Lightning Lab joins forces with Microsoft Ventures

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New Zealand’s leading startup accelerator is partnering with Microsoft Ventures to provide local entrepreneurs with mentorship, support and access to top technical and business talent.

Lightning Lab director Dan Khan says having Microsoft Ventures as a partner is a huge endorsement for the programme and a benefit for participating companies.

“It’s great to have this significant partnership with an organisation like Microsoft Ventures, alongside other great programmes like 500 Startups and SeedCamp,” Khan says.

“We have been working hard to build on the success from Lightning Lab 2013.

“While the hard work is still ahead, this partnership is extremely encouraging for the startups in the programme and for the investors who have put their money back into Lightning Lab.”

Lightning Lab 2014 will start on March 3 and provide some of the most promising startups in New Zealand with an immersive 12-week programme to accelerate their ideas and bring new ventures to market. The teams selected for the program will be announced in the next week.

Thiago Almeida, technical evangelist at Microsoft New Zealand, leads the mentoring involvement in Lightning Lab from Microsoft Ventures.

The startups in the program will gain access to the latest tools and resources provided through the Microsoft BizSpark programme, free tablets and smartphones. Founders will also benefit from direct access to technology experts, support and mentorship from Microsoft’s international network.

“We support entrepreneurial communities all over the world and Lightning Lab is a leading engine in the New Zealand startup scene,” Almeida says.

“We see this partnership as a way to help foster local innovation across the country by working with the next generation of startups and entrepreneurs that have an opportunity to change the world.”

Lightning Lab 2014 will start on 3 March and culminate on a Demo Day on 28 May to showcase startups in the programme to the New Zealand investment community.

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