Microsoft announced new initiatives to accelerate the growth of 10,000 African start-ups and accelerate investments in the African start-up ecosystem over the next five years.
The development is based on the remit of its recently established Africa Transformation Office, ATO.
Just recently, the tech giant launched a global Founders Hub, which is now available to African startups through ATO.
Specifically, the Hub is a self-service platform that provides startups with a wide range of resources such as access to mentors, skills content, and access to Microsoft Azure, to name a few. some.
Microsoft is also creating new partnerships with accelerators and incubators across Africa, including Grindstone, Greenhouse, FlapMax and Seedstars to provide industry-based start-ups with access to markets, technical skills and funding opportunities. . These partnerships will provide African start-ups with access to training programs, access to markets, including co-selling opportunities with Microsoft, and access to technology, with support from engineering and product teams. from Microsoft for co-innovation opportunities.
To enable start-ups to grow rapidly through investment funding, Microsoft is establishing alliances and industry partnerships with venture capitalists that will facilitate access to $500 million in potential funding for African start-ups .
This funding will come from a network of venture capitalists, who will devote part of their financial support to start-ups in the Microsoft network.
Microsoft has already partnered with several key venture capitalists, including Banque Misr, Global Venture Capital and Get Funded Africa, and the intention is to grow this network of venture capitalists over the next five years. to increase funding and allow them to grow. and stimulate economic growth.
Investments in the African startup ecosystem are growing at an exciting rate. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there are more than 640 active tech hubs across Africa, accelerating innovation and creating jobs, especially among young people,” says Wael Elkabbany, Managing Director of the Microsoft Africa Transformation Office.
“However,” Elkabbany points out, “currently, the African startup market represents less than one percent of total investment worldwide. This needs to change.