Microsoft for Startups Ecosystem Update – May 2019

Spring has arrived and that means our conference season is in full swing. We started off May with Build 2019, Microsoft’s premier developer event in Seattle followed by dozens of startup events from Vivatech in Paris, Collision in Toronto and Webit in Bulgaria. In the past month, we’ve had the chance to meet thousands of incredible startups and their founders.

Top News

Microsoft for Startups Joins FounderFuel to Propel Canadian AI Startups

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Earlier this month, we announced that we’re teaming up with FounderFuel, Montreal’s largest startups accelerator, to help support the growth of AI startups. FounderFuel helps early stage companies go to market, raise capital, and make connections with entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders in Montreal and across Canada. The collaboration will provide qualified startups with access to Microsoft business and technical experts as well as access to free Azure cloud.


Startups Shown Bright at Microsoft Build 2019

More than 6,000 developers from around the world came together in Seattle for Build 2019, Microsoft’s yearly developer conference. In addition to all of the amazing sessions and content featured at the event, Microsoft for Startups was there to showcase some incredible dev-op startups. You can check out all of the startups on the Microsoft for Startups YouTube channel and make sure not to miss the conversation with startup partner in the video below: Build


CodeFresh Claims “Startups at Build: Attendee’s Choice Award”

Also at Build, we held the first ever Attendee Choice Award. We invited attendees to meet the eight startups we brought to the event and to vote for their favorite. CodeFresh, the first CI/CD platform built for Kubernetes, took home the grand prize of $1M in comarketing benefits.



Startup Showcase

Algorithmia raises $25M Series B for its AI automation platform


Algorithmia, a Seattle based startup that is building machine learning infrastructure tools for developers, just raised $25M in series B funding led by Norwest Partners. The new funding will support the startup’s AI Layer automation solution.

India’s Locus raises $22 million to expand its logistics management business

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Managing complex logistical challenges is daunting for any business. That’s why Locus is stepping in with its supply chain management platform and decision-making engine. The Bangalore-based startup just closed a $22M funding round led by Falcon Edge Capital.


Startup Strategies

What I learned from Some of the Tech Industry’s Smartest Sales Pros

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B2B enterprise software entrepreneurs that are looking to scale up their business, consistently say that the area where they need the most help is "sales". That’s why we’ve created this guide. Based on the insights of founders, experts, and entrepreneurs who have built successful startups, this guide aims to demystify the entire sales process for startups. This guide explains where to start, what to do, and what to avoid. It covers everything from making the first sale to structuring the organization, expanding internationally, building a partner channel, and identifying salary ranges for key roles across different countries. You can download it here.

CTO Insights

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

Choosing Your First Cloud Platform

In this post, Ruth Yakuba lays out a set of helpful criteria for CTOs to weigh when they are evaluating their first cloud platform.

Pitching your Protype

Imagine a startup that has invested time and effort in building the first prototype of their app. It’s a first pass, but still needs a lot of work. The next step is to go to potential investors and customers to get the resources needed to grow the prototype into a full-fledged product. So, how should the startup pitch their product? This is the question Head of Startup Advocacy James Turnbull answers in his latest post.

Ecosystem Events:

Microsoft for Startups at Collision 2019

Collision, the North American offshoot of the popular Web Summit, brought 25,000 attendees to Toronto for what the event bills as the “crossroads for the world’s largest buyers and sellers of technology, alongside many of the world’s most disruptive emerging technology companies.”   Microsoft's Peggy Johnson spoke on the mainstage where she described how working with startups ultimately helps our enterprise customers by connecting them with disruptive technologies in the industry.

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Mirosoft for Startups Sponsors Founders Games 2019 at Webit


Webit brought together 15,000 attendees from across 120 countries in Sofia, Bulgaria, including top global technology leaders, entrepreneurs, policy representatives, some of the best European startups, industry representatives, founders, and more. We were there as a headline platinum partner of the Webit Founders Games 2019 where thousands of startups vied for the opportunity to take part in the event. A total of $1M in awards and funding was handed out to the final startups, including top winner Wefarm. Other finalists included, Diasyst, Plante-e, Tiliter Technology, and Each finalist received $120K in Azure credits to help power their solutions.

EuroHack – The First Ever Eurovision Hackathon

Tel Aviv had a very busy week of glitz, glamour, and music this month as it hosted the Eurovision Song Contest. But it wasn’t all fun and music in Tel Aviv, as the Microsoft Reactor played host to the first ever EuroHack hackathon to help find the next generation of technology for the contest and international broadcast. Ten teams advanced to the Grand Final and pitched their ideas to the judges, including CTO in residence Penina Weiss, who awarded points in traditional Eurovision fashion – from 1-12 points.

You can watch the event below:



Microsoft for Startups Joins 120K Attendees at Vivatech Paris

With over 120K attendees, Vivatech Paris was one of the biggest (if not the biggest) events in tech this year. The conference brought together thousands of startups, students, executives, and investors this month to discuss and learn about the latest trends in tech and beyond. We were there and brought along a number of our partner startups including Tellmeplus, Brennus Analytics,, Eagle Genomics, Shift Technology, and


In addition, London CTO in Residence, Ian McDonald, represented Microsoft at the launch of 50inTech, a new app for women in tech. The goal of the app is to help achieve 50% percent employment of women in the tech industry.

Johnson & Johnson Delegation Visits Microsoft for Startups Beijing


Earlier this month, the team in Beijing invited executives from Johnson & Johnson to hear presentations from dozens of our top startups in the area.

Meeting the Brazilian Venture Capital Community

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Mariano Amartino represented Microsoft for Startups at the annual LAVCA Brazilian Venture Capital meeting, an event that brings together the Brazil VC community to discuss trends in the industry, network, and create deal-flow.

Sydney Customer Access Day for Retail

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Five Microsoft for Startups companies in the retail sector were brought together with leading Australian executives from top enterprises for a Customer Access Day at the Microsoft site in Sydney. The event was organized around three themes: Customer Experience, Intelligent Supply Chain Optimization, and AI & Analytics.

The event featured 20 attendees including the Head of New Markets at 7-Eleven and it generated three commercial opportunities for the participants. One of the attendees of the event, Connor Tam, Head of Operations at Hyper Anna, said “the event not only gave us a great opportunity to connect to Microsoft's customer base, but also allowed us to connect to Microsoft's account management team to understand how we can work together in different use cases to extend our value propositions.”

Upcoming Events

Microsoft Inspire 2019 (July 15-17)

Microsoft Inspire is where our partners meet to connect, collaborate and celebrate as one community. Joining together with thousands of partners from over 130 countries, you’ll find inspiration from shared experiences and insights. Wherever you are in your journey as a partner, Microsoft Inspire can help accelerate your success. You can sign up here.

Upcoming Webcasts and Podcasts

B2B Marketing Beyond Lead Generation (June 6th, 08:00 AM PDT)

Learn how to shorten sales cycle and increase conversion through micro targeting and influencing leads and opportunities. The webinar will feature a debate with the best professionals and influence marketing metrics and will provide concrete examples from their experiences of how to integrate marketing and sales processes and systems.

High-Resolution Outbound Sales (June 13th, 08:00 AM PDT)

Learn how to create a scalable, predictable and actionable Sales machine with instant impact and the importance of outbound sales processes that help to scale your company cost-effectively and at high-speed.