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GenNext, Microsoft to Estb. GenNxt Innovation Hubs

Hubs to boost innovation among startups

GenNext Ventures, the venture investment management arm of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has signed a three-year partnership with Microsoft India, through Microsoft Ventures in India, to set up GenNext Innovation Hubs, a pan India initiative to catalyze the country’s technology startup ecosystem. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today by Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, Chairman, GenNext Ventures and Board Member, RIL, and Mr. Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India. The first hub will start operations in October in Mumbai, and will be subsequently emulated across multiple cities in India.

The MoU allows GenNext Ventures and Microsoft Ventures to bring together key stakeholders—academia, students, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporates–at the GenNext Innovation Hubs and offer some of the most critical resources that startups need to be successful. Microsoft Ventures will help GenNext identify, shortlist, on-board promising startups and power the accelerator program. Microsoft Ventures will also provide these startups access to software and technology advice. At the end of the accelerator program cycle, GenNext will invest strategically and selectively in some of these IT startups.

Announcing the partnership, Dr Mashelkar said, “While several initiatives are underway to help startups, what is lacking is a national platform that seamlessly brings together all stakeholders and also provides the resources Indian startups need to be successful. That’s what we are aiming to do through GenNext Innovation Hubs, in our partnership with Microsoft Ventures.”

Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India, said, “Microsoft Ventures is leading that for us in India. With this partnership, startups in India will have access to GenNext Ventures’ deep industry experience and Microsoft Ventures’ knowledge and IT industry network and strength.”

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