Microsoft for Startups Meets Stakeholders, founders to Explore Opportunities

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Ugo Aliogo

The Microsoft for Startups team had a meeting with key players in the Nigeria tech community to deepen its relationship and explore ways to foster collaborations needed to grow the startups space.

According to a statement made available to THISDAY by the company, the Startup Advocacy Lead, Microsoft, Simona Cotin, expressed Microsoft’s desire to deepen its relationships with Africa’s emerging tech scenes, work with root communities and the organization’s interest, “to be heavily invested at the core of African startups operations while collaborating and facilitating the development of products and solutions that would grow the space.”

In his remarks, the Executive Director of TechCircle, Oo Nwoye, stated the importance such gatherings would create and Microsoft’s remarkable activities on the continent.

“Microsoft is doubling down on the continent and it’s a great thing that they want to take inputs rather than move with their ideas. They are trying to engage critical stakeholders to find out what interests them, how they could help and TechCircle is delighted to facilitate this maiden meetup for the Microsoft for startups team. I am very excited, not just because of the plans but because of the actions Microsoft has already taken,” Nwoyo noted.

The General Manager for Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana, Akin Banuso, noted that the event is the first of many platforms Microsoft is deliberately creating to meet with, and understand the startup community, market developments and how Microsoft can support startups.

According to him, “Now is a good time, the market is exploding and we as a company is open and ready. We have the tools, expertise and experience of doing this globally, and we see that Nigeria is a young vibrant space. Our mission is to empower every organization to achieve more, and we’ve realized that helping the ecosystem to grow will eventually grow the market and the region. Also, the more prosperous people are, the safer the environment is. Obviously, we’ve created superior solutions that startups using our platforms could leverage to scale exponentially.

The Managing Director of the Microsoft African Development Center, West Africa (ADC), Gafar Lawal, in the statement affirmed Microsoft’s intentions to spur the growth of emerging businesses and how the organization has consolidated its commitment to the scene with the establishment of ADC.

Lawal said: “We’re probably the first company of our size investing in putting engineering centres in Africa and building what we sell right out of it. We’re using local talents and are actually amazed by the level of talents we’re finding locally. Currently, we have centres in West Africa (Lagos) and in East Africa (Nairobi) and plan to cover the rest of Africa while looking for ideas we can support to improve the communities we happen to be in.

“We are happy to partner with local talents and incubators, help them get to where they need to be through sponsoring and training, and possibly investing in them. We’re always on the lookout locally, for features or product ideas with potential for global impact. Such ideas interest us because our goal is to be good global citizens and to help develop potentials from everywhere we can find them. This goes in line with the vision of our founder to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

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