Microsoft selects 12 businesses for Internet initiative

Software major Microsoft has awarded Affordable Access Initiative grants to 12 businesses to scale their solutions and business models to increase Internet access in communities.

The US-based technology company has selected Zaya Learning Labs and AirJaldi from India to offer seed grants and resources including BizSpark tools such as free software, services and technology support to extend the reach of their hardware, applications, connectivity and power solutions.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its decision to invest $1 billion to utilize cloud technology to serve the public good, including by expanding the availability of affordable broadband services, new commercial partnerships and expanded philanthropic programs.

Power Solutions

African Renewable Energy Distributor (Rwanda)

New Sun Road (Uganda)

Hardware Solutions

Zaya Learning Labs (India)

Connectivity Solutions

AirJaldi (India)

Axiom Technologies (United States)

C3: Communications Consulting Centre (Malawi)

Ekovolt (Nigeria)

Wi-Fi Interactive Network (Philippines)

Application Solutions

Kelase (Indonesia)

Movivo (United Kingdom) (Argentina)

VistaBotswana (Botswana)

Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, said: “Recipients of grant are already addressing a range of challenges that take advantage of last-mile access technologies such as TV white spaces.”

In addition to financial support, grant recipients will have access to the following:

# A network connecting social enterprises with peers and mentors to develop and share best practices

# Participation in annual immersive summits and monthly virtual touchpoints, alongside ongoing support from Microsoft’s Research and Development team

Microsoft Philanthropies will make digital literacy, online safety and computer science education programs available through its global YouthSpark initiative, as well as cloud product donations and training for non-profits.