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Microsoft Unveils its Own Blockchain-based Service

IBM and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have already started Blockchain-based services

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Joining the Blockchain bandwagon, Microsoft has unveiled fully-managed Azure Blockchain Service that would simplify the formation, management and governance so that businesses can focus on workflow logic and application development.

Instead of supporting cryptocurrency transactions, Azure Blockchain Service will let businesses develop their applications on its Cloud-based platform.

Microsoft has also announced a partnership with J.P. Morgan to make “Quorum” (an enterprise-focused version of open-sourced platform Ethereum) the first ledger available in Azure Blockchain Service.

“Because it’s built on the popular Ethereum protocol, which has the world’s largest Blockchain developer community, aQuorum’ is a natural choice,” Mark Russinovich Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Azure, said in a statement.

“Quorum” customers like coffee-chain Starbucks and luxury French fashion brand Louis Vuitton can now use Azure Blockchain Service to quickly expand their networks with lower costs.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

With a few simple clicks, users can create and deploy a permissioned Blockchain network and manage consortium policies using an intuitive interface in the Azure portal.

“We are delighted to partner alongside Microsoft as we continue to strengthen ‘Quorum’ and expand capabilities and services on the platform,” said Umar Farooq, Global Head of Blockchain at J.P. Morgan.

Also Read- Impact of Online Learning

IBM and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have already started Blockchain-based services.

“With Azure Blockchain Service and Ethereum integrations for tools like VS Code, Microsoft is demonstrating its commitment to open Blockchain development,” said Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum. (IANS)

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Microsoft’s Corporate Venture Fund to Empower Women-led Enterprise Startups in India

In a recent study by MassChallenge and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), women-founded businesses delivered more than two times as much revenue per dollar invested than their male counterparts

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FILE - A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

In a bid to empower women entrepreneurs, Microsoft corporate venture fund M12 on Thursday partnered with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures to announce $6 million competition for women-led enterprise startups in India, the US, Europe, Canada and Israel.

In its second year, the “Female Founders Competition” will help accelerate funding for women entrepreneurs developing software-as-a-service (SaaS) and deep tech solutions.

Four winning companies will receive a total of $6 million in venture funding, along with access to technology, resources, mentoring and other benefits, the company said in a statement.

“The tech industry can’t afford to keep leaving women’s good ideas on the table. We need to level the playing field for female entrepreneurs, and together with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures, we aim to do just that with our second Female Founders Competition,” Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Microsoft.

Submissions for the competition are open from October 17 to December.

Companies will be eligible to apply if they have at least one female founder, have raised no more than $5 million in combined equity funding and/or debt loans upon date of application, and offer or intend to release a product, service or platform addressing a critical business problem for a global market.

A live finals pitch competition will take place March 18-19 2020, with the announcement of winners to follow shortly thereafter.

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FILE – Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Two enterprise software startups will earn investment awards of $2 million each, and two deep tech startups innovating through substantial scientific and research advances will earn investment awards of $1 million each, said Microsoft.

Early this year, Microsoft announced that its corporate venture fund M12 will invest in Indian startups with a funding size of $2 million to $10 million.

M12 announced its first India investment in the healthcare SaaS (software-as-a-service) startup called “Innovaccer”.

Also Read: Scientists Discover Mash-Up of Two Feared Disasters – Hurricanes and Earthquakes

As the corporate venture arm for Microsoft, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) invests in enterprise software companies in the Series A through C funding stage.

In a recent study by MassChallenge and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), women-founded businesses delivered more than two times as much revenue per dollar invested than their male counterparts.

“We are thrilled to partner with M12 and Pivotal Ventures on this innovative Female Founders Competition, through which we will find and invest in women creating built-to-last enterprise companies,” said Navin Chaddha, Managing Director, Mayfield. (IANS)