Feb 15, 2021

Microsoft – The tech giant supporting the tech ecosystem

Tech giants of the world deliver not only tools, softwares and hardwares that we use in our day to day life – they also carry a lot of responsibility in supporting other parts of the tech ecosystem as pioneers in their field. It’s said that if you’re strong you gotta be kind and a great example of believers in this are our friends at Microsoft. But what are the concrete actions that an actor like them take? And what does “giving” look like?
We caught James and Peggy, both working at Microsoft, for a chat to get up to date on this. 

First some background; Epicenter and Microsoft started working together already back in 2015, when we joined forces in creating a Minecraft world of the block in which Epicenter is located together with a bunch of creative 4th graders. Since then a lot has happened, and the collaboration has grown even tighter and broader in various dimensions. 

One initiative that is run by Microsoft is Microsoft for Startups. It is designed to help startups to grow their businesses through access to technology and Microsoft’s ecosystem of channels, markets and customers. Peggy Poon, driving the Microsoft for Startups program, likes to highlight that the program does not only include technical aspects, but also hands-on guidance for when it comes to creating commercial success.

“We not only give our startups in the Microsoft for Startups program technical support and guidance, but we also put our startups in the middle of an ecosystem with partners who are interested in working with the newest innovation. By working with Microsoft’s industry experts and sellers around the world, the startups get exposed to enterprise customers that normally can be tricky to access.”, says Peggy.

So how does the program work?

“To get a more detailed view, Microsoft for Startups focuses on supporting accelerated business growth through a set of technical and business benefits tailored to help ready-to-scale startups to:

·          Sell faster by tapping into to the largest customer base in the world, including global sellers who are incentivized to sell the startups’s solutions. 

·          Grow market share via Microsoft’s global channels, entering new markets and geographies through Microsoft’s established global customer base. 

·          Gain a competitive edge and increase valuation with new leads, enterprise co-sell deals and cutting-edge technology.”, explains Peggy. “The program is set up to best support technology startups that has a B2B sales model, have found product market fit with some customer traction, and are in the funding stage between Seed-Series C or validated equivalent.”

Interested in hearing more about the program? Reach out to Peggy here.  

Another initiative driven by Microsoft is the Microsoft Reactor program. James, leading the Reactor program, helps us understand more about it and explains the difference between Reactor and Microsoft for Startups. 

“Microsoft Reactors began as physical spaces with a focus on building local communities for technical learning and sharing, where developers and startup professionals connect and build new skills on Azure and open source technologies. Now a global virtual events program, Reactors provide free events and content by and for developers to drive learning, upskilling, thought leadership, and community engagement worldwide. We’re also very excited to open up our space again Epicenter soon!”, says James. 

As Microsoft Reactor does not only have a presence at Epicenter Stockholm but also covers other parts of the world across Europe and the Middle East, this made us curious. What are they looking for next and why did Microsoft choose Epicenter as their home base? 

James explains to us:

“The Reactor is a community by and for developers – which means we have the potential to impact everything on the planet! Get in touch and help us do it. If you’re looking for content on a certain technical topic, coding language or an emerging technology reach out at ReactorStockholm@microsoft.com. Feel free to let us know if you’d like to see more happy hours, game nights, panel discussions or anything else.” He continues, “We were looking for a home in Stockholm, not only to set-up shop, but for a partner who we could work alongside to foster our community and build new opportunities. Epicenter was the obvious choice. We found our values aligned, and both had big visions to change the world for the better.“

So it is said that if you’re strong you gotta be kind. Even though it might feel a little bit cliché, we’re very proud to have such strong AND kind partners within the Epicenter network. Microsoft leads the way by helping us support and enlighten the member community, and these initiatives are just the beginning of our journey together.

Want to know more? 

If you’re interested in Microsoft for Startups, ping Peggy here:https://www.linkedin.com/in/peggypoon/
If you’re interested in Microsoft Reactor, check it out here:

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