. Now, Microsoft and 88mph will provide startups with mentorship, technology guidance, seed funding, joint selling opportunities.
“In Africa, Microsoft is also looking for solutions that can scale across and even outside the African continent,” reports Business News.
Those startups who graduate from 88mph’s most recent accelerator class will participate in a DemoDay on Dec. 5 in Nairobi. There, with Microsoft’s help, the startups will present their businesses to invited investors.
The company has already helped support 625 African startups by providing access to Microsoft tools and technologies. And for the second consecutive year, Microsoft is also a sponsor of DEMO Africa, a startup competition in Nairobi on Oct. 24–25 .
“Through the 4Afrika Initiative, we are deeply committed to fostering African innovation and to fueling Africa’s economic growth and competitiveness, and we are very proud to see Microsoft Ventures extend its reach into the African continent,” Amrote Abdella, director, 4Afrika Venture Capital and Startup Programs, said, adding that, “We strongly believe that with the right support, African startups hold tremendous potential to impact both their local economies and the world’s perception of African-led innovation and entrepreneurship.”