Microsoft’s 100X100X100 program is collaborating with Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to host the third edition of the Accenture Ventures Challenge for startups in India. To be held on August 11 in a virtual format, this year’s edition of the annual challenge will recognize startups in India across four categories: supply chain resilience, channel shift to digital commerce, systems resilience, and responsible technology.
Launched in 2018, the Accenture Ventures Challenge is an annual event run by the Accenture Ventures Open Innovation program in India to identify the best B2B tech startups to develop solutions for real-world challenges faced by businesses. This collaboration is the first corporate access partnership for Microsoft‘s 100X100X100 program in India.
Accenture Ventures Challenge 2020 will identify 12 innovative startups that are helping to address the business and human impact of COVID-19, driving innovation in the ’never normal’ era. The winner in each category will be given an opportunity to join the Accenture Ventures Open Innovation partner program and co-create solutions for Accenture clients around the world. Winners will also get access to benefits from the Microsoft ScaleUp program, which supports Seed or Series A B2B startups to scale and co-sell with Microsoft sales teams.
Lathika Pai, country head, Microsoft for Startups, MENA & SAARC, said, “The collaboration between Microsoft’s 100X100X100 and the Accenture Ventures Challenge event reflects our commitment to boost the entrepreneurial energy of startups and build scale with the enterprise opportunities. This initiative will truly help startups evolve from being market-ready to enterprise-ready with the best resources and support from both Microsoft and Accenture.”
Avnish Sabharwal, managing director for Accenture Ventures and Open Innovation in India, added, “Collaboration across the ecosystem is crucial for driving innovation, and we are thrilled to bring Microsoft on board for this year’s Accenture Ventures Challenge. The ongoing business disruption requires an urgent response, and we are confident that we’ll discover innovative new solutions from deep tech startups to help solve some of the most pressing business and human challenges being faced by organizations in India and across the globe.”
Microsoft’s 100X100X100 program was launched earlier this year in India, with an objective of bringing together 100 committed companies and 100 early and growth startups with enterprise-ready SaaS solutions. The participating companies also commit $100K over a period of 18-24 months on solutions provided by the startups.