Startup guidance: expanding support for early-stage startups with Mentor Network and ATA
When we created Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, we chatted with hundreds of founders to hear what resources they need most when building a successful startup. One thing we heard repeatedly was a need for guidance – both technical and non-technical, to help solve problems founders face daily. Based on this feedback, we’re excited to offer the Microsoft Mentor Network and Azure Technical Advisory to our startup community.
Microsoft Mentor Network
Time and again we hear from founders who are keen to find and work with a mentor. Oftentimes they simply don’t have the right network to find one, or struggle with the ability to meet and build relationships when they identify people they want to work with. Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is addressing this historical lack of access with an exclusive benefit for its members – Microsoft Mentor Network.
Through Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, members will gain access to a pool of hundreds of mentors across a range of disciplines who have made themselves available to our in-program startups. Our mentors have a wealth of experience covering functional areas like engineering, idea validation, fundraising, management and coaching, and sales and marketing, as well as specific technical stress points around your configuration on Azure or machine learning.
Founders can browse the complete list of potential mentors to learn about their areas of expertise, then book a meeting with them directly.
Since piloting the Microsoft Mentor Network, we have already received valuable feedback from early adopters within the program.
Mindaugas Bruzas, founder and CEO of Oxus.AI, wanted to meet with someone who understood the market he was addressing to make sure they were making good assumptions, “Our solution targets telcos, and we quickly clicked with our mentor that had over 20 years of experience in the field. He reinforced we were on the right path which was supremely validating and kept us on the right path.”
At Trendalyze, founder and CEO Rado Kotorov was positioning his company for a round of fundraising and looking to add to his board of directors, “Through Mentor Network we were introduced to a subject matter expert who knew our space incredibly well. After a few meetings, we invited him to join the board of our company.”
Note: To ensure a high quality of mentorship, Microsoft Mentor Network is not currently available to startups at the earliest stages of their journey.
Azure Technical Advisory (ATA)
When building your product on Azure, your technical team may encounter new challenges for which you require specific support. The Azure Technical Advisory puts you in direct contact with a team of dedicated Azure technicians to provide one-to-one support, 24/7.
Whether you’re getting started on Azure for the first time, need help with migration, or looking for someone to review your architectural plans and advise on scalability, implementation best practices or security, the ATA team will be available to meet with you and guide you to the optimal answer.
The Azure Technical Advisory team will connect with you to assess your goals, make a recommendation for next steps, and discuss your technical engagement options. You can then schedule a one-to-one live meeting to cover anything from a 30-minute 'Getting Started' session to a 4-hour architectural review or infrastructure optimization consultation.
Access to the Azure Technical Advisory is designed for founders further along in their startup journey, and so not offered to all startups at this time.
Ready to jump in? Sign up for Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub today.