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Microsoft launches tool to help startups

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Tech giant Microsoft has launched the Startups Founders Hub, an open platform created to help startup companies deal with a number of commonly-faced challenges, it announced on Tuesday.

“Startups play a pivotal role in a thriving ecosystem given their outsized ability to push the entire ecosystem forward,” the company said, explaining that despite being essential in the pursuit of innovation and growth, by some estimates, over 90 per cent of startups tend to go out of business during their first 12 months of operation.

Microsoft designed the platform around real-world feedback from a large number of entrepreneurs, building it around three core ideas.

Firstly, the hub seeks to help startups overcome barriers they traditionally face during their early stages, such as venture capital requirements or third-party validation.

Secondly, the platform aims to help accelerate growth by giving founders free access to GitHub and the Microsoft Cloud, with additional benefits potentially becoming available in the future.

“To address the unique needs of startups, we are also partnering with innovative companies like OpenAI, a global leader in AI research and deployment, that develops AI systems such as GPT-3 and Codex to provide startups with exclusive benefits and discounts,” Microsoft said.

Finally, the Startups Founders Hub aims to eliminate the problem of insufficient networking or a lack of contacts, since the platform allows startups to connect with industry veterans, access bespoke startup-centric training material, as well as receive specialised technical guidance.

“Our ambition is to make the global startup ecosystem more representative of the world at large regardless of background, location, progress or passion,” Microsoft for Startups vice president Jeff Ma said.

As an experienced founder, access to a diverse network – to validate ideas, get advice and coaching – was instrumental in my success and is something we aim to provide to every founder through the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub,” Ma added.

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