Rahul Sood is an interesting guy, creator of VoodooPC (which was later sold to HP) and he also sits on the board of Razer. He currently works at Microsoft as the general manager of Microsoft Startups. He announced today on the Microsoft blog that BizSpark, Bing Fund, and Accelerators would be unifying, through the creation of Microsoft Ventures.
Microsoft Ventures Community: Anyone with a great idea can benefit from the Community program. Microsoft is providing easy access to technology and resources to help entrepreneurs explore how to turn a great idea into a business in several different ways:
· The BizSpark program will continue to offer access to Microsoft tools and technologies, including Windows and Office, Visual Studio, Windows Azure and more.
· Locally-supported partnerships with approximately 200 startup-focused organizations around the world like Startup BootCamp, Enterprise Ireland and Telefonica’s Wayra.
Microsoft Ventures Accelerators: Once entrepreneurs realize the business potential of their ideas, they can apply to an immersive 3-6 month accelerator program. Along with Microsoft-owned and operated accelerators currently in Bangalore, Beijing, Paris, Seattle and Tel-Aviv, we are expanding to further locations including Berlin, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro.
At a minimum, applying companies must have a full-time founding team, a bold vision for tackling a real problem, technologically driven solutions and less than $1 million raised. The accelerators provide access to business mentors, technical and design experts, development tools and key resources to help entrepreneurs take the early steps toward turning their ideas into businesses.
Seed Funding from Microsoft Ventures: Microsoft is evolving the Bing Fund by adding additional funding to support even more startups. Startups can receive direct funding from Microsoft after achieving early business success. That may mean having a viable product in market with demonstrated customer traction, a full-time founding team or alignment to Microsoft domain expertise, including enterprise software, big data, security, artificial intelligence, advertising, gaming, SaaS and cloud services.
Source: Microsoft Blog