Microsoft Ventures and Deshpande Foundation have joined hands to launch a startup incubator together in India. The startup incubator will be called Sandbox Startups and will have an aim of nurturing startups in tier 2 and 3 cities of the country. According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 23rd August, Saturday, the collaboration would last for three years. The MOU was signed in the esteemed presence of Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Former Minister, Government of India, Dr. Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande, Founder, Deshpande Foundation, Mr. Naveen Jha, CEO, Deshpande Foundation, Mr. Rajinish Menon, Director, Microsoft Ventures in India and many other industry leaders.
The Deshpande foundation has its operations in Canada, USA and India. Sandbox Startups is the foundation’s honest effort in the direction of building an ecosystem to nurture Innovative entrepreneurs.
Sandbox Startups will act as a launchpad for all the budding entrepreneurs and their startups in the tier 2 and 3 cities of the country. According to Naveen Jha, CEO, Deshpande Foundation, Sandbox will help the budding entrepreneurs validate their business ideas, develop products, sharpen business acumen and launch solutions to the competitive market. He further added, innovations done by startups under Sandbox startups will add vibrancy from those at the bottom of the pyramid to the ecosystem.
According to him, the objective of the partnership between his foundation and Microsoft Ventures is to work hard in an inclusive manner so as to ensure that all the stakeholders which include, early stage entrepreneurs, students, advisors, mentors, academia, high net worth individuals and corporates, remain active participants in the innovation ecosystem.
Through this partnership, the foundation is also planning on launching a brand new skill development program so as to ensure that entrepreneurs and students have proper access to cutting edge technology training.
According to Rajinish Menon, Director, Microsoft Ventures in India, his company’s partnership with the Deshpande Foundation has an aim of engaging and interacting with small town entrepreneurs in their journey of hardwork from ideation to maturity. He also added, Microsoft has always been a forerunner in helping incubators dish out products and raise capital to fund their own growth. This eventually ends up benefiting the country’s budding entrepreneurial ecosystem.