Microsoft Launches Fund to Improve Access to Affordable Internet in Underserved Markets

Microsoft has launched a fund to improve access to affordable Internet in under-served markets as a part of the company’s Affordable Access Initiative.

Under this initiative, Microsoft will partner with Internet access providers and other public and private sector entities on innovative and practical connectivity and services solutions.  There are several examples of these efforts on the website for this program.

Why is Microsoft doing this?  This initiative is a necessary ingredient to growing startups and startup ecosystems around the globe, and it is consistent with the Microsoft Accelerator mission to help startups achieve more.   But before there are technology startups, and before there is an ecosystem, there needs to be access to technology that empowers people to dream, to think about how they can achieve more, to develop and improve their local communities, and to change the world.  This program is a step towards unlocking that future.

At Microsoft Accelerator, we want to find, mentor and grow the next-generation of great startups.   And with our partners across Microsoft, we have a compelling set of offers and services to help startups grow through every stage of their lifecycle.  This program is a new ingredient to these efforts and will help us find these startups in new locations where dreams are big but access to technology and tools has been lacking.

To my friends across the startup ecosystem globally, please encourage eligible startups to apply to this program.  Applications are available online and are open until January 15, 2016 at 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time on the Affordable Access Initiative website.   Participants in this program will receive funding, free software and services, and an ability connect with other recipients and potential funders.