Microsoft Airband Initiative Grant Fund
The Microsoft Airband Initiative Grant Fund seeks to support, grow, and scale innovative businesses that are developing technologies, services, and business models that help billions of people affordably get online and gain access to energy. Annual grant fund applications are now closed. Please check back in December 2018.
Who we fund
We fund early-stage internet access and energy access start-ups. We are also interested in technologies and business models enabling connectivity in the agriculture, education, and healthcare verticals. This includes pre-Series A companies with a working solution, paying customers, and a strong business model with the potential for scale. Commitment to utilizing the Microsoft Cloud Platform and services in underserved market is a plus.
Our annual grant application process opens in December and closes at the end of January. Round one and two reviews occur throughout the months of February and March. Applicants invited to round three will be notified in April, with award announcements taking place in May. We encourage you to review our class of ’17 grant fund winners, as well as past grant recipients, to better understand the kinds of companies we fund.
Grant winners are invited to participate in our annual Grant Fund Summit in September, which encompasses a peer-based mentorship and accelerator week at Microsoft’s Corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington, USA. Ongoing calls, meetings, marketing, PR, and storytelling activities take place throughout the year to encourage cross-cohort collaboration and partnership.
Electric Vine Industries
Electric Vine (EVI) is a private microgrid developer that brings sustainable, pre-paid, and smart-metered energy access and income generation opportunities to unelectrified households throughout Southeast Asia.
Kukua Weather Services
Kukua is a social enterprise that aims to close Africa’s weather information gap, and in turn, help farmers improve their crop yields. Kukua endeavors to be the primary source of accurate, hyper-local weather information across the continent.
Sigora International is a micro-utility energy system provider that utilizes specialized hardware, web-managed software, and simple, mobile-enabled, and pay-as-you-go pre-payment solutions designed for emerging markets.
Solaris Offgrid uses a modular, pay-as-you-go, mobile payment platform that offers affordable access to energy, education content, and connectivity to more than 1 billion people.
Standard Microgrid aims to reinvent the African utility industry via its containerized, micro-grid in-a-box solar packages. Locally managed, solar powered, micro-utility grids are built to provide hyper- efficient power to homes and communities.
SunCulture aims to help smallholder farmers improve their crop yields through solar-powered irrigation systems. SunCulture’s grant will focus on expanding the current irrigation system with sensors, camera technology, and drones for pest-control and imagery.
VABB is a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) that uses fixed wireless technology in both the unlicensed and licensed frequency ranges to provide high-speed Internet to both unserved and underserved rural communities within Central and Eastern Virginia.
TEAM PicoSoft aims to provide affordable, high-speed Internet services in rural Nepal, where difficult geography makes it exceedingly challenging to deliver broadband through traditional means.
VisionNet provides Internet access to rural University students in the DRC, where only 3 million out of 79 million people have access to the Internet. VisionNet aims to alter the DRC’s digital divide with their Internet through Cyber Cafe's.
ARED developed a solar kiosk platform to bring last mile distribution of prepaid services and digital connectivity to people.
Ekovolt Telco Limited is a telecommunications and information technology company revolutionizing broadband access in Nigeria.
New Sun Road
New Sun Road implements solutions to climate change and global energy poverty, providing electricity, health clinics and education in remote environments.
C3 deploys wide area network infrastructure and offers outsourcing, maintenance and end-to-end network management services.
Vista Africa was founded to provide innovative health information solutions for underserved populations and unaddressed medical needs.
AirJaldi implements economically and technically sound connectivity packages and related services for local partners.
Zaya Learning Labs
Zaya is on a mission to change the education landscape around the world for the better.
Wifi Interactive Network (WIN)
Wifi Interactive Network's provides an mSaaS platform that allows brands to capture registration, demographic data as well as brand offtake data and proof of purchase.
Kelase is connecting students,facilitators, teachers and parents to make it easier for them to communicate and collaborate.
Tambero is helping farmers in more than 150 countries to improve their yields and reach a higher production level.
Axiom is working to deliver critical broadband services to rural communities and to connect them to each other and to the world.