World’s first startup hotline debuts in Bangalore

BANGALORE: In a first, Microsoft Ventures in India has launched a hotline for entrepreneurs to get real-time professional advice on their business and technical queries.

A team of 4 professionals trained by Microsoft will staff JumpStart who will address queries related to accounting and taxation, legal, understanding term sheets and technology. Startup queries will be routed to a team of experts who will offer necessary interventions within 48 hours. The toll free number –1(800) 200-2114 -is open to entrepreneurs during business hours from Monday through Friday and supports Hindi and English languages to begin with. Microsoft Ventures is expecting 15-20 calls in the first few days that the number could gradually go up to 500-1,000 calls a month.

Kattayil Rajinish Menon, director, Microsoft Ventures in India, said, “Sometimes answering even simple questions about how to get started or which service provider to contact can really help startups avoid delays and cost overruns. While JumpStart cannot promise the success of a startup’s business, it can definitely help by educating entrepreneurs how to get started quickly by providing information on the vast resources available today.”

Microsoft Ventures has mapped all the states in India to provide local assistance by partnering with pointspersons at the district level to process queries coming from tier 2 and 3 regions. These could be lawyers, accountants and company secretaries identified in each district. “Our experience has shown that a major pain point for startups across the ecosystem in India, irrespective of their stage of maturity, is the lack of real-time support for various critical queries they face. JumpStart fills a major gap and ensures that startups get professional advice that enables them to make smart business decisions,” said Joseph Landes, general manager, Developer & Platform Evangelism in Microsoft India.

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