Y Combinator and Microsoft: Inspiring Ideas Through Partnership

Today, Scott Guthrie and I joined Sam Altman, to announce a partnership with Y Combinator, one of the world’s leading startup accelerators. 

Microsoft has long been committed to startups, to helping them solve unique challenges, in ways that they value. At Microsoft we are fortunate to have forged strong partnerships that together bring unique value to Startups globally.  This relationship is one that will allow us to continue evolving by talking to, working with and learning from startups and from a great partner like Y Combinator.

Partnering with Y Combinator is both an extension of our commitment to startups, as well as an expression of Microsoft’s culture and values to add greater value through partnering, than by going it alone. We continue to invest in the Startup ecosystem and to look for opportunities to foster innovation around the world, both directly and through our partners.

This partnership is emblematic of this commitment.

As Microsoft’s Chief Evangelist, I have the opportunity to work with, and hear from, great technology leaders from companies of all sizes.  But across these conversations, startup founders are unique in that they are simultaneously tackling two massive challenges: 1) building a new product and in some cases, a new product category and 2) building a new business and in some cases, a new business model

Within the context of these conversations, our focus is to offer foundational services and platforms that enable startups to do more of what they value: innovate, be nimble and flexible, to build quickly, and to differentiate their products. 

In this pursuit, Microsoft will provide Y Combinator’s current class access to Microsoft Azure and a broad suite of Microsoft technology, as well as support.  This will include $500,000 in Microsoft Azure credit, three years of Office 365,  as well as direct access to Microsoft’s engineering teams – for Y Combinator’s Winter 2015 batch of startups.  It is our hope and intention that this partnership will support these startups in defining and scaling their businesses, focusing upon innovation and developing differentiated products.

I’m also pleased that we have the good fortune of working with partners like CloudFlare and DataStax, who have committed offers of their, own in support of the YC class. 

Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, also announced the partnership on his blog today, which you can read here…  

We are very excited to work with Y Combinator, YC founders and their teams – best of luck to the January 2015 class!