Microsoft Taps MachineSense for Startup ‘Accelerator’ Program

Initiative will invest more than $500 million over the next two years to help these startups with go-to market strategies, technology and community building.


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Technology behemoth Microsoft has selected 12 startups in its ScaleUp program, formerly known as Microsoft Accelerator. Among them is MachineSense of Baltimore, which provides predictive maintenance and analytics technology for plastics processing and other industrial machinery, components and infrastructure systems, including pumps, compressors and electrical supply.

The initiative plans to invest more than $500 million over the next two years to help these startups with go-to market strategies, technology and community building. ScaleUp focuses on late-stage B2B startups and helps them accelerate their business with mentorship and business development. The initiative does not give out money.

The 12 startups—winnowed from a list of thousands—selected for the program come from industries that focus on artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data, analytics, and others. Once selected, these startups undergo incubation to the Microsoft Azure Ecosystem for six months so that their products and intellectual properties can be part of the Microsoft program for easy integration and total device security. After that, there is a “co-seller program” between the start-ups and Microsoft in which Microsoft customer service teams work hand-in-hand with the start-up to identify opportunities with key Microsoft customers, and close sales jointly.

Each startup receives four to six months of Microsoft ecosystem innovation and entrepreneurship resources. Microsoft gives the selected companies access to its major clients, which provide a full range of market support, promote industry solutions with Microsoft Azure and help companies make new connections. On the average, participants in the Microsoft Accelerator have increased their valuations over 400%. Microsoft has also announced a $5 billion funding effort to establish itself strongly in the Industrial Internet of Things security and programs.

MachineSense is one of two U.S.-based companies among the dozen selected by Microsoft, and the only one with a position in plastics. Says Conrad Bessemer, CEO of MachineSense and auxiliary-machine builder Novatec, “One key differentiator that attracted Microsoft to MachineSense is our ability to provide a complete solution. MachineSense will be the first in the Azure Ecosystem to merge hardware, highly refined data statistics plus advanced first-party analytics that can be applied to a range of devices right out of the box which makes MachineSense an attractive solution for Microsoft’s vertical sales teams.

“With the alignment within the Microsoft Ecosystem and the existing partnership with Siemens Mindsphere Industrial platform, MachineSense is now positioned as the most secure and accepted predictive-maintenance system in the market today, he adds. “Microsoft has been pioneering advanced security systems for industrial devices and MachineSense will be the only predictive-maintenance system to benefit from this platform to date—which will assure the highest level of data security and protection for industrial clients, not only backed by MachineSense but by Microsoft and Siemens.”

Bessemer notes that MachineSense, Microsoft and Siemens will be jointly marketing and selling products in industrial accounts throughout the world, “dramatically extending the reach and valuation of MachineSense...and affording customers the confidence of the backing and security that comes from Microsoft and Siemens.”