Hello, and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.

This is our Wednesday show, where we usually focus on one person — but today, we’re talking to two people! — think about their work and unpack the rest. This week, Alex spoke with Hans Yang, GM of Microsoft for Startups, and Tom Davis, senior director of Microsoft for Startups, about how the tech giant is working to integrate itself more deeply into the startup world, and all things AI.

Microsoft’s startups-facing team made TechCrunch recently for its new Pegasus program, which provides a set of benefits to startups that are accepted. That work sits next to Microsoft’s effort to provide capital to up and coming startups through its venture arm.

As traditional venture capital shrinks in a more conservative market and founders find themselves reducing costs and looking for ways to expand revenue, working with a tech giant like Microsoft could be enticing. Note startup-facing work is common at big tech companies: Google has a startups program as does Amazon.

In short, if you are a major cloud player, getting into the good graces of the next technology breakout stories is just good business.

Finally, Microsoft is close with OpenAI, which puts its work on the cloud in a different context than a year ago.

Equity will be back on Friday with our news roundup, then on Monday with our weekly kickoff show, and next Wednesday with an interview that we’re quite excited about. Until then, you can catch us on Twitter: @EquityPod.

Talk soon!

For episode transcripts and more, head to Equity’s Simplecast website

Equity drops at 7:00 a.m. PT every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. TechCrunch also has a great show on crypto, a show that interviews founders, one that details how our stories come together and more!

In a more conservative venture capital market, will big tech step up? by Alex Wilhelm originally published on TechCrunch