Microsoft to offer up tech resources to B.C. startups in 2020

Microsoft Canada office in Vancouver | BIV file photo

What happened: Microsoft, B.C. Tech Association launch joint partnership to support startups

Why it matters: Local startups will soon gain access to the tech giant’s resources to help them grow

B.C. startups wishing to tap into the resources of a global tech giant are getting an early present from Santa.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) announced Wednesday (December 18) it will kick off 2020 by offering up its technical resources, business experts and cloud services to the province’s startups through a partnership with the B.C. Tech Association.

“By leveraging Microsoft’s cloud marketplace, enterprise sales team, and trusted technical resources, this partnership accelerates our mission to make B.C. the best place to grow and scale a tech company,” B.C. Tech Association CEO Jill Tipping said in a statement.

The new program, being facilitated through the tech giant’s US$500-million global Microsoft for Startups initiative, will see the partners hold a series of joint events aimed at early stage companies in the coming year.

Microsoft said more information about the joint events will be available in the coming weeks.

Microsoft for Startups offers all early stage tech companies a free Azure account and 12 months of free services.

But qualified startups can receive as much as US$120,000 of free Azure cloud computing resources for two years, as well as exclusive coding events, one-on-one consultations and additional technical products.

Qualified startups are judged based on whether they can serve Microsoft’s customer base, and typically have been around less than five years and generate less than US$10 million in revenue.

Among the companies highlighted on Microsoft for Startup’s website is Vancouver-based 1QB Information Technologies Inc. (1QBit), which announced last month it was partnering with Microsoft on its new Azure Quantum offering.

Azure Quantum’s tools are aimed at making quantum computing more mainstream for developers and customers, and 1QBit, known for developing quantum software specializing in chemistry and finance, is the only software partner involved.

“We’re excited to expand our work in B.C. by engaging with local founders, offering our resources, and helping them grow and scale their companies to achieve new innovations,” Adam Nanjee, the managing director of Microsoft for Startups Canada, said in a statement.