Every year, Microsoft hosts a VC Summit involving 100+ Microsoft senior executives and 200+ venture capitalists with a stated objective of sharing the strategic roadmap of the company, highlighting the famous "white spaces" in their plan (i.e where they don't plan to invest R&D efforts in the next 12 to 24 months) and creating a unique networking opportunity. The latter is the most obvious benefit of the event, because of the concentration of senior executives (VPs and Corporate VPs) leading the different business lines. Whilst there is a large proportion of Silicon Valley VCs, a number of East Coast and European ones also make it to the Mountain View campus.
Most large technology vendors have VC relationship programs, facilitating access to corporate resources for partnerships, development support and M&A. But the scale at which Microsoft does it is unique. And the fact that they fly 60+ executives from Redmond to meet us here, as opposed to organizing the event in Redmond, is also a sign of commitment to engaging with VCs "where things happen".
Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.