The Indian startup ecosystem has grown to be third largest in the world. With over 4,000 startups and over USD 5 billion invested in 2015 alone, it is among the most active as well. However, during the 2014 All India Accelerators & Incubators Meet, a key point of discussion was the lack of help available for later-stage startups in India. From their own experience, Microsoft felt that these startups needed greater support in terms of mentoring, technology and market access to scale up their business which was lacking in the ecosystem and decided to shift its focus towards them.
From a media point of view, there remained the challenge of telling the growth and scaling story in a space overwhelmingly dominated by funding and valuation news. We conducted media engagements around major company events, which resulted in more than 65 large format stories across key mainlines, financials and startup publications in 8 target cities, over a period of 12 months. It also helped build a strong brand for the startups – leading to increased business enquiries and opportunities for them and Microsoft.