Microsoft Reactor: new initiative to support the ecosystem of startups and developers is launched in Brazil

Date Updated: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

  • Microsoft launches the first Reactor in Latin America, in São Paulo
  • Known for being a place for learning and technical sharing of developers and startups, Microsoft Reactor São Paulo begins its operations with free online courses, trainings, lectures and workshops

Today, Microsoft launched the first Microsoft Reactor in Latin America. São Paulo was the city chosen to host the center of learning and technical sharing, where developers and technology professionals can connect with the local community and develop new skills to boost innovation in their organizations. Initially, and until it is safe for groups to gather, all the activities of the new Microsoft Reactor will happen online.

Microsoft Reactor Sao Paulo was born in a partnership with the hub of Distrito, the largest independent innovation and startup community in Latin America, composed of five technology centers. In the future, when face-to-face activities are resumed, the Reactor will have as its home one of the spaces of District, the Distrito Adtech Building, located in the Jardins neighborhood, in São Paulo.

"We live in a moment when technology reskilling and offering training to the developer and startup ecosystem will be even more crucial to support the creation of relevant innovations and new business in Brazil," said Franklin Luzes, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Microsoft Participações.

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The company made a live broadcast to the media to present the news of the new initiative to support innovation. The online event was attended by Tânia Cosentino, President of Microsoft Brazil, Franklin Luzes, COO at Microsoft Participações, Gustavo Araújo, Co-Founder & Executive Partner of Distrito, Camila Achutti, CEO & Founder of MasterTech; and Licia Souza, CEO of WE Impact.

“Microsoft Reactor is already a program with a consolidated global presence and the launch of the initiative in Brazil reinforces Microsoft's commitment to innovation in the country and to the ecosystem of Brazilian entrepreneurs and startups to create collaborative solutions," said Tânia Cosentino, President of Microsoft Brazil.

“At Distrito, we see great value by having the Microsoft Reactor São Paulo in one of our innovation hubs. It is an international and high-level project for the training of startups and large companies in key technologies for digital transformation, such as Artificial Intelligence and Cloud. Microsoft notably stands out in the field of these technologies and, by empowering the ecosystem with what is the most advanced in these areas, will boost the development of Brazilian entrepreneurs, startups and corporations," says Gustavo Araújo, Co-Founder & Executive Partner of Distrito.

According to Franklin Luzes, while face-to-face events are not currently allowed, those who are interested can access the various online courses, trainings and panels available, including those taught by developers and startups located in other Microsoft Reactors around the world, in the cities of Redmond, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Stockholm, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi, Bangalore and Shanghai.

In its initial ten weeks, the Reactor will offer courses about data science, machine learning, AI services, blockchain and web development. All content will be free and will bring the most significant in key technology topics, from introductory to advanced, so participants can build their knowledge base. Check out the events calendar in the link: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/reactor

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The launch of Microsoft Reactor São Paulo connects with other initiatives that the company already has, to support the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. In November 2019, Microsoft launched Women Entrepreneurship (WE), a program for stimulating female entrepreneurship in the country. WE's first major initiative came from Microsoft Participações, which, in partnership with Sebrae Nacional and M8 Partners, structured the WE Ventures fund, that focuses on investing in women-led startups that are in a stage called "valley of death". The contributions range from R$1 million to R$5 million. WE Ventures has already received support from two other investment companies – Flex and Sabin Group – and intends to raise R$100 million in five years, it has already raised R$30 million.

Two startups have benefited from the contribution of the WE Ventures Fund. They are: Pack ID, which has a technology for monitoring temperature and humidity in real time for any environment; and WE Impact, a digital ecosystem designed to accelerate the success of women startups founders across the country. We Impact follows the startups founders throughout their entrepreneurial journey, investing strategic and financial capital (pre-seed) to remove the most important barriers that distance women from technology, scalable and innovative businesses. It is also a partner of the fund for the origination, development and monitoring of the startups invested.

The WE program as a whole, including WE Ventures and WE Impact, already has 19 women-led startups being supported and they can also benefit from Microsoft Reactor Sao Paulo offerings.

Microsoft for Startups is another important support offered to the entrepreneurship ecosystem. By offering credits on the Azure cloud platform, development opportunities and exclusive events, the Microsoft for Startups program focuses on strengthening startups to help them grow and scale their business. Since May 2020, all startups affiliated to Microsoft for Startups also have free access for 12 months to Power Platform, a group of applications and services designed by Microsoft to help them build customized business applications of professional-grade, for workflow automation and dynamic data visualization. In Brazil, Microsoft has already released more than $205 million in Azure cloud credits to startups.

In addition to WE, the so called Entrepreneurial Journey also had the BR Startups Fund, created in 2014 by Microsoft Participações. It used to foster the startup ecosystem with investments between R$500,000 and R$3 million in national companies. In addition to Microsoft, it was formed by Banco do Brasil Seguros, Banco Votorantim, Algar, Bayer, and the Rio de Janeiro State Development Agency (AgeRio). In five years of operation, the BR Startups Fund raised R$32 million and invested in 15 startups.

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