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Microsoft's Head Start to accelerate start-ups

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Head Start will help strengthen the local start-up ecosystem, says Microsoft SA.
Head Start will help strengthen the local start-up ecosystem, says Microsoft SA.

Microsoft SA has introduced Head Start, an online support programme aimed at boosting tech start-ups by giving them open access to a range of skills development resources, coaches and mentors.

The platform provides start-ups with access to a variety of tools, such as Cloud Society, a digital training hub which provides training courses such as Introduction to Python, Securing Data in Azure and SQL Server, and Essential Mathematics for Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The programme, according to Microsoft, provides direct access to coaches and mentors who focus on three mentoring categories: Technology (app development, data and AI, DevOps, cloud platform, security, business apps, modern workplace), business development (marketing, human resources, finance, business development), and legal (General Data Protection Regulation, security and compliance).

Head Start helps tech start-ups innovate in the cloud, while strengthening the local start-up ecosystem and preparing them to sell to the global marketplace, Microsoft notes.

"As a company whose mission it is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more, we understand how critical entrepreneurship is, especially in the South African context where job creation is vital if we are to improve our economy," says Lionel Moyal, commercial partners lead at Microsoft SA.

Through Head Start, Microsoft SA can help grow tech start-up businesses by opening the right doors at every stage of their journey, explains Moyal. Start-ups can select one of the more than 10 high-level partners, such as Sepia Solutions, First Distribution and Rectron, to work with.

The programme also provides access to over 100 Microsoft Azure services, a platform on which to build their products and services, and Office 365 tools.

According to research conducted by IDC in partnership with Microsoft, the adoption of cloud services will generate nearly 112 000 new jobs in SA by 2022.

"When we talk about empowerment, we simply mean that with the right tools, anyone can become anything. By connecting tech start-ups with a worldwide network of customers, cloud architects, business development experts, and the latest cloud technologies, Microsoft wants to nurture and evolve these start-ups into fully-fledged Microsoft partners," concludes Moyal.

Register and join the Microsoft South Africa Head Start programme here.

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