Kansas City’s ThinkBig accelerator announced this morning a brand new partnership with Microsoft Ventures. This new Microsoft partnership compliments the Microsoft BizSpark program to the select few accelerators that have been chosen.
Microsoft Ventures currently has accelerator locations in Tel Aviv, Bangalore and Beijing and will open or partner with several more soon, including ThinkBig.
This announcement comes ahead of Blake Miller’s presentation at the national Everywhere Else Cincinnati conference that kicks off Sunday evening. Miller was going to save the news for the upcoming iKC conference in Kansas but chose to reveal the news now so that he is available to speak with other accelerator heads and startups at next week’s Everywhere Else conference, about the new partnership.
Think Big Accelerator in partnership with Microsoft Ventures will be one of only a few partnerships of its kind in the United States. Microsoft Ventures will act as a strategic partner for promising startups in the Think Big Accelerator program focused on business growth, customer development, industrial strength technology and beautiful usable products.
According to Cliff Reeves, who leads the Microsoft Ventures Community team, “Entrepreneurism is a local phenomenon everywhere, and Think Big Partners represents the best of KC as well as startup reach nationally and globally. We’re very pleased to be working with them to find and support great startups.”
The partnership between Think Big Accelerator and Microsoft Ventures will provide accelerator companies access to even more mentors, resources and connections. As Microsoft Ventures is a corporate run partnership with the intent to engage and support a select few independent accelerators per geo, the local Microsoft field office will play an active role in day-to-day support and mentorship of Think Big Partners’ startups as part of this partnership. While the Microsoft BizSpark program will be providing software, support and visibility to the startups, Microsoft Ventures will be providing additional resources through this limited partnership to better enable the startups success on the Microsoft platform while they develop their business as a whole. Along with providing consistent access to Microsoft technical resources and devices, startups engaged in the Think Big Accelerator will have the opportunity to qualify for additional benefits via the BizSpark Plus program where startups qualify for a rich set of offers including Office 365 and Azure.
“We at Think Big Partners are very excited to grow what has already been a great learning relationship with Microsoft,” says Miller, Director of Think Big Accelerator. “The resources that Microsoft adds to our checklist-oriented process will help us get entrepreneurs from idea to first customer faster and even more efficiently.”
While many accelerators do offer the BizSpark program, the Microsoft Ventures sponsored accelerators have even more amazing benefits.
You can find out more about Think Big KC here.