Microsoft, Accenture collaborate on startup challenge to boost innovation in India

Microsoft’s 100X100X100 program will collaborate with Accenture to host the third edition of Accenture Ventures for startups in India, the U.S.-based tech company said Tuesday.

According to a press release, this year’s edition of the annual challenge will take place in a virtual format to recognize Indian startups in four categories: supply chain resistance, channel change to digital commerce, systems resistance and responsible technology. The event will take place on August 11.

Accenture Ventures Challenge 2020 will identify 12 innovative startups that are helping to address COVID-19’s business and human impact, driving innovation in the “never normal” era.

The winner of each category will have the opportunity to join Accenture Ventures’ open innovation partner program and co-create solutions for Accenture customers worldwide. Winners will also have access to the benefits of the Microsoft ScaleUp program, which supports Seed or Series A B2B startups to scale and sell in conjunction with Microsoft sales teams.

Lathika Pai, Country Head, Microsoft for Startups, MENA and SAARC, said: “This initiative will really help startups evolve from being market-ready to companies with the best resources and support from Microsoft and Accenture.”

Launched in 2018, the Accenture Ventures Challenge is an annual event organized by the Accenture Ventures Open Innovation program in India to identify the best B2B technology startups to develop solutions to the real-world challenges facing companies. Microsoft’s 100X100X100 program was launched earlier this year in India, bringing together 100 committed companies and 100 early-growth startups with business-ready SaaS solutions. Participating companies also commit $ 100K over an 18-24 month period on solutions provided by startups. This collaboration is the first corporate access partnership for Microsoft’s 100X100X100 program in India.

Avnish Sabharwal, Managing Director of Accenture Ventures and Open Innovation in India, said: “Continual business disruption requires an urgent response, and we are confident that we will discover innovative new solutions from deep tech startups to help solve some of the more pressing business and human challenges facing organizations in India and around the world.”

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