Microsoft has announced it is investing $500 million over the next 24 months in a new initiative designed to help startups realise their ambitions.

Charlotte Yarkoni – Corporate Vice President, Growth and Ecosystems at Microsoft, blogged that Microsoft for Starups will give early stage companies ‘access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits’ that can help them scale their businesses.

“We are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems. Startups are an indisputable innovation engine, and Microsoft is partnering with founders and investors to help propel their growth,” she said.

Charlotte added that the programme provides access to resources that can ‘prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their cloud solutions to enterprise organizations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organization and partner ecosystem’.

Participating startups will also get ‘up to $120,000 in free Azure credits’ to harness its range of cloud computing services.