Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, has announced an investment of $100 million in research, development and entrepreneurial programs in Brazil, in the Barão de Mauá building, a historic heritage site of the city of Rio. Microsoft executives today outlined the key components of the investment in a public ceremony in Brasilia with Marco Antonio Raupp, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, and Aloizio Mercadante, the Minister of Education.

Microsoft is set to open a business accelerator in conjunction with the City of Rio, through its investment promotion agency, Rio Negócios (Rio Business) to support 15 start-ups over a period of 24 months.

Start-ups will receive all the support provided by the project, including mentoring for in the areas of administration, management, finance, legal, public relations, marketing, design, development and sales channels; support in the development and implementation of business plans; operational support offered by angel investors and mentors; technological support, by which all participants will have access to Microsoft software, training, capacity building and technical support; a physical space to host each start-up and availability of meeting rooms to receive clients and partners; and business networking opportunities for start-ups to be put in contact with partners and potential investors.

In a post released on its website,Michel Levy, general manager, Microsoft in Brazil said “Our hope is to foster the exchange of knowledge amongst research teams, universities, start-ups and the Brazilian market, supporting the City of Rio’s transformation into in a great technological hub.”