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IDG Ventures and Microsoft India partner to jumpstart entrepreneurship

Bangalore: In a bid to provide access to entrepreneurial, technology and financial resources in one place to accelerate the success of high-potential technology startups, IDG Ventures India and Microsoft India today announced an Early Stage Funding Program. With this partnership, a startup gets the dual benefit of access to a Microsoft suite of the latest tools and technologies at no upfront cost under the companys BizSpark program; as well as access to funding of up to 25 crore rupees by IDG Ventures. IDG Ventures intends to invest up to 100 crore in startups under this program.

The program is open to technology companies that are under three years old, and whose annual revenues are less than Rs 5 crore. Companies meeting these eligibility criteria will be offered access to development software at no upfront cost through Microsofts BizSpark program; and asked to send their business plan to IDG Ventures for evaluation. Startups that meet the investment criteria of the VC will be provided access to funding of up to Rs 25 crore per company.

Speaking at the launch of the program, Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Microsoft India, said, In the three months since we launched BizSpark, 275 startups have been empowered with access to genuine software at absolutely no cost. The partnership with IDG Ventures and their commitment of this corpus of funds gives deserving startups a chance to really accelerate their growth. We believe that it is critical for the industry to start innovating for India today, and startups are going to play an important part in this. Microsoft BizSpark, announced in December 2008 in India, provides startups with software, support and visibility at a time in the lifecycle when they are most valuable and least affordable – during their first three years, with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.

Commenting on the value of early stage funding to technology entrepreneurs, Sudhir Sethi, Chairman and Managing Director, IDG Ventures, added, In the current economic scenario, lack of adequate funding is likely to be a key barrier to success of young technology companies. We are keen to demonstrate our commitment to the startup community by offering financial resources to deserving young technology companies. We plan to identify at least three to four innovative technology companies through the program and invest up to 100 crore rupees.

Startup companies can apply for the Microsoft-IDG Ventures Early Stage Funding Program on www.idgvcindia.com by providing a basic description of their business, location, annual revenue and founder profile. The company will be sent a code to access free software from Microsoft BizSpark if it meets the eligibility criteria; and if it does, will also be asked to share a detailed business plan IDG Ventures for evaluation for venture capital funding.

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