Unlocking opportunities by bridging the gap between startup solutions and enterprise challenges

For most startups, breaking into the enterprise market can be a challenge. The sales cycles are long, regulatory compliance is daunting, and making sure your product can handle the scale and reliability that enterprise buyers demand can be tough.

Today we are excited to unveil the Microsoft for Startups Pegasus Programme, which connects growth-stage startups to thousands of Microsoft’s top customers. The program is an extension of our Founders Hub platform and provides startups additional support by driving top-line revenue for those that have already achieved product-market fit in industries, including AI, health and life sciences, cybersecurity, and retail. The program acts as a matchmaker, identifying enterprise customers with business challenges and connecting them with the right startup solutions.

In pilot, the program has already helped over a hundred startups land enterprise customers, with an average deal size of $350,000.

“Many startups struggle when it comes to enterprise sales,” said Andy Pandharikar, Founder and CEO of Commerce.AI. “Working with Microsoft for Startups helps us understand how enterprise customers look at and purchase new innovative products, and through this programme we have been able to close nearly $1 million in deals.”

The program is currently invite-only and we select startups from our Founders Hub community who are building with Microsoft technology. The programme provides:

  • Opportunity generation: All startups chosen for the programme receive support from industry experts, who will help generate sales opportunities in their sector and act as a trusted advisor.
  • Go-to-market support: Startups will work with go-to-market experts from Microsoft to ensure they have the best resources for generating and developing deals.
  • Access to Microsoft technology: Startups will also get a dedicated Cloud Solution Architect (CSA) supporting their technical success, preferred access to Azure’s AI offerings, and up to $350,000 in technology credits spanning Azure (including Azure OpenAI Service), GitHub, and LinkedIn. CSAs serve as a single point of contact for startups to ensure they are technically prepared to engage with enterprise customers, facilitate compliance and security checks, and advise on architecture.

“At Merck, we seek innovation in digital life sciences technologies,” said Geof Hannigan, Executive Director & Principal Scientist at Merck. “Working with enterprise-ready startups like those in the Pegasus Programme is important to develop digital-enabling technologies that can advance drug discovery and development.”

At Microsoft, we are always looking for ways to empower every person and organisation to do more, and so we’re excited to help startups accelerate growth through the Pegasus Programme.