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                      Do you have a great idea for a Windows Phone app? Figuring out how you’re going to raise money for it? You’ve come to the right place for a fresh new way to fund your project. Microsoft BizSpark has teamed up with AppCampus to offer grants for select startups in the BizSpark program to build compelling Windows Phone apps. The program offers awards specifically to BizSpark startups, ranging from 20,000-70,000 euros. Even better, the grants are just that. AppCampus don’t take equity, revenue share, or IP rights.

Want to know more about the grant?

In addition to investing 20,000 – 70,000 euros per project, AppCampus provides grant winners with comprehensive support, training in mobile technology, design and usability, and funding to create mobile apps and services. For those of you who are familiar with our Mobile Acceleration Week program, AppCampus is using this as a model for the technical training portion. When you are ready to distribute your app, Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store also offer local and global business opportunities to program participants via distribution to consumers around the world. In addition to the AppCampus grants, you will benefit from the free Microsoft software, support, and visibility provided by BizSpark.

So, what’s the catch?

There isn’t one. Simply put, we want to find (and fund) the next great ideas. AppCampus doesn’t take a portion of your profits.  They just require you to launch your app on Windows Phone or if you have already launched on a competing platform, to offer unique features and capabilities for a period of time.

What are we looking for?

  1. Startups that are innovative and are passionate about bringing their great idea to Windows Phone
  2. Ideally, the winners wouldn’t have an app in a competing marketplace or building. However, an existing app may qualify if you enhance your app significantly on the Windows Phone platform.
  3. Proactive developers who will take advantage of all the Windows Phone key features as they become available (for example maps, location-awareness, camera, Live Tiles, push notification, etc.)
  4. The best of the best. AppCampus wants apps that show design elegance, technical quality and performance
  5. Movers and Shakers! Startups that have the drive and commitment to experiment and adapt as the mobile world changes

AppCampus is particullarly interested in companies also developing on other Microsoft technologies, especially Windows 8 and Windows Azure. In order to apply, you need to be a member of BizSpark.

Ready to apply?

Simply click on the link below, and you’ll be directed to the special BizSpark AppCampus site. You’ll need your BizSpark member ID to apply. Companies will be notified quarterly of the results.  Good luck!

APPLY NOW!

Need more information?

Read the FAQs.

Not in the BizSpark program yet?

No fear! Find out more about the application process here.

About the AppCampus grants

Kicked off in May 2012, AppCampus is an €18 million joint project led and managed by Aalto University, which has a growing reputation as a hotbed of new startup companies. AppCampus offers financing and coaching in mobile technology, design and usability to Windows Phone developers.

Check out some recent exciting news from MAW alum around the world:

MAW by the numbers:

  • 13 MAW events have been completed in San Francisco, New York, Israel, Helsinki, Moscow, Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, London, a special weekend event in Shanghai, and two additional events in Delhi and Pune.
  • 175+ companies have participated in MAW events around the world
  • 129 companies have already released apps on Marketplace, with 65+ more in the works
  • 900+ media outlets have covered MAW participants

MobiTechFest in association with CTIA Enterprise & Applications™ is announcing an annual Wireless GameChanger™ Award to a mobile/wireless startup that is predicted to make a profound impact on the way, we live, work and communicate. MobiTechFest will select up to 14 global startups to be showcased to active mobile/wireless focused investors from Silicon Valley. The startups chosen to present at MobiTechFest will also be in the running to be selected to present at CTIA MobileCon Enterprise Game Changer segment on October 10th. Learn more about that opportunity here. Additionally, the judges will choose one winner who will walk away with a $50,000 prize package including legal services and a marketing package.

MobiTechFest has been showcasing promising innovations to investors since 2006. One of the challenges startups face is to get media time under a tight or any budget. Even at trade shows, they compete with the larger companies’ product launches, who also vie for  same “eyeballs” and media coverage. Now, through this unique partnership with CTIA, MobiTechFest allows game-changing innovators to present their story in front of a world-wide media audience at no cost to them.

The application deadline is September 5, and all mobile/wireless startups (seed, Series-A,B,C or restart) seeking funding between $250k and $20M are eligible to apply. Find more about the application process on the application website.

                               bonusmagnet was featured as BizSpark’s Startup Of The Day feature today. bonusmagnet is a loyalty and direct marketing technology platform based on Smartphone Apps serving big corporations helping them connect and stay in contact with their customers. The company attended MAW Berlin and published a Windows Phone application soon after. The app allows users to keep their customer cards, membership cards, and club cards all in one electronic place. You can follow bonusmagnet on their Facebook page for updated information about the company and their applications. We have seen great things from this company, and are excited to see what they produce next. Congratulations to the bonusmagnet team on their success!

Congratulations to Soundtracker on their Windows 8 application! Soundtracker is a free, online music service that blends Internet radio, social networking and location awareness. The music-streaming company is the latest MAW alum to bring their application to Windows 8. Soundtracker joins WNM Live, News Republic, and News 360 in the Windows 8 Preview Store. The company attended MAW in New York City last year and has since been working on developing not only a Windows 8 application but also a mobile app for Windows Phone 7. The WP7 app is available on Marketplace, and boasts more than 100,000 downloads across all platforms. The apps makes it easy to discover and play the music that friends and neighbors are listening to. Users can even comment on friends’ stations, chat, check out the latest music, and more. The app allows access to any artist and any genre from the largest music catalog on Internet radio with more than 11M songs for free. Users can also create their own radio stations and share them with friends via Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare and check out over 5M lyrics.

Check out some screen shots from Soundtracker’s awesome Windows 8 app:

A special congratulation goes to WNM Live on the release of their Windows 8 app! The press release was covered on multiple news outlets including the Sacramento Bee, StreetInsider, and Yahoo. WNM Live is a social discovery network that introduces users with people nearby and lets users connect with them anonymously. The company attended MAW in San Francisco last year and released their Windows Phone application in December. Since MAW, the team has been hard at work developing not only their phone application but also their application for the Windows 8 preview. And, all the hard work has paid off! With well over 156,000 downloads on all platforms, WNM Live is making quite the splash in the mobile industry. Now breaking into the Windows 8 world, that download number is guaranteed to increase an enormous amount.

WNM Live is the most recent MAW alum to join the ranks of Windows 8 applications. Fellow San Francisco MAW participants News Republic and News 360 have also released Windows 8 previews apps. All the companies have published mobile applications that can be found on Marketplace.

The WNM Live Windows 8 app can be found on the Windows Store Preview page.

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.

Yesterday’s Networking Dinner

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.

Final Prep 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.

A Demo Day Presentation

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.

A Demo From Base CRM

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.

London is abuzz this summer, with the Olympics next month and Wimbledon taking place this week. Today in Green Park nearby the Microsoft offices, the WWII Memorial was unveiled and our startups were treated to an airshow by the Royal Air Force above the office this morning. The excitement at MAW London just keeps coming! After the unexpected events yesterday, the startups returned this morning ready to tackle more development.

After a busy week of content, most of the day was spent focusing on technical support and 1:1 business consulting sessions. With Demo Day coming up tomorrow, Brian Hoskins, Director of Business Development on Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team, discussed what to present and logistics for the day.  The startups will be presenting:

  • Their company (founding team, background)
  • Their app (business need/pain point solved, what it does)
  • What they accomplished at MAW

Each company will have 15 minutes to present, along with a live demo of their app. Many of the startups are gearing up for another funding round too, so Brian shared some best practices on how to do a venture capital pitch.

Brian’s Presentation

William Coleman, Product Marketing Manager, presented on UI design and resources available for developers in the UK.  He shared several links including Ubelly Blog, Windows Phone User Group, and Design and developer camps.

Today, Brian had the opportunity to meet with Blue Butterfly and Milestone. Blue Butterfly is a recently launched startup taking on the NFC space. They have developed an app that allows you to connect to a WiFi in any location by simply tapping on an NFC sticker. The company recently won an investment from Telefonica and will be unveiling their WP app this fall with the WP8 launch. Milestone is focusing on the video surveillance space. They are developing an app for Windows Phone that allows you to monitor your security cameras remotely, from anywhere in the world. The team recently raised a $27M funding round and is aggressively expanding in the enterprise, SMB, and personal security segments.

1:1 Session with Frottfal

This has been an intense and productive week, but we’ve had a lot of fun learning about WP and building our apps. Demo Day promises to be no less exciting as we see the great work our startups have been doing!  Follow the event progress on Brian’s Twitter or using the hash tag #MAW.

Fire alarms, pints of beer, and app development. Today turned out to be quite the exciting day at Mobile Acceleration Week in London! The participants arrived early this morning after a long day two of app development, looking forward to another great day of sessions and 1:1 consulting. No one was expecting what the day would actually bring.

The day started with java and morning app development. It’s only Day 3, and several of the startups already have working prototypes, all the while participating in our educational sessions throughout the day. With the Windows Phone 8 and Surface announcements last week, we’ve been getting a ton of questions on the new platforms. In particular, we’re seeing a lot of interest in support for native code and the new mobile wallet solution, which will allow for credit card payments, in-app purchases, and physical transactions. Joe Belfiore, CVP of the Windows Phone division, joined us virtually with a demo of the new platform. The NFC integration will be a boon to many of the developers here, including Blue Butterfly, which is developing an easier way for people to connect to WiFi in coffee shops, restaurants, and other locations.

Marketplace and Monetization Session

The next session of the day was Marketplace and Monetization with Brian Hoskins, Director of Business Development on Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team. Today’s presentation covered how to launch and get promoted, what makes a great app, and what the merchandising team looks for when featuring apps on Marketplace and Marketplace Extras. The three criteria for Marketplace are functionality, utility, and delight. Apps that have seen the most success are those that are taking advantage of unique features of the platform, including Live Tiles, Hub integration, and App Connect. Brian discussed the importance of building a mobile first application and cited examples of MAW companies that have been successful in this area, including Entetrainter (MAW Helsinki) and Soundtracker (MAW San Francisco).

Lunch Break

The big excitement of the day was a fire alarm in the building, which forced all of us to evacuate along with the other 800 employees in the office, in the middle of Brian’s presentation. We all knew our apps were hot, but no one expected them to set fire! Not to be deterred, the group headed straight to a local pub for pints. The Brits sure know how to run a fire drill. Fortunately, it proved to be a false alarm, and everyone returned safely to the building.

Fire Alarm Photo Op

Today, Brian had the opportunity to meet 1:1 with Frootfal. Frootfal is developing an intelligent shopping engine for consumers to discover the best deals, including cash back offers from merchants. They have built their service on Windows desktop and are moving to the Windows Phone platform this summer. The new application will be running on Windows Azure, ensuring a safe and secure way for consumers to shop. They just signed a major distribution deal with Daily Deal Superstore in the U.S. and U.K., promoting them in over 6,000 cities worldwide. Watch for great things to come from this startup in the coming months.

After a busy week of content and presentations, most of tomorrow will be spent with development time, technical support, and 1:1 business consulting sessions. Our group of startups has been particularly active on Twitter. Follow along for our updates throughout the day, using the hash tag #MAW. Check back tomorrow for a day three update or Twitter for the most updated info.

After a successful first day and a late night of app development, our intrepid startups arrived this morning after a much needed rest, ready to take on Day 2 of MAW. Wimbledon is underway at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, but all eyes will be on the All-Windows Phone Cardinal Place this Friday for MAW Demo Day. Judging by the progress so far, it’s going to be an exciting one! Our group of startups here has raised the most venture capital money of any outside the U.S with a total of $55 million. And, we even have a celebrity in our midst. Nick Holzherr, Founder of Whisk, was a finalist on The Apprentice UK and is a local teenage hearthrob.

Our Whisk Celebrities

Our first session of the day was a technical deep dive of Windows Phone with Microsoft technical evangelist, Mike Ormond, Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft. After refueling for lunch, we dived into cloud computing, with a session on Azure development. As part of MAW, participants will be eligible for the BizSpark Plus program of free Azure services for a period of time.

Some App Development Time

Today, we welcomed a special guest, Daniele Calabrese, Founder and CEO of Soundtracker, the location based mobile radio app and two-time MAW alumnus. Daniele discussed how MAW helped Soundtracker, ways to benefit from the program, and his experience partnering with Microsoft and Nokia. Daniele showcased Soundtracker’s brand-new Windows 8 app which will be available at launch. The startups asked him about his decisions to develop on the platform and how he leveraged MAW to secure partnerships. Soundtracker has been particularly successful in this area, having signed a distribution deal with Nokia to localize the app in 24 languages. Soundtracker will be launching as part of the Facebook timeline soon, part of a select group of companies to have this. You can watch Soundtracker’s Microsoft BizSpark video or their feature on the Nokia Developer site for more information on the company.

Soundtracker Presentation

Today, I spoke with Archify, an early stage startup based out of Vienna, Austria. Archify has developed a platform for people to save, analyze, and search their web-based activity. The service will save each website you’ve visited, adding metadata such as geolocation, time of day, and categories. Users can access their history and search from a personalized site. They see mobile and tablet as a significant growth area and are developing a Windows Phone app for users to find information on the go. They are also considering Azure to run their backend. I’m excited to see how the app turns out, as this could be an extremely useful app in the age of interconnected devices and social networks. The company recently raised a round of funding and is relocating to Berlin.

For dinner, the startups enjoyed a delicious French meal from HouseBites.com, a fellow BizSpark company. It was great to see a BizSpark company feeding other BizSpark startups! After dinner, startups continued development as we ran late into the night. The participants are looking forward to another big day tomorrow.

Our group of startups has been particularly active on Twitter.  Follow along for our updates throughout the day, using the hash tag #MAW. Check back tomorrow for a day three update or Twitter for the most updated info.

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