Entrepreneur

Microsoft’s latest innovation: An Indian hotline for startup advice

Ravi Gururaj, Dr. Rathan Kelkar, Joseph Landes, and Rajinish Menon officially launch JumpStart, a hotline that answers business and technical questions for startups and entrepreneurs.

Above: Ravi Gururaj, Dr. Rathan Kelkar, Joseph Landes, and Rajinish Menon officially launch JumpStart, a hotline that answers business and technical questions for startups and entrepreneurs.

Image Credit: Microsoft Ventures in India / Facebook

Startups face all sorts of vexing questions. Now they have a place to turn for advice: a toll-free hotline established by Microsoft.

Seriously.

The initiative, called JumpStart, comes from the Indian branch of global accelerator program Microsoft Ventures. It may seem baffling to folks outside the country, but Microsoft India’s Joseph Landes argues 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.”

Microsoft says it’ll apply what it learns from the hotline calls to improve the Microsoft Ventures program.

JumpStart answers calls during business hours Monday through Friday (9 AM to 5 PM IST). This VentureBeat reporter called the number (1-800-200-2114), only to discover that he’d won a free cruise. Hurrah!

In other words, the number is not accessible from the U.S. — but if you do manage to dial in, JumpStart will take questions in both English and Hindi. Then you can finally get an answer to that age-old question: to use Amazon Web Services or not to use Amazon Web Services?

The answer, by the way, is Microsoft Azure.

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