Microsoft has agreed to provide tools, knowledge and technical training for projects supported by Wayra, Telefónica’s accelerator programme for technology startups which launched in the UK last month.
Under the terms of the deal, Wayra entrepreneurs will have access to Microsoft’s BizSpark programme, providing access to and licenses for Microsoft software development platforms, subscription to developer content within Microsoft Developer Network, technical support sessions and visibility within Microsoft Partners and Mentors Network.
They will also receive subsidised access to Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform for up to two years – a service worth up to $60,000 (£37,000).
“The first three years for start-ups are usually the most critical and raise more challenges for their long-term success,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International. “This agreement will allow us to reach more entrepreneurs worldwide helping them to accelerate their good ideas and develop great companies.”
Telefónica launched its tenth Wayra academy in central London last month, following the success of similar programmes in Spain and Latin America. The three-year, multi-million-pound programme gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to win investment of up to €50,000 (£42,000), as well as access to the new central London workspace.
Applications to the London Wayra academy closed on 22 April with over 1,000 UK-based tech startups applying to gain one of 20 spaces at the Academy. The applications will now be shortlisted down to 30 with the final selection invited to attend “Wayra Week” in May.
Overall, Wayra has invested in more than 100 startups worldwide. It plans to open more academies in Europe (Dublin, Munich and Prague) by the end of this year, and hopes to fund 350 European technology startups by 2015.
Telefónica said the partnership with Microsoft would have a global reach.