Today the BizSpark team is pleased to announce BizSpark Plus, an extension of the Microsoft BizSpark Program. BizSpark Plus will provide exceptional Microsoft offers to high-potential startups through a global network of BizSpark Plus Partners selected from leading incubators and accelerators.
BizSpark Plus Partners are chosen from local markets based on their track record of attracting and working with world-class startups. Here are just of few partners who have already joined as BizSpark Plus Partners:
There will be several offers from Microsoft through this program, the first being Windows Azure for BizSpark Plus, that allows our partners to provide up to $60,000 of Windows Azure compute and storage per startup over two years.
Our goal is to help startups grow their business and by offsetting startups’ cloud computing costs, this enables startups to spend time and money elsewhere – focusing on solving their business challenges, learning from their users, hiring more developers, investing in marketing and promoting their business or getting new customers.
Over time, we will be extending additional offers through our BizSpark Plus Partners. For more information about the program, visit http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/plus.
Guest Blog by Debbie Landa, Dealmaker Media
Announcing a Call for Companies
The rise of webscale businesses like Google, Facebook and Linkedin have permanently changed consumer expectations in the workplace. As business units are demanding real-time data on customers, IT needs to transition from an operations role to a hybrid like Dev/Ops or App/Ops to manage petabyte size data sets, create scalable infrastructures, and enable rapid application development. As we enter a new era of IT disruption, early adopters that are quick to capitalize on disruptive technologies will lead the market.
The question remains: Which technologies will emerge as the new standards?
If you are trying to sell CxOs of Heads of IT/Architecture like:
Art King, Global Infrastructure Architecture Lead, Nike
Jerome Labat, VP of R&D, Cloud Automation Product Unit, HP Software
Alan Boehme, Chief Enterprise Architecture, Business Innovation & Emerging Technologies, Coca-Cola
You should to present at Under the Radar to meet these buyers in person!
Deadline to Apply: January 20th 2012
APPLY NOW http://www.undertheradarblog.com/nominate-to-present/
Categories we're interested in:
Platforms | Big Data | Developer Tools | Analytics/BI | Mobile | Enabling Tools | Infrastructure | Automation | Performance Management
APPLY TO PRESENT: http://www.undertheradarblog.com/nominate-to-present/
Become an Under the Radar Alumni:
Boomi, Box.com, Cloudkick, Dotcloud, Eucalyptus, Heroku, New Relic, Urban Airship, Zuora and many more!
Are you "Over the Radar" but still have something cool to share?
Apply for the Graduate Circle - http://www.undertheradarblog.com/graduate-circle/
PAST SUCCESS STORIES:
66% of presenting companies have raised over $2.4 Billion in funding.
23% have been acquired by leading companies such as Google, Microsoft, RIM, Dell, Joyent, etc.
NOW ITS YOUR TURN! APPLY NOW
Want to move to the cloud but have concerns on how to monetize and manage your solution? Attend Microsoft’s Azure Acceleration Webcast (Phase 1) and Workshops (Phase 2) that are uniquely designed for Startups. Participating will enable your company to go to market with your company’s cloud offering quicker and reduce the risk by educating you on the effective implementation of Windows Azure applications.
Cloud is growing and Startups are seeing strong benefits from moving to the cloud. Benefits include:
· Reduction in Operational Costs
· Increase in Revenue
· Faster Time to Market
· Reduced Risk
Continued support. Phase 1 is the Azure Acceleration Webcast (agenda shown below) is designed to get you started to operationalize in the cloud and monetize. However, in order to ensure your comfort level we are not done after the webcast, we will continue to assist you along the way of development — simply register for Phase 2 Azure Acceleration Workshop near you. Engage in a highly interactive, multi-faceted business discussion leading to a tactical roadmap for developing and implementing Windows Azure cloud offerings in market.
Business Decision Makers, Technical Decision Makers, Architects, Development Leads, CEO, CTO, CMO/Product Manager, Head of Sales, Head of Support
Phase 1: Azure Webcast Agenda
*Full Session Overviews Available on Registration Page
Windows Azure Description and Positioning
We’ll talk about how Microsoft views the cloud, where Windows Azure Platform fits into our cloud strategy and advantages of the Windows Azure Platform.
SR. Platform Strategy Advisor
Cloud Enablement and Operations
Aditi will share its experience and best practices in helping companies accelerate their move to Software as a Service built upon the Windows Azure Platform.
Deploying and operationalizing applications on the Windows Azure platform needs careful planning and the right tooling. In this session, we will talk about the best practices in successfully running a scalable application.
VP Cloud Service of Aditi
Founder & CEO of Opstera
Aditi and Opstera
Metanga will provide an overview on how you can quickly monetize your SaaS or Cloud offering by simplifying enrollment, account management, subscriptions, billing, payments, entitlements and online customer support.
EVP & GM Metratech Corp.
Director of Product Marketing
• Sign up for Azure Acceleration Workshop near you
SR. Platform Strategy Advisor, Microsoft
Phase 1: Register Now For Azure Acceleration Webcast
Date: Friday February 24th , 2012Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm (EST)Online: Live MeetingLevel: 100-200Attendee Raffle:
Attend and complete a post webcast evaluation to enter to win an Xbox 360 Kinect!
Also Register Now for Phase 2 (Azure Acceleration Workshop)(space is limited):
Key Objectives - As stated above, after the Webcast the next stage is to continue to assist in development via the Azure Acceleration Workshop. Details as follows:
Ø Understand requirements for successfully developing and operating Windows Azure based solutions
Ø Determine provisioning/mgmt and billing strategies
Ø Develop potential integration plans for implementing specific applications leveraging Cumulux/Aditi and Metanga services.
*Full Session Overviews Available on Registration Page
Phase 2: Azure Acceleration Workshop
Space is limited for the workshops, register today to ensure your seat today!
Alpharetta Workshop Registration
Cambridge Workshop Registration
Chevy Chase, MD
Chevy Chase Workshop Registration
Guest blog by Anette Nørgaard
The Kingdom of Denmark: the Southernmost of the Nordic countries, bordered by Germany, Sweden and Norway. Its governance comprises three countries: Denmark itself, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Original birthplace of the legendary Vikings, it also happens to home to a vibrant entrepreneur community. I’ve been mentoring and working with startups in Denmark for many years and I can definitely say that despite economic challenges, we’re seeing a lot great business ideas developing here.
And, like those warriors of old, many Denmark’s startups are setting their sights on global roll-out. This is hardly surprising – like lots of European countries, the size of the domestic market limits potential growth and so, pushing beyond national boundaries is imperative to long-term survival (as well as being good news for the local economy of course).
It’s easier said than done, but here are a couple of examples from the BizSpark community where that Viking spirit is working. MailTalk™ has created an ingenious platform for “digital dialogue”. This cloud-based solution addresses the growing trend towards engagement marketing, where organizations want to have rich, more tailored contact with audiences, but in a controlled and integrated way. It overcomes the challenge of having multiple data and communication tools or platforms (ERP, CRM, CMS, email, etc). Although this is a very young company (it only launched its platform in late 2011) it is already attracting a lot of interest from some big organizations.
Further down the track is Pixel Pandemic, whose ‘Zombie Pandemic’ game has been a huge hit. This is a classic start-up that spotted a gap in the market. It has tapped into the interest in browser-based games - particularly the explosion of game applications on Facebook - and has created a feature-rich gaming platform that appeals to more ‘serious’ players of massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG). Once again, being on the cloud has helped the company accelerate: the “the Azure model means we can build a global business without investing in our own IT infrastructure,” said CEO Thomas B. Krogh-Jacobsen.
Last but not least is Little Beacon, which has successfully launched mobile solutions aimed at productivity (for instance, ERP). Once again, this is a company based on the Azure platform, which has made it easier for the company to scale and build expand into other countries. Little Beacon is already doing very well in the US.
Of course, it’s hard to be successful without a helping hand, which is why working with our local BizSpark Network Partners is so important. Take startup City (also one of the first partners for our Windows Azure for BizSpark Special Offer), based in Århus, providing office space, mentoring and all kinds of support for local startups within the BizSpark community.
Another example is SCALEit is a Silicon Valley based organization promoting Danish entrepreneurship. It has big ambitions: to engage more than 1,000 entrepreneurs in Denmark, bring +75 startups to Silicon Valley for a one-week SCALEit camp, put +30 companies through a 3 months accelerator program in Silicon Valley and ultimately help these companies explore their full growth potential. We look forward to sending more BizSpark start-ups in their direction.
These companies are just the tip of the iceberg. Denmark is definitely a country to watch, especially those startups who have global ambitions. So watch out for the Vikings!
By Brett Laffel
On Thursday, January 19, Microsoft will play host to the Founder Institute’s Founder Showcase. This one will be extra special. For the first time, the event will feature TheFunded.com’s Entrepreneur Investor Awards, where Founder Institute will celebrate the top startup investors of 2011, and discuss the prospects of 2012 through a series of on-stage discussions with renowned angels and VCs, including Mark Suster, General Partner at GRP Ventures, Mike Maples, Jr., Managing Partner at FLOODGATE, and Dave McClure, Founder Partner at 500 Startups. Guests will also see an entertaining Pitch Competition featuring 8 promising seed-stage companies. We’ll also have appetizers and drinks in a networking hall where a number of other hot startups will be demoing their companies in a Demo Table Competition. Eager entrepreneurs and networkers take note: we are expecting over 150 startup investors in attendance!
In addition, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of the Strategic and Emerging Business Team, Dan’l Lewin, will be in attendance and he will be there to talk to startups. Our General Manager of the Developer and Platform Evangelism team, Matt Thompson, will also be there for the event. I’ll be there (proud member of the BizSpark team!) as well. Want to talk to me about your startup? Learn more about the BizSpark program and how Microsoft can help your company? Come find me at the BizSpark table or tweet me @BrettLaffel to meet up.
Founder Showcase is a quarterly startup pitch and networking event that gathers approximately 500 top technology CEOs, investors, and early-stage companies in Silicon Valley for one action-packed day to hear talks from leading CEOs, and help launch promising startup companies to greatness. Founder Institute is a global network of startups and mentors launching hundreds of technology companies per year. There are Founder Institute locations across the globe. Microsoft partners with Founder Institute in a number of these locations in our continual efforts to support startup founders all over the world. Our goal in doing so is to serve as great partners to the startup community and to foster a strong startup ecosystem worldwide whereby entrepreneurs have the resources available to grow their companies into long-lasting flourishing corporations.
Questions? Contact Brett Laffel at Brett.Laffel@microsoft.com
I look forward to seeing you there!
Today at our campus in Mountain View, we are hosting the 9th Founder Showcase.
BizSpark exists to help early-stage technology startups succeed around the world (now in 100 countries with 45,000+ startups) and it wouldn’t be successful without our partners: incubators, accelerators, advisors, investors, government agencies, mentoring groups, foundations – all supporting software-fueled innovation and the next generation of technology entrepreneurs.
In less than three years Founder Institute has launched over 415 companies in over 20 cities across four continents, and growing.
The Founder Institute is arguably one of the largest organizations for entrepreneurs to receive advice and mentoring, helping them create meaningful and enduring technology companies. A four month pre-seed incubator program, you receive expert training, feedback, and support from experienced startup CEOs. The ‘Bonus Pool’ also shares equity upside with all participants, creating local, teamwork-based ecosystems where great startups can flourish.
We’re delighted to be deepening our relationship with Founder Institute in five centers where Microsoft and FI will partner on Startup Acceleration: Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Santiago and Singapore.
Founders will have access to Microsoft resources in each of these cities, including:
Of course, BizSpark is available to all Founder Institute class participants and graduates. Sign up here if you’re not already a member.
One lucky FI graduate, and BizSpark member startup, from the recent semester in Hanoi, Jakarta or Singapore will get a spot to deliver an Alpha Pitch on stage at DEMO Asia in Singapore in a few weeks.
By Guy Kawasaki
Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts I’ll be doing as part of a partnership with Microsoft and Office Web Apps. Over the next two weeks, I’ll cover everything a budding entrepreneur needs to turn an idea into an enchanting investment opportunity—from the perfect pitch to a killer business plan to financial forecasts.Read more: http://bit.ly/wUqY0K
By Sharon Koshy
Over the past few weeks, here’s a sampling of news highlights of members of the BizSpark One program, identifying a small number of the best companies in BizSpark, which is now comprised of over 45,000 startups.
Week of January 1-7, 8-14 and 15-21:
Guest Blog – Mike Sigal, Agile Credit
Apply before January 13, 2012The 2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge is your opportunity to introduce your Financial Technology or Services startup or innovation to potential investors, partners and customers from over 9,700 financial institutions and corporations. Regional semi-finalists meet face-to-face with hand-picked decision makers in New York (Feb 8), Bangkok (late April), or Belfast (late June).
Finalists will present at SIBOS the world's largest financial industry event to compete for global recognition, exposure and a share of $50K in cash awards. Apply for the NYC Challenge Showcase by January 13, 2012 at http://www.innotribestartup.com/
By Ruud De Jonge
Look at the glass – what do you see? Is it half full? Is it half empty? To a lot of start-ups, neither matter because they see a third way. Maybe they can do something totally different with the glass and on a big scale. And it is this ‘out of the box’ thinking that is behind a whole new generation of start-ups, who if we give them a chance, could bring revenue into Europe and create jobs.
Despite economic conditions, we are in the midst of an unprecedented period of technology innovation. Technology is revolutionising the way that consumers and businesses innovate, work, play, learn, think and communicate on a massive scale.
And that is proving to be a big catalyst for European start-ups to launch use the latest technologies, clever business models and to make an impact. In fact, small businesses are arguably in a stronger position, because they can be more agile and flexible, whereas big established companies may be hindered by legacy processes, technologies and thinking.
For example, all the time I’m seeing small businesses build solutions in the cloud that disrupt the status quo. Using cloud, these start-ups can ‘dream big’ from day one and can go from idea to global launch and revenue generation in a much shorter time period than previously possible. Take for instance the two BizSpark start-ups at our CIC Conference: Atomblock’s Electronic Software Distribution platform means that even small games publishers can sell online, without big up-front investment. MailTalk’s clever solution overcomes the problem of having lots of separate communications tools by integrating them in one place.
But innovative technology doesn’t make business easy. We have a collective responsibility to help new entrepreneurs to build tomorrow’s economies. We need to foster innovation by giving start-ups easy access to technology and support, plus help them find funding and customers.
That’s why I’m passionate about some of the initiatives within Microsoft, such as DreamSpark and Imagine Cup, which are both aimed at students. Our BizSpark program gives start-ups free access to technology, support and visibility for up to three years.
Of course we are not alone and some other technology companies, plus governments and academia are increasingly waking up to the need to nurture those people who have the vision and courage to start their own companies.
It is often said that some of the most successful companies of the past three decades were started during a period of recession. Whether or not that is true, there is no doubt that Europe’s economy needs to help today’s bright sparks to become tomorrow’s technology leaders.
If you're thinking about creating a startup, do your homework and learn about lean startup. Don't spend six months coding a product; prove that people want to buy it first.
Check out Patrick Foley’s article from Visual Studio Magazine.
The 100-Year Company: An Evening with Evernote, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Sequoia Capital
Evernote isn’t like most of the Internet startups in the age of Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify. Yes, its technology helps customers collect photos, audio files, Web clips, and other digital media and store them in the cloud, but it’s not about sharing this stuff with friends. Yes, its entire business is based on the $45 annual fee it charges for premium membership, but the vast majority of its customers pay nothing. And yes, it has raised a boatload of venture capital ($95 million at last count), but it’s not in a hurry to get acquired or go public.
Evernote CEO Phil Libin has instead described Evernote as a “100-year company” that’s built to stick around at least as long as its customers’ digital memories. But in a valley where the latest tech fads rule and venture funds often last a decade or less, how do you even begin to think about making your startup last into the 22nd century?
At this special evening event, you’ll meet Libin himself, who has presided over Evernote’s explosive growth from 3 million users in mid-2010 to more than 16 million today. Sharing the stage will be Sequoia Capital’s Roelof Botha and Morgenthaler Ventures’ Gary Little, two of the key venture partners who have helped propel Evernote to success. Xconomy San Francisco editor Wade Roush will quiz the trio about Evernote’s unconventional fundraising strategy, its freemium business model, its ambitious effort to build a cross-device technology platform that will attract thousands of third-party developers, and, of course, Libin’s plans for ensuring Evernote’s longevity. As always, there will be plenty of time for your questions.
Confirmed Speakers: Phil Libin, CEO, EvernoteGary Little, Partner, Morgenthaler VenturesRoelof Botha, Partner, Sequoia Capital
Schedule: Registration & Networking: 5:30 – 6:15 pm Program: 6:15 – 7:30 pm Networking reception: 7:30 – 8:30 pm
Here’s a link to register: http://xconomyxchange3.eventbrite.com/
Questions? Contact Brett Laffel at Brett.Laffel@microsoft.com or @BrettLaffel on Twitter