Microsoft Corporation has announced the rollout of the Microsoft-Ashoka Accelerator, a new social entrepreneur accelerator program in partnership with Ashoka, the world’s largest network of leading social entrepreneurs with more than 3000 fellows.
The program, a part of the company’s worldwide Tech for Good initiative, aims to nurture and grow an ecosystem of tech-enabled startups focused on social and environmental issues.
The Microsoft-Ashoka Accelerator will provide high-potential startups technology access, AI and cloud expertise, and customized mentoring to accelerate the development of intelligent and effective solutions for social issues. Moreover, Microsoft for Startups will extend the benefits of its flagship program, ScaleUp, to help the shortlisted startups scale their projects.
Launched under the aegis of the Microsoft Technology for Social Impact (TSI) team, India and France will be the first countries to pilot the program in March 2019. Launched in September 2017, the Microsoft TSI group serves nonprofit organizations worldwide by making its cloud technology accessible and affordable to nonprofits and helping them move to the cloud so that they can drive greater impact.
Simplon.co, renowned for enabling digital transformation in the nonprofits sector, will lead the on-ground management of the program in India. Simplon is also Microsoft’s partner in deploying AI Inclusive schools for underprivileged youth in France.
The tripartite partnership brings complementary skills to the table – Ashoka Foundation brings the entrepreneurs, Simplon brings the understanding of IT and social entrepreneurship, and Microsoft brings the much needed AI and intelligent cloud technology expertise.
Microsoft’s partnership with Ashoka and Simplon will enable young social entrepreneurs to tackle global issues and help them build data-rich organizations that are fueled by cloud and AI technology.