What a week! After four intense days of app development, technical and business sessions, and Windows Phone love, we closed out the week with our Demo Day today. Last night, the startups and MAW team went for a networking dinner, which was a good chance to unwind at the end of the week. Representatives from Microsoft, Nokia, Techcoire, and Skype were in attendance, along with each of our startup developers and management teams.
Companies arrived this morning after working hard yesterday in time to put the finishing touches on their mobile apps and presentations for the day. Shortly after lunch, Brian Hoskins, Director of Business Development on Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team, kicked things off with a wrap-up for the week and next steps in the MAW program. Following today, the startups will have 60 days to submit their apps to Marketplace. Microsoft technical evangelists and UI experts will be assisting along the way. Following submission, each company will be featured three times on Marketplace, a great opportunity to drive early downloads and visibility. The startups will also be eligible for BizSpark Startup of the Day, a guest blog on this site, and promotion via social media channels. Microsoft Advertising will help with monetization via consulting sessions and special concessions on ad sales. The startups here are also very interested in adopting Windows Azure, especially with the new BizSpark Plus program that provides free hosting for a period of time.
Archify, Frootfal, Base CRM, Milestone, Blue Butterfly, and Whisk all had a chance to present today in front of Microsoft and Nokia employees, discussing their companies, business problems they are solving, and demoing their applications. The enthusiasm of the teams was especially impressive this week, as each team worked diligently on their app. The event was streamed live via Twitter. We had a range of early stage companies such as Blue Butterfly, Whisk, Archify, and Frootfal, up to later stage companies, Milestone, Hailo, and Base CRM. The group as a whole has raised nearly $60M, with several seeking their Series A rounds soon. From what we saw today, the future looks bright for these startups.
Several startups, including Whisk and Frootfal, will be launching first on Windows Phone as a result of their work this week. We loved seeing how quickly the startups adopted the Metro UI and took advantage of APIs and unique features of the platform. Base CRM and Blue Butterfly are pushing forward on new features such as NFC, mobile wallet, and OCR.
This is the last MAW we have on the current calendar, but we’re planning to expand the program next year to additional cities and countries. A big congratulations goes to Team MAW and all the startups who have participated so far. If you’d like to apply to a future MAW you can find out about the application process here or on the MAW homepage.