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Lightning Labs and Microsoft offer up $20m in cloud credits

Startups who make it into Lightning Lab programmes will now have access to an open cheque worth more than $500,000 each, to use on the Microsoft Azure platform over three years.

The partnership between Lightning Lab and Microsoft New Zealand will see more than $20 million in cloud credits provided to Kiwi startups, with the offer available to up to 20 companies in Lightning Lab XX’s female-founder accelerator and Lightning Lab Auckland’s digital accelerator programme in 2016.

Seventeen companies who participated in the 2015 programmes from Lightning Lab Christchurch and Lightning Lab Manufacturing can unlock the Azure credits immediately.

Brett Holland, head of the Lightning Lab programme for Creative HQ, says the support from Microsoft will amplify Kiwi start-ups’ ability to fast-track their early stage business ventures and access global customers faster.

Lightning Lab startups already have access to international capital and networks, given Lightning Labs status as New Zealand’s representative in the Global Accelerator Network, and Microsoft NZ has been a key partner locally since the inaugural programme in 2013.

Nigel Parker, Microsoft New Zealand director of developer experience, says startups burn cash fast because they grow fast.

“This extra support means they can focus their energy on customer acquisition and market validation knowing that they have a trusted and scalable technology platform behind them,” Parker says.

“We believe in the power of startups to bring about the innovative change we all seek in New Zealand,” he adds.

Application for the 2016 programmes are open now and close on December 18.