Microsoft has doubled the size of its stable of incubators, making it known that it intends to open a second location in India, giving its original location in Israel a brother.
The incubator, like its sibling, is focused on bringing in startups that are focused on working with cloud computing, and linking them up with office space, mentorship, and $60,000 in credits to use Microsoft’s Azure platform. Azure, of course, is the company’s cloud computing play.
Microsoft has been active with startups in other ways as well, recently giving every company in the TechStars program the same $60,000 in Azure credits. Even more, the company worked with TechStars to help put on a specifically Azure-focused incubator cycle. However, that was through a partnership, unlike its two new programs in Israel and India.
Here are the mechanics of the incubator, in case you are hoping to get into the new program. Apply by July 1st. The application will be here, if you want to take a look at it. The ten winning teams will be invited to participate in Bangalore, with the program kicking off in September. The entire shebang will last for four months.
Microsoft, in its official copy concerning the incubator, states that companies selected will have “access to the best workspace, finest infrastructure, top mentors and all the tools needed to create the most successful startups.” Not in India? No problem. Microsoft is accepting apps from anywhere, specifically stating that it is hoping to work with teams from India (natch), Europe and ‘from across Southeast Asia.’
Of course, at the end of the program, a demo day will be held.
Azure is generally a liked product, but it suffers from a lack of mindshare, when compared to Amazon’s AWS product suite. Microsoft, by getting young companies hooked on Azure early, is betting that they will grow with the platform, and thus grow the platform.
What’s next for Microsoft? We would love to see a third incubator, but this time, in the States. Just for fun, here’s a shot of the Israel location: