Microsoft launches UK startup fund

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Microsoft chief exec Steve Ballmer’s was in London today to announce a new startup fund for the UK called the Microsoft Startup Accelerator Programme. The programme, which already exists in the US, is to encourage startups and in doing so to also promote Microsoft technologies to them such as Silverlight and Live Services. There are a handful of UK firms kicking it off, including Skinkers, Tao, ClusterSeven, ViaPost and mydeo.

Ballmer announced the news at “The Online Opportunity”, a (barely promoted) half day session which looked at industry issues and challenges facing internet start-ups in the UK, and which featured such dotcom celebs as Brent Hoberman (lastminute), Saul Klein (Index Ventures / Seedcamp), Cary Marsh (mydeo), Ben Way (Making Rain / ViaPost) and Ryan Carson (Future of Web Apps).

The Accelerator Programme is being headed up by Lars Lindstedt, who runs the UK Software Economy and Emerging Business programmes at Microsoft.

  • http://www.broadsight.com alan p

    …and Orange has a startup fund, BT has in house schemes and the BBC has Innovation Labs – all to hthouse new startups. Is this happening because the early stage investment market in the UK is not stepping up to the plate?

  • http://www.broadsight.com alan p

    …and Orange has a startup fund, BT has in house schemes and the BBC has Innovation Labs – all to hothouse new startups. Is this happening because the early stage investment market in the UK is not stepping up to the plate?

  • http://microsoftstartupzone.com/uk Lars Lindstedt

    Hi Mike,

    I’d just like to correct one point in your post. We launched the Startup Accelerator programme yesterday with five partners: Miomi, Zebtab, Corebridge, Miomni, and Viapost, not the companies listed in the post. I think the confusion arose because on our web page (http://microsoftstartupzone.com/uk) we’ve also posted some case studies of companies that the Emerging Business Team has worked with in the past, and we will continue to post information on this programme and our other activties as well as case studies of interesting companies on this site, so I’d encourage your readers to visit us from time to time.

    Best regards,
    Lars Lindstedt, Microsoft

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