Microsoft has officially announced applications for entry to its Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) pre-accelerator program. This program is part of Microsoft’s global vision to support technology-based startups, disrupt traditional business models and help entrepreneurs in meeting consumer needs by providing them an engaging, informative and immersive ecosphere where they can receive mentorship and training from trained professionals working in the company.
Benefits include non-equity taken in your company, curriculum of practical workshops & training sessions and exposure to qualified investors
The scope and potential of Pakistan’s tech industry is evident from Microsoft’s decision to include Karachi as one of only 4 global MIC centers from where to solicit applications. Given the fact that there are a total of 144 MIC centers worldwide, this is a significant step and one that should not be underestimated. The program aims to specifically help early-stage startups to take their idea to the mass market by honing the idea validation process, prototyping and developing the product, initiation of marketing techniques and training in soft skills such as communication, public speaking and presentations.
The MIC pre-accelerator program is spread over a length of 12 weeks and startups selected to be part of the incubation process will benefit from training imparted to them by professionals spread across the globe, thereby giving vision, depth and clarity to the idea. At the end of the program in April, all selected startups will be invited to present their idea at the MIC Demo Week, where they will receive feedback from experts in each of the partner countries consisting of Pakistan, Nepal, Chile and Armenia.
Karachi is one of four MIC centers where Microsoft is accepting applications, out of a total of 144 MIC centers worldwide
To apply for the MIC program, the startup must not already be marketing their product to consumers, be available for three months between February and April inclusive and willing to commit to 20+ hours per week. The MIC Karachi is located at the Bahria University campus and is a state-of-the-art facility for developers, IT professionals, students and academics designed to foster and inculcate innovation, collaboration and development.
The timeline for the program is as follows:
- Application/Signup Close: Monday, 29th December, 2014
- Notifying selected teams: Friday, 16th January, 2015
- Program Begins: Monday, 2nd February, 2015
- MIC Demo Week: 27th April, 2015
To find out more, visit here. To submit your application for the program, visit here.