Microsoft has announced the launch of a programme that aims at incubating and supporting 10 start-ups that are focussed on cloud technologies. The four-month incubation programme has been introduced in Seattle, U.S., and Israel.

The programme was launched in Beijing on May 22, along with the media announcement in Bangalore. The programme, ‘Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure', will host 10 select “early stage” start-ups on-site for four months and take them through a deep immersion programme. Start-ups can apply online till July 1, and any entrepreneur who is building applications that can be built using the cloud platform and can operate in any business or market segment is eligible.

These candidates will work out of Microsoft Research India's Bangalore office for four months. At the end of the programme, they will be provided an opportunity to interact closely with venture capitalists and angel investor firms, some of which are partnering with Microsoft for this venture.

A contest for ‘early stage' tech ventures

Qualcomm Inc. announced the third edition of its venture investment competition, QPrize, in India to identify the most promising ‘early stage' tech ventures.

Announcing the launch of the QPrize initiative in India, Avneesh Agrawal, Qualcomm's senior vice-president and president of Qualcomm India and South Asia, said in a release: “Through QPrize, we are looking to identify breakthrough ideas at early stages and help them grow by providing entrepreneurs with mentorship, investment support and exposure to the global technology ecosystem.”

This contest is open to those who have technological ideas in the field of consumer/enterprise applications and services, communication devices, semiconductor and component technologies, mobile platforms, digital media and content, healthcare technologies and services, and cleantech. The deadline for business plan submissions is August 17, 2012.

Writer meets book lovers of SAP Labs India

Sahitya Akademi award-winning author, playwright and novelist, Kiran Nagarkar, interacted with employees of SAP Labs India. The author was speaking at a meeting of Literati, a books interest group at the ERP solutions company.

Mr. Nagarkar spoke with employees of SAP Labs India on a wide variety of topics. He also read excerpts from his latest novel, The Extras, a sequel to Ravan and Eddie, which traces the adult lives of ‘Ravan' and ‘Eddie' as extras in Bollywood. He shared his views on literature, playwriting and the relationship between an author and reader.

Talk on ICT and policy

The inaugural lecture of the third Indian Journal of Law and Technology – Centre for Internet and Society lecture series will be delivered by Rohan Samarajiva, a policy expert in the field of information and communications technology. He will speak on ‘Tariff regulation in South Asia' on the National Law School of India University campus on Sunday from 5.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. The hour-long session will include a lecture and an interactive session with the speaker.

Mr. Samarajiva is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LIRNEasia, an ICT think tank. Those interested may contact