PLUG Cambridge: Pitch Off

Most recently I had the opportunity to meet the staff at a local co-working spot in Cambridge called PLUG. I know what you are thinking, another co-working spot. True, but this one is a bit different. PLUG has a great story. It started many years ago in Sao Paulo Brazil to help connect local startups and entrepreneurs with resources they need. The overarching purpose was to help fuel business ideas. Fast forward a few years and they are in 5 different locations in Brazil. They just opened the Cambridge location early this year and have a great group of resources and startups already.

The one item that stood out to me is how they are helping the community outside of your standard co-working space. What I mean by that is there is a Latino bent to their space. Their founders and staff are all Latino and are really trying to build something special. They have big plans and I look forward to work with them to help fulfill it.

I saw with my own eyes the magic they have with the first annual PLUG Pitch off on October 6th. There were 8 companies that participated in the 3 minute pitch off. There was no requirement for industry but at least one of the founders needed to be a non-US founder.

20161006_225439827_ios

The judging panel was made up of Slava Heretz (Founder of Intellibookkeeping), Christian Na (Previous General Counselor Rosetta Stone, Start-up Mentor), Rich Palmer (Founder of Gravyty,  Founder of OvenAlly) which did a great job of providing constructive feedback to each of the founders.

Prizes were plenty. Cash awards, in-kind donations and even space at Plug. My contribution was to provide the winner with a Microsoft Sponsorship into our BizSpark Plus program.

20161006_224200793_ios

The list of companies that participated were:

Architectures – AI-based Architectural design. Empowering dramatically building design professionsal through AI on the Cloud

Biomag – Smart materials for diagonsing heart valves

CareAcademy – Educational platform for caregivers

dibind – Marketplace for selling small and large items on a hyper local scale

dot Learn – Video comression for online learning in under privilege countries

Eventbox – Platform and marketplace for all of your event needs. Expedia meets LinkedIn.

Gems – General Emergency Medical supplies

My On Campus Chef – Culinary event platform

Therapeutic Innovation – Cost effective device to help prevent premature birth deaths with respirtory failure.

Tyme – Wearable device embedded in clothing that monitors your breathing during exercises

Waterfall – IoT water measurement and control platform designed for large scale commercial deployments.

I look forward to work with a few of these companies in the short term as well as the PLUG staff on the upcoming events!

 

Entrepreneur Week

Entrepreneurship Week Event: Turning Your Ideas into a Reality

In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week, Microsoft Boston and Microsoft Natick will be hosting free two-hour special events for aspiring entrepreneurs and early-stage startups. You’ll hear a keynote address from a successful startup founder and a panel of local entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship experts will be sharing insights and taking questions. Later you’ll have the opportunity to network with other local startups and entrepreneurs and to hear about Microsoft BizSpark and other business solutions offered by Microsoft.

Boston event featuring keynote speaker:
Gilad Rosenzweig, Founder, Smarter in the CityPanelists:
Cathy Waters, Director, Emerson Launch
Jack Kelly, Founder, iRecover
Vicky Wu Davis, Founder, Youth CITIES
Natick event featuring keynote speaker:

Taneshia Camillo, Founder, The Haute House Design Studio

And panelists:

Bridget Neville, Senior Statistical Analyst, Ariadne Labs
John Miller, Executive Director, MRECo and Serial Entrepreneur
Suzan Czajkowski, Digital Marketing Consultant & Communication Coach, Constant Contact

Westfarms event featuring keynote speakers:

Joshua Drew, Microsoft Tech Evangelist
Seth Goodall, SBA Regional Admin
Johnna Scott, CT Innovations

Panelists will include:
Ashley Stone, Beauty Entourage
Neil Shah, Avitus Orthopedics

Don’t miss this opportunity to get your business idea up and off the ground. Spots are limited and filling quickly.

Register today at

aka.ms/BostonEntrepreneur

aka.ms/NatickEntrepreneur

aka.ms/WestfarmsEntrepreneur

Contact Eliza Mulcahy, Community Development Specialist with questions at elmul@microsoft.com.

Download Presentation: BizSpark-Westfarms

Microsoft Ventures Northeast Events

Microsoft Ventures (MSV) info event in Boston and New York is taking place soon. You’ll get to learn about the next MSV Accelerator focused on Machine Learning, network with MSV folks from Seattle, and learn how to apply. Please find details below.

NEW YORK
DATE: October, 21, 2015
TIME: 6-8 PM
LOCATION: NYU, Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship
REGISTRATION: http://aka.ms/domoredata-nyc

BOSTON
DATE: October, 22, 2015
TIME: 6-8 PM
LOCATION: Venture Café
http://aka.ms/domoredata-boston

Since we assume you’re coming straight from work, light apps and drinks will be provided. RSVP while there’s still room!

Microsoft Ventures

Microsoft Ventures is a global initiative empowering entrepreneurs around the world on their journey to build great companies. We’re focused on building partnerships with venture funds, angel investors, incubators, accelerators, corporate executives, and at the core startups, as well as run its own accelerators around the world. Our goal and objective is to help scale and grow startups by giving them a great working environment, access to mentors and service providers, free technological tools and connecting them to Microsoft’s customers and business partners. The next batch of the program opens on Feb 2016 and it’s going to be themed around Machine Learning and Data Science. We will be targeting startups that are a more mature than previous batches – such that raised $1M-$1.5M, with an existing product and maybe even initial traction.

 

The 4-month program offers the following unique and distinctive benefits to the startups:

  • No Equity Program – all the benefits in the program are totally free, takes no equity or any other type of payment or special rights in the companies.
  • Access to Microsoft facility in downtown Seattle, the startup hub in the city.
  • $25K no-strings attached one-time gift to cover travel and living expenses
  • Technology agnostic – companies can be accepted to the program using any technology they want. It’s up to the company to decide whether they use Microsoft’s technologies to boost their growth or use any other infrastructure that fits their need.
  • Having said that, startups that choose to use Azure will enjoy the help of the ML product group in architecting their solutions to the right size and using the cutting edge services Azure ML offers.
  • Access to the Microsoft distribution channels – Microsoft Ventures is committed to help startups who have relevant products to our customers and partners get connected to them through our massive distribution channels. In addition, startups will receive assistance in getting set up on the Azure Marketplace allowing the Microsoft sales reps to sell their solutions with higher incentives.
  • Free of Microsoft Azure – startups in the program will be automatically enrolled to BizSpark Plus program and be credited for $500K of cloud usage (storage and compute) for 3 years, to be used in their own pace. This allows the startup to focus on the crucial business aspects of their company.

What’s in it for Microsoft?

From the experience Microsoft Ventures has acquired in the last 3.5 years, working with hundreds of startups from all around the world, we noticed startups are choosing to use Microsoft’s infrastructure because they see the great value in partnering with us. We would like to give more startups the opportunity to enjoy the values we provide them and create more partnerships for Microsoft.

 

Apply today at aka.ms/domoredata

 

Hartford Area Microsoft Events

sign-me-up-2

I wanted to share these upcoming events in the Hartford and Danbury area.

Building Websites in the Cloud

Learn how to use Microsoft Azure, our global cloud solution, to power your websites

This workshop will show you how to quickly create web applications using popular frameworks such as WordPress, Joomla, NodeJS, PHP and more. You will learn how to create and deploy a website using Visual Studio Online. Other features such as cloud services will be discussed how to take your website to the next level.

Time: Monday, March 16, 2015 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Microsoft Store, 211 Westfarms Mall, Farmington CT (located on the upper level between Center Court and Macy’s)

Time: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Microsoft Store, Danbury Fair Mall, Danbury CT

btn-register

These workshops  are “hands-on” optional. You can attend and learn without participating in the labs. The labs will be provided at the end of the workshop. If you are particpating in the labs you will need the following:

 

Microsoft Cloud Dev Camp

Master the new Microsoft Azure features and services to build, deploy and move apps to the cloud

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to master the latest Microsoft Azure development tools and technologies. Join us at an expert-led Microsoft Cloud DevCamp and leave with code running in the cloud! DevCamps are fun, FREE events for developers, by developers. That means no fluff or filler – just valuable coding skills you can immediately put into action.
More information here.

Time: Thursday, March 26, 2015 from 9:00am to 5:00pm
Location: Microsoft’s Office, Hartford at 280 Trumbull Street, Hartford CT

btn-register

The Cloud Dev camp is intended to be “hands-on”. The following is required for attendance:

Note – you MUST bring a laptop to participate in this event. In addition:

 

Build Your Biz

Build Your Biz

BuildYourBiz is a site created by local Boston Technology community leaders and technology business owners.  The great content and success factors covered are a collaboration of many technology leaders including John Ross, Dan Stolts, Tommy Patterson, Blain BartonJames Quick and others.  Together, These experts as well as other technology experts and business owners will help you build your business on free Microsoft resources. This site and project was put together to help people start and build their business. BuildYourBiz will teach business owners, consultants, technologists and students how they can leverage technology to build their business. This will include many tips, tricks and resources available to help start, build and grow your business.

This coming Saturday, March 1st 2014, I will be leading the workshop on how to build your first app. This will be a step-by-step lesson to building a business for Technology Professionals and Students. Now we will dive into how you (an IT Professional or Student) can get started in building your first Windows Store application. No prior development experience required.

Register Now

(more…)

CodeAcross 2014

CodeAcross 2014
What:
CodeAcross 2014 is a weekend of events taking place in cities around the world. There will be events hosted simultaneously in dozens of cities all around the globe on the weekend of February 21-23, 2014. Coinciding with International Open Data Day, the goal of CodeAcross is to activate the Code for America network and inspire residents everywhere to get actively involved in their community.

CodeAcross events will be hosted by members of the CfA network: Fellows, government partners, and volunteers. This is the third annual CodeAcross event (formerly Code Across America).

This year, we’re offering a theme for CodeAcross: Beyond Transparency. Let’s take the open government movement one step further, by focusing on not only making data open, but actionable. Join us to push the ball forward in your community. (more…)

Nokia Windows Phone Developer Day

What: Windows Phone Developer Day

When: Feb 1st, 12pm to 6pm

Where: Microsoft Offices, 1 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb 1, 2014 and free up 12-6 PM to be in Cambridge, MA. The Microsoft and Nokia Evangelist are teaming up to help you publish your Windows Phone Apps!

Here is the preliminary schedule (subject to tweaking):

  • 12 PM DevCenter Submission Walkthrough (30 minutes): See just how easy it is to submit and publish an app worldwide
  • 12:30 PM Build an app in 30 minutes with App Studio (30 minutes): See how to build an app from an idea to publishable in 30 minutes, literally.
  • 1 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch: I’ll be providing food and snacks. This is when you think about what you need help with or when you should think of your app idea for App Studio.
  • 1:30-6 PM Hands-on time: The experts will be available to help during this time. They will be walking around helping and/or attending to requests for help.

By the end of the day I fully expect everyone’s apps will be ready and submitted to DevCenter and on it’s way to the global app marketplace.

Sign up here

What will you need to bring?

  • If you need help on an existing app, bring your laptop dev environment with your app on it.
  • If you want to build an app without any code, bring a laptop that has a modern browser (IE10-11, Chrome). You’ll only need your browser to build and submit the app to the store. If you do not have a Windows Phone, the experts will be able to help you test the app on their phone

Giveaways

Everyone who attends and publishes their app will be entered to win a “hero” Nokia Lumia (1020, 928, 925, 920, etc) of their choice. I’ll be saving some swag/prize surprises for the day of the event. Also, Microsoft will be bringing some prizes of their own! I will update this post with more details as we get closer to Feb 1st.

Note: If you accept a prize from Nokia, you agree to these terms.

Developer Environment

To write native Windows Phone 8 apps, you will need to be using Windows 8 Pro. If you do not have windows 8 Pro, you can utilize the Windows Phone App Studio app.

General Windows Phone 8 developer environment minimum

1.  Mac users only: Boot CampParallels DesktopVirtualBox or VMWare Fusion

2.  Windows 8 (or 8.1) Professional (a 90-day evaluation version available here)

3.  The Windows Phone SDK is available here.

Directions to #1 CAMBRIDGE CENTER  Directions from Bing

(Note: there is some construction being performed on the Longfellow bridge and it is currently closed to Cambridge-bound traffic )

1cc

ARRIVING BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

MBTA (“The T”)

Cambridge Center is accessible via the MBTA Red Line at the Kendall Square/MIT stop (between the Charles Street and Central Square stops). The Red Line links up with other lines providing access to virtually the entire Greater Boston region, including Logan Airport.  Please follow the Microsoft signs to our main entrance in the front of our building.

Sign up here