Last year, Rahul Soon, General Manager of Microsoft Ventures announced that he is leaving Microsoft for his new startup. Rahul joined Microsoft back in 2011 and ended up heading Microsoft Ventures since 2012. His team operates startup accelerators and outreach in Brazil, China, India, Israel, Moscow, Seattle, and Tokyo and also operates over 100 Microsoft Innovation Centers around the world, and works with partner accelerators and incubators globally.
Today, Microsoft announced that Scott Coleman is joining Microsoft as General Manager at Microsoft Ventures. “Scott’s background working with VCs and helping startups grow is perfectly aligned to help Microsoft continue to push forward, help build the next generation of amazing software and amazing companies, and to do so, in part, by driving stronger partnerships with the venture community,” said Steve “Guggs” Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform & Evangelism and Chief Evangelist for Microsoft.
Scott explains why he is joining Microsoft,
From the few folks in the venture community whose advice I sought with this transition, two questions tended to arise: Why Microsoft and how can Microsoft Ventures help me and my portfolio companies?
First of all, the company is answering the existential question of ‘what’s next’ with an approach that embraces an open ecosystem, partnerships, and collaboration. Yes, some (many?) may scoff at this perspective, but clearly under Satya Nadella’s leadership the winds have changed. Recent partnership announcements with Dropbox and Salesforce.com, despite large investments in competing products like OneDrive and Dynamics, are indicative of this shift. Additional evidence are acquisitions of small but exceptional companies like Acompli and Sunrise that complement Microsoft’s great back-end email and calendaring experience with a breakthrough front-end mobile user experience, as well as tapping into new developer audiences through larger acquisitions like Mojang (the Minecraft developer).
Second, the deeper I dug into this opportunity, the more I realized Microsoft’s assets make it unique in the world of large cap tech companies. Microsoft boasts a leading infrastructure, development, and SaaS platform in Azure, one billion devices running Windows globally, X-Box, global presence, and a nearly unrivaled go-to-market expertise spanning enterprise and consumer markets. I believe these assets can be leveraged into deeper engagement with the startup and venture capital community – we can help you and you can help us.
And third, the company has a deep and ongoing commitment to engaging with startups.
Read more about it here.