16. Microsoft

Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars winner offers a hands-on approach to accelerating growth

Through seven Microsoft Ventures global accelerator programmes – in cities ranging from Beijing to Seattle – Microsoft has supported 454 start-ups to raise $1.78bn. These include Rallyteam, a talent management platform that Microsoft uses to match projects with technical talent, and PickIt, a crowd-sourced stock photography service that integrates with Office 365 and PowerPoint.

Local partnerships, to promote products and services in the cities where accelerators are based, have led to successful results. Microsoft’s approach is focused on partnerships with successful new companies.

The accelerators do not take equity and are led by ‘entrepreneurs in residence’ who talk the same language as start-ups, helping to overcome cultural barriers. The Microsoft Garage outlet also enables in-house employees to work on their own projects with a view to creating the ‘next big thing’.

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Image courtesy of SVC2UK CEO Summit 2015.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 644104.

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