Empowering Startups: Deep Dive into Microsoft AI
Published Nov 27 2023 07:00 AM 1,437 Views

In a recent blog post (AI Innovations Shine at Microsoft Build: AI Day London), we introduced the one-day event, Microsoft Build: AI Day, a special opportunity for learning about and exchanging ideas on AI. Surrounding this event, both a pre-event and a post-event were held at the Reactor in London providing further opportunities for startup customers primarily working on developing AI-powered solutions to delve deeper into the world of AI.


On October 12th, the week before Microsoft Build: AI Day, Microsoft Cloud Advocates hosted an event called The Quick AI Decode and following the main event, on October 26th, they hosted a post-event titled A Practical Guide to Building a Successful AI Startup. During these events, they introduced Microsoft AI as well as Microsoft's startup support program, Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub.

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Darshna Shah, who is active as an AI MVP and whose comments were featured in our previous article, participated in both events. She served as the moderator for the Microsoft Founders Hub Startup Panel Session at The Quick AI Decode event, and as a speaker for the session titled Data and AI Solutions, a view from the Community at the A Practical Guide to Building a Successful AI Startup event.

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The panel was an amazing opportunity to explore the journey of two phenomenal AI entrepreneurs,” Darshana looks back at her discussion at The Quick AI Decode event, where she served as the moderator. She also shares some highlights, “Tim El Sheikh from Nebuli had explored some less common routes to market by not taking on external investment to maintain the authenticity of the company proposition and Thelma Onyeka from the Akama Fund delved into how we can leverage and build on top of open-source tools to propel the value creation within businesses. The consistent theme that resonated throughout our discussion were the top tips these visionaries shared about cutting through the noisy AI hype bubble by solving real world challenges with cutting-edge technology in a lean in, fail fast approach. The raw honesty through which Thelma and Tim conveyed over-coming challenges in a rapidly growing market was the highlight of the panel.


Moreover, Darshna emphasizes the significance of such events for startups that wish to better utilize Microsoft AI. “Throughout the panel discussion and preceding sessions, entrepreneurs and startups were guided through invaluable advice and resources they could leverage to bring their ideas to life rapidly; whether through the thousands of industry and technology specific experts available to mentor startups, through their creative journeys or through quick start demos and available Azure resources that empower organisations to bring tangible demos to their customers. The support provided by Microsoft clearly showed the deep commitment to supporting startups beyond just free credits”.


And finally, we received a message for all community members who are eager to grow with Microsoft AI.

The Microsoft community is one of the most welcoming and friendly technology communities I have the privilege of being a part of. My advice for people looking to grow and get involved would be to come along to meetups, conferences, and hackathons – get stuck in co-creating and engaging with the community. You will be surprised how quickly you can learn and grow and empower others to join the community too. This is one of the themes Dona Sarkar and I picked up during our panel discussion on bringing more diversity into the technology creative processes”.


No matter how incredible the power of AI is, users first need to understand the mechanisms of how it integrates with other related technologies, and the business cases where AI application can be beneficial. For this reason, there are various opportunities to delve into technical information, such as attending global conferences like Microsoft Ignite, training sessions or self-studying on Microsoft Learn. And as Darshna conveyed in her message, we recommend joining a technical community for learning and growth. The community offers unique moments that are hard to find elsewhere—technologies are explained in an easily understandable way from the perspective of users with a common interest in AI, stories that you can only hear within the community are shared, all leading to growth through interactions with peers.


The Microsoft Build: AI Day, including its preceding and subsequent related events, provided an opportunity not just to learn about the latest AI technology but also to network with others, offering a community aspect to the enjoyment. We hope that this event will lead to an increase in AI knowledge, an expansion of the community network, and we eagerly anticipate the emergence of new AI solutions from the many startups that have delved deeper into Microsoft AI as a result of this occasion.

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