Uncrowd is the first startup winner of the Microsoft Partner of the Year Award

Every year Microsoft acknowledges partner organizations that are providing innovative support or services to our customers and community. This year awards we received over 3,300 nominations from 100 countries across 48 categories including AI & Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Security & Compliance and, for the first time, Startups.

It is doubly exciting for me as the incoming General Manager of Microsoft for Startups to acknowledge the positive impact startup companies have on Microsoft and to celebrate all our partners even as we select the best among them for this year.

The Microsoft for Startups Partner of the Year Award was launched to recognize, on an international scale, a B2B startup organization that built and launched an innovative and unique solution leveraging Microsoft technology—Azure, Power Apps or M365—with one or more solutions available in either Microsoft AppSource or Azure Marketplace.

Submissions were solicited from startups developing technology that solves a real-world issue, built on Microsoft technology using Microsoft go-to-market resources. The successful entrants have demonstrated commercial success through IP cosell wins, Azure consumption and billed sales via the commercial marketplace platform.


This year’s winner of the 2020 Microsoft for Startups Partner of the Year Award is:



In a competitive market every retailer needs to know when and why they are losing sales to a rival. Identifying and eliminating friction during the customer journey is key to maintaining a competitive edge. Our 2020 Partner of the Year winner, Uncrowd, developed their Friction/Reward Indexing (FRi™) platform to help reduce churn and increase sales. FRi™ Provides unparalleled insights into shopper preference, behaviors and likelihood to buy. It delivers actionable insights that enable companies to optimize budgets and reduce costs.

Uncrowd joined the Microsoft for Startups program in 2019, leveraging Azure AI and Machine Learning to build out their platform and deliver a new generation of customer analytics for retailers.

CEO of Uncrowd, Richard Hammond, was thrilled when he heard the good news, “The experience with Microsoft for Statups has been astonishing. We’ve made films in Paris with Microsoft, been featured on their stand at the superlative Slush tech festival in Helsinki, appeared on blogs, in joint pitches to the world’s biggest retailers and had access to a depth of resources, learning, support and opportunities that have taken our breath away. Materially, we are a better business now as a result. On top, our customer analytics solution gains credibility by association, which is gold to a startup.”


You can find the Uncrowd FRi platform on the Azure Marketplace here.


The finalists for the 2020 Microsoft for Startups Partner of the Year Award are:



With 88% of security breaches caused by human error and misdirected emails a 20% bigger threat to organizations than phishing attacks, Egress is defining a completely new category of intelligent technology called ‘Human Layer Security’ to mitigate this risk.

Unlike any other solutions on the market, Egress utilizes contextual machine learning to detect and prevent human behavioral abnormalities and stop breaches before they happen.

By combining this with Government-accredited encryption, Egress is helping prevent 98% of human-activated email data breaches.

Tony Pepper, CEO at Egress, commented: “We are delighted to be a finalist in the Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards 2020. This recognition demonstrates the success of our partnership with Microsoft, and the significant commercial and technical achievements we have made in a very short period. Our unique approach to today’s advanced email threats makes us a highly effective overlay for Microsoft Office 365, helping us drive key strategic customer wins. In addition, the support delivered by the Startups program has helped us advance our technical capabilities and expand our service delivery to new international markets entirely on Azure.”

You can find Egress on Microsoft AppSource here.



ThroughPut ELITE Quality of Operations App tracks-down ever-shifting bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas of waste across your dynamic operations to provide end-to-end visibility and solutions across the entire supply chain value stream, leveraging one or all of your existing data sets.

You can find ThroughPut ELITE on the Azure Marketplace here.


Web3 Labs

A successful blockchain deployment relies on more than smart contracts, you need full visibility of your applications and a great user experience. Epirus for Azure Blockchain Service provides this, giving your users an accessible view of your blockchain applications and assets, enabling you to make fast and informed decisions that affect your business.

You can find Epirus on the Azure Marketplace here.

Congratulations, once again to our winner and all our finalists.

Microsoft Inspire

This year, our leading event for partners, Microsoft Inspire is going entirely virtual. Microsoft Inspire brings together our global partner network for two packed days of guest speakers, breakout sessions and valuable networking. I hope everyone in the startup ecosystem will be inspired by the amazing companies we recognized here to join us at Microsoft Inspire online on July 21-22, 2020.

These two sessions in particular will be of interest to entrepreneurs, founders and other members of the startup ecosystem:

Register for Microsoft Inspire 2020 here.