By Claire Lee

On Thursday, April 5, the Microsoft Silicon Valley team hosted Stanford’s StartX accelerator class in session for tacos and conversation. We’re stoked to see StartX (based in Palo Alto at the AOL campus) become the newest member of the BizSpark Network Partner community on the West Coast.

Last week, a crack team of Microsoft’s expert engineers and evangelists were able to meet with various companies working with StartX and find out more about the applications they are creating. There are some really interesting startups at StartX and we’re excited to see how we can help them on their journey. Founders in this class are building companies in edtech, medtech, enterprise, cleantech, consumer internet, mobile, and hardware industries.

Then it was time for entrepreneurs to hear from Dan’l Lewin, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Strategic and Emerging Business Development, who gave a great insight into the Valley and his own experiences, both professional and personal. During the Q&A, StartX founders fielded questions for well over an hour – asking about how Dan’l makes decisions and to what prompted him to move across the country to the West Coast from the Northeast, and of course his time working with Steve Jobs at Apple and NeXT. Dan’l spoke from the heart and the StartX startups appreciated his candid approach.

In this interactive conversation, Dan’l also shared more details on what we (in SEBT) actually do to via the Microsoft BizSpark program, providing support to the global startup community. Many of the founders told me later they were not aware that Microsoft was investing so much in helping startups and, since we met, companies are already signing up for BizSpark (and accessing Windows Azure through BizSpark Plus).

“We’re thrilled to partner with Microsoft in helping our founding teams reach their potential. Through BizSpark and BizSpark Plus, our student founders will have access to a variety of world class resources, experts, and technology to help them develop,” said Jeff Mounzer, Senior Managing Director, StartX.

“Through Bizspark, StartX founders can utilize Microsoft’s premium tools and technology, get training, and connect to other community organizations and investors. They will get 1:1 support from Microsoft engineers and be able to learn more about Microsoft platform technologies. They can also amplify their solutions to a broad global ecosystem and gain exposure through BizSpark.”

About StartX

StartX (formerly SSE Labs) is the Stanford student start-up accelerator designed and developed to provide a place for the best Stanford founders to quickly develop. Their mission is to accelerate the development of the highest-potential Stanford founders through experiential education, enabling them to create serious impact. They represent and support all students at Stanford (from undergrads to PhDs and postdocs, in any discipline), and, as a non-profit 501(c)(3) there is no charge (equity or otherwise) for participating in their program. They provide access to a community of the best Stanford founders, serial entrepreneur mentors, real time and individualized information, and resources that startup founders need to accelerate the growth of their companies.

About Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft® BizSpark® is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, and providing marketing visibility. The program also includes access to Windows Azure, a flexible, comprehensive, and powerful cloud platform for the creation of web applications and services. In addition, BizSpark offers technical support, business training and a network of over 2,400 partners to connect members with incubators, investors, advisors, government agencies and hosters. Since it was established in 2008, more than 45,000 companies in over 110 countries have joined BizSpark. Learn more about our BizSpark partnerships.