Microsoft announced that Bala Girisaballa will be leading Microsoft Accelerator in India as CEO-in-Residence. He took charge of the Accelerator’s India operations, with effect from August 1, 2016. Microsoft also announced that Ravi Narayan, Director, will now assume the role of Global Director at Microsoft Accelerator.
Bala will lead the Accelerator’s efforts to help market-ready startups and entrepreneurs to scale up and become successful businesses through the technology enablement, global go-to-market efforts and deep business advisory in the form of Hi-Po and Scale-Up programs. Prior to this, Bala was with Zinnov as Partner & Practice Head helping MNC R&D companies.
Ravi Narayan, in his new role as Global Director, will help Microsoft Accelerator in eight locations around the world to become market-ready, focused and accelerate these startups that have or will raise institutional funding from VCs. He will also focus on scaling the startup acceleration model through global partners.
Early last year, Microsoft Accelerator in India redesigned their programs to cater to market-ready startups. Since then, it has graduated three cohorts which include startups like iBot, CustomerXPs, Altizon, CloudCherry and Reverie Technologies. It has also formed partnerships with Temasek, TCS, Citi, Reliance Industries and other Multinational Corporates under its corporate engagement program #CoInnovate, to help the startups in their go-to-market efforts and global expansion.
Ravi Narayan is the Global Director at Microsoft Accelerator in India, the leading startup accelerator in APAC. Prior to Microsoft, Ravi was the Managing Director at Mentor Partners, a Seed Fund based in Bangalore, which he established as a brand name in India and Southeast Asia.
He is a pioneer in the Venture Catalyst space in India. He has worked for the last decade in building institutions for supporting entrepreneurship in India. He has mentored numerous startups in not only raising capital, but also guiding them towards market access for accelerated growth. A seasoned entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience building high performance teams that collaborate across various functions to execute for consistent results, Ravi has taken several companies from startup through growth to exit, both in the US and in India.
He is a founding chair of PAN-IIT in Washington DC, TiE Entrepreneurial Summit (TES) in Bangalore and the NASSCOM's Product Conclave in Bangalore. His mission is to help create thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world by tapping into the right market dynamics, and creating a strong infrastructure for innovation initiatives.
Bala Girisaballa is the CEO in Residence at Microsoft Accelerator in India. He leads Microsoft’s efforts to help later stage startups and entrepreneurs in India to scale up and become successful, sustainable businesses. He has over 20 years of global experience that spans across technology, product strategy, innovation and business development.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Bala was Partner & Practice Head of Zinnov, a leading management consulting firm helping MNC R&D companies. He has rich experience in building successful global products from concept to launch; having been associated with leading technology companies like Yahoo, Oracle and Infosys. At Yahoo, he was responsible for founding and growing the Yahoo! Entrepreneur Network. Bala is an entrepreneur himself, and has founded two startups - Purplefront and NineMotion. He has also mentored many startups over the years.
An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Osmania University, Bala lives in Bangalore with his family. In his leisure time, he loves coding, reading and traveling.