Microsoft for Startups Ecosystem Update – August 2019

Date Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2019

From the amazing momentum we saw with startups scaling and helping enterprise companies digitally transform, to the incredible work happening with startup enabling organizations developing top-notch ecosystems around the world, to the founders themselves, it has been an inspiring month.

Let’s take a look at the recap.

Startup Spotlight

Interview with Noelle Smit: Teamgage

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As part of our Scaling Startups Series, our very own Emily Rich sat down with Noelle Smit, cofounder of Teamgage to glean her hard-won advice for those looking to found and run a B2B startup.

 

AskSid.ai and Microsoft Help Luxury Retailer AKRIS Better Serve Customers with Hyper-Personalized Online Shopping Experience

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AKRIS, a premium luxury Swiss fashion retailer, offers more than 3,000 styles to its discerning customer base. They sought a solution to help consumers quickly find what they are looking for while delivering a seamless, delightful, and personalized online shopping experience. At the heart of the problem was the need to organize and enrich product data in a way that makes shopping varied yet convenient. Hosted on Microsoft Azure and built using Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Security Services, and Microsoft Bot Framework, AskSid.ai, an India based startup, provided an AI full stack solution to AKRIS.

 

Off the Chain: US Air Force Will Use SIMBA Chain to Secure Supply Chain

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The United States Air Force has chosen SIMBA Chain to provide the blockchain which will be used to secure its supply chain. The aim of the project is to coordinate distributed manufacturing on the field with blockchain. For now, SIMBA Chain is tasked with prototyping a blockchain approach for the registration and tracking of additive manufacturing components during their entire lifecycle.

 

Stratifyd Receives $10 Million in Growth Capital Funding From CIBC

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Stratifyd has been in hypergrowth mode. The company has been named the second fastest-growing company in the Charlotte, NC area and has garnered praise from major organizations, including the American Business Awards, Gartner, Forrester and Forbes. To cap things off, this week they closed $10 million in funding from CIBC.

 

Swiss Autonomous Fleet Orchestration Startup Secures $16.5M Series B

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Bestmile whose platform helps organizations plan, manage, and optimize autonomous and human-driven vehicle fleets announced it has raised $16.5 M USD in a Series B round. Funding was led by Blue Lagoon Capital and TransLink Capital.

 

Startup News

Teaming with Female Founders Alliance to Change the Landscape for Women Entrepreneurs

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Female Founders Alliance (FFA), a national network of startup founders, investors, partners and supporters, announced the kick-off of their second accelerator cohort Ready Set Raise. Microsoft for Startups is proud to partner with FFA to support the accelerator. Of the 400 women and non-binary-led companies that applied, less than two percent were selected. Congratulations to all of the admitted founders.

 

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Calling All B2B Startups – Ingram Micro’s Comet Competition Offers $5M in GTM Benefits

Earlier this month, Ingram Micro launched the Comet Competition—a challenge dedicated to discovering talented B2B startups and funding their trajectory to channel market success. Startups are invited to compete for over $5M in go-to market (GTM) funds and cash. You can learn more here.

 

Ecosystem Events

Traction Finds Startup Footing in Vancouver

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Traction brought together proven entrepreneurs to share their hard-won insights over the course of two days in Vancouver BC (August 7-8th.) During the conference, Canada Managing Director Adam Nanjee and M12 Venture Capital’s Rashmi Gopinath joined a Fundraising Summit panel with Atrium to share best practices on building solid startup pitches.

 

Silicon Valley Rallies to Support Nigerian Entrepreneurs

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Microsoft for Startups is proud to support SVNED- a Nigerian based Women’s fund dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs in Nigeria across AgTech, Healthcare and Edtech. Microsoft for Startups supported the fundraiser in Silicon Valley to help establish “Ebi Fund” designed to support Nigerian entrepreneurs including an accelerator for women-led companies.

 

River City Labs Holds Community Day in Brisbane

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Our Sydney team linked up with River City Labs to hold a series of sessions exploring the hard truths of expansion and growth facing Australian startups and the ways in which corporate partners like Microsoft can help.

 

Foundervine Helps Underrepresented Founders Build Their First App

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Foundervine teamed up with Microsoft and Hiberus Tecnología to help 150 applicants to build their very first App in a day using Microsoft PowerApps Canvas at the Microsoft Reactor. The day was a mix of inspirational and instructional talks, self-paced work, prizes and pitches from the audience and their creations.

 

Made in Jerusalem

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Made in JLM is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 with the goal of transforming and positioning Jerusalem as one of the top cities in the world for innovation. We’re partnering with MiJ to provide dedicated mentoring sessions and hackathons which will focus on supporting female orthodox Jews and the Arab community.

 

CTO Insights

This month, we continued our series focused on practical advice for technical founders.

Coping with Massive Growth

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CTO in Residence Dr Ian McDonald recently consulted a startup who experienced massive customer growth. He shares what he told this startup on how to manage and cope with massive growth to leverage an opportunity instead of being consumed by it.

 

Upcoming Events

Microsoft Technology Center Houston: How Microsoft Can Accelerate Your Startup (Houston, September 9th)

Visit the Houston Microsoft Technology Center on September 9th to learn how Microsoft for Startups and M12 (Microsoft Venture Arm) support founders around the world.

Microsoft for Startups Community Evening (London, September 12th)

We will host a community evening at the Microsoft Reactor space in London on September 12th. Hear from startups who are finding success in the program including Brian Morgan, Business Director, Rimilia, Rene Perkins, CEO, CityMaas and Gillian Doyle, CEO, Cerebreon.

Project A Knowledge Conference (Berlin, September 27th)

On September 27, 2019 we will bring together our network of founders, investors, techies, marketers, and digital experts at a special location in Berlin. We will spend a full day exchanging, learning, and transferring knowledge. We have a top-notch line-up of speakers from in and outside the Project A Family including Microsoft’s Duncan Davidson.

Podcasts and Webcasts

Generating a Smart Lab with Kenny Li CEO and Founder of iLabService

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The latest episode of China Innovation Decoded we invited Kenny Li, CEO and Co-founder of iLabService. In 2016, Kenny started iLabService as a Co-founder. iLabService focuses on providing automatic solutions to all labs, aiming to create smarter labs. Kenny’s ultimate goal is to help scientists to become more efficient through digital transformation, advanced analytics and automation. Today, with Kenny Li, we learn about his past careers and how he has used his industrial know-how to make a difference in the lab industry.

Transacting Through Microsoft's Commercial Marketplace (When: September 04, 2019 7:00 PM (America/Los Angeles)

Back by popular demand - we will be hosting an encore presentation for this virtual workshop. This session will teach ISVs how to benefit from Microsoft’s commercial marketplace as a sales channel, configure offerings according to desired business models, and integrate with commerce platform functionality to leverage transaction capabilities.

Partner Center: Enhancements to Commercial Marketplace Analytics (When: September 12, 2019 10:00 AM (America/Los_Angeles)

Microsoft is excited to announce new capabilities in Partner Center, your one-stop location for managing your end-to-end relationship with Microsoft, that will improve management of commercial marketplace offers through updated insights and analytics. Partner Center is the portal through which partners create, manage, and analyze offers and is constantly evolving to provide better insights. As part of this evolution, Microsoft will add new sections called Marketplace Insights and Rating & Reviews. Marketplace insights will include commercial marketplace offer web traffic data, such as page visits, call to actions, and conversion trends, while Ratings & Reviews will provide a summary of customer ratings and feedback. Existing marketplace publishers will find a familiar yet improved user experience when viewing these new sections. This will be the first phase of updates as we continue to improve the web analytics.

Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure (Part 1 of 3): The Value and Design (September 18, 2019 10:00 AM (America/Los Angeles)

Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure is Microsoft’s single voice to help customers align business, people and technology strategy to achieve business goals with actionable, efficient, and comprehensive guidance and to deliver fast results with control and stability. In part one of this three part series, you will get to know the business value of the Cloud Adoption Framework and how we have designed it for you as a partner to take customers on their digital transformation journey without fear and uncertainty.

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