Accenture and Microsoft to hold startup contest in August

17 July 2020 3 min. read

The latest edition of the Accenture Ventures Challenge in India has been announced, and Microsoft is on board as a strategic partner. The competition is set to be held on August 11th. 

A dozen promising B2B startups will be selected as winners of the Accenture Ventures Challenge, organised by the Accenture Ventures Open Innovation (AVOI) programme. Winners will have the opportunity to participate in the AVOI programme, which allows startups to work in collaboration with Accenture and develop solutions for global clients.

Accenture has been holding the challenge in India every year since 2018, and this is the first time that the firm is joined by Microsoft’s 100X100X100 programme – launched in India earlier this year with the aim of connect 100 established businesses with 100 startups to develop SaaS solutions. 

Microsoft’s involvement means that winners will also have access to the Microsoft ScaleUp programme, which offers early stage B2B startups with Microsoft sales support to scale up their operations. The contest will be held virtually on August 11th, and the winners will be announced on the same day.

Accenture and Microsoft to hold startup contest in August - The Accenture Ventures Challenge

While the focus each year usually revolves around the tech innovation ecosystem, this year is all about delivering value in Covid-19 times. The four categories for this year’s winners are: Supply chain resilience; channel shift to digital commerce; systems resilience; and responsible technology. All four categories are designed to focus entrepreneurial energies towards solving human and business problems that are emerging almost daily under the crisis.

Commenting on the latest contest, Managing Director for AVOI in India Avnish Sabharwal said, “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 organisations in India and globally.”

Microsoft for Startsps MENA & SAARC Lead Lathika Pai added, “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.”

This is the latest in a string of collaborations between Accenture and Microsoft aimed at supporting India’s startup ecosystem. The pair teamed up back in 2018 to identify and support promising B2B enterprises in the country, and have since diversified the scale and scope of their collaboration.