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Microsoft commits to accelerate growth of agritech startups in India

The agriculture industry today faces a set of unprecedented challenges, centered on adapting to the needs of a changing world. By 2050, the world’s population will require 70% more food than today and double the current global crop production.  Agriculture industry in most geographies is at an inflection point due to advances in technology, which is helping bridge the gaps of inefficiencies and information asymmetry.


Agricultural firms are looking at innovative ways to increase productivity and doing more with less. The future of agriculture lies in smart farming and digital transformation, with systems of intelligence that include cloud computing, big data platforms, IoT, predictive analytics and other new capabilities. With an end-to-end portfolio, decades of industry experience, a comprehensive partner ecosystem, and highly scalable cloud infrastructure, Microsoft is in a unique position to help agritech startups in the country build industry-specific solutions, scale across global markets and grow with industry-leading partnerships and access to deep technology, business and marketing resources.


Microsoft for Agritech Startups


Agritech startups in India are transforming agriculture by developing innovative digital solutions to maximize productivity, improve market linkages, increase supply chain efficiency and provide greater access to inputs for agri-businesses. In its efforts to bolster the country’s startup ecosystem, this program offers the best-in-class tech and business enablement resources to help agritech startups innovate and scale fast. Startups can also get access to Azure FarmBeats, which can help them focus on core value-adds instead of the undifferentiated heavy lifting of data engineering. Available on the Azure Marketplace, Azure FarmBeats enables aggregation of agricultural datasets across providers and generation of actionable insights by building AI/ML models based on fused datasets.


Spread across three tiers, the program offers a range of benefits, including tech enablement and business resources:


· All startups: Qualified Seed to Series C startups can boost their businesses with Azure benefits (including free credits), deep technical support and scale the business across markets by getting listed on the Azure Marketplace

· Co-sell startups: Startups with enterprise-ready solutions can scale quickly with joint go-to-market strategies, technical support and new sales opportunities with Microsoft’s partner ecosystem  

· Co-create solutions: Startups that are looking to create digital agriculture solutions have the opportunity to co-build customized solutions with Azure FarmBeats without investing in deep data engineering resources. Using Azure FarmBeats, startups can acquire, aggregate and process agricultural data and rapidly develop their own AI/ML models


“Sustainable agricultural technology can transform the global food landscape. Agritech startup innovations are addressing some of our key challenges connected to agriculture and food production. The Microsoft for Agritech Startups program is among the early steps in our journey towards empowering these startups in India and transforming global agricultural practices,” said Sangeeta Bavi, Director, Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India.


Bringing together startups, corporates, industry bodies, governments and venture capital firms, the program aims to create a shared platform for learning and innovation. With its strong focus on startups, advanced technology resources and a rapidly growing partner ecosystem, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help agritech startups build solutions, scale across global markets, and grow with industry-leading partnerships. To find out more about the program, please visit aka.ms/AgriTechProgram

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