Every Startup has a Story

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Small businesses are doing amazing things in communities across the country. Not only are their owners ambitious, passionate and incredibly driven people, but small businesses also are driving the resurgence of our economy. In fact, according to the SBA, SMBs are responsible for more than half of the nation’s jobs and account for 54 percent of U.S. sales. There are great stories behind every one of these small businesses, and Microsoft wants to hear them.

We’ve recently launched the Microsoft Small Business Contest for entrepreneurs and small business owners to share their experiences. From now until January 11, SMB owners can submit a two-minute video describing their beginnings, successes, or even challenges, for a chance to win $20,000. Check out the Microsoft For Work Facebook page for more details, and follow the conversation via Twitter using the hashtag #MSSmallBizContest.

Need inspiration for your video? Entrepreneur and small business expert Ramon Ray is rooting for you, watch this as well as our own video about the contest below.


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Microsoft Workshops for April and May

spring has sprungSpring has sprung and so have our workshops and events for the Connecticut region! I have been hosting workshops at the Microsoft Stores, on campus events and Build Your Biz workshops.

What we have lined up over the next few weeks makes these workshops even more exciting.

We have a great contests going on to support these workshops.

First we have a BAM or Best App a Month contest. Attend a workshop session or Studio Time and create a Windows 8 app for a chance to win a Dell Venue Pro tablet.

And then check out the giveaways at the //publish event

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Announcing Best App a Month Contest – Hartford

Best App a Month

I am pleased to announce a new contest we are running from April to June 2014 that might be of interest to some of you working on your Windows 8  apps. It’s called Microsoft’s Best App a Month Contest or BAM!.

We want to find and showcase cool and innovative apps and games on the Windows 8 platform. Have you created something recently we should know about and have attended one Studio Time that month? Do you have an idea for a cool Windows 8 app or game and you’re just getting started? If so, enter your app / game into the Best App A Month Contest, where you could win a new Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet.

Dell Venue Pro







Read more “Announcing Best App a Month Contest – Hartford”

Promote your apps. Get 100 downloads. Earn a chance to win a device!‏

Another great contest through App Builder.

That’s right, we’re giving away one tablet ($329 retail value) each day in February during our 28 Days of Devices Sweepstakes.* For every qualifying app, you’ll get 500 App Builder Rewards points and be entered to win a free tablet device.*

Here’s how it works:

  1. Enter your Windows Store apps to the Apps Quest.
  2. If your app has less than 100 downloads when you complete the Quest between January 21st and February 28th, you’ll get a $15 Windows Store gift card.**
  3. Use the App Promotion Kit, Windows Store gift card and AdDuplex advertising impressions to reach 100 downloads before the end of February and earn your chance to win one of 28 devices.

Want to increase your odds? 
The more apps that get 100 downloads by Feb. 28th, the more App Builder Rewards points and sweepstakes entries you’ll receive – and the earlier your entry qualifies, the more chances you’ll have to win one of our daily device giveaways!

Join App Builder Rewards today!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to residents of the 50 U.S. 18+ who have a U.S. Windows Store Dev Center account. Game ends 2/28/14. For details, see Official Rules.
**Offer good only to members of App Builder Rewards and are U.S. registered Windows Store developers. Members must (i) register for this offer at https://build.windowsstore.com/rewards , (ii) have published app(s) to the Windows Store between July 23, 2013 and February 28, 2014 which have, at the time of registration, less than 100 unique, third-party downloads (“Qualified App”), and (iii) complete the “Apps Quest” within App Builder Rewards for at least one Qualified App by February 28, 2014. Offer limited to Windows Store apps and is not available in connection with any Windows Phone Store apps. All apps submitted must comply with the Microsoft App Builder Rewards Program Terms of Use , including the “Apps Quest” terms in Section 6. Apps that have been published to the Windows Store before July 23, 2013 do not qualify for purposes of this offer. Upon completion of the “Apps Quest” and validation that the app(s) are Qualified App(s), the registered member will receive a $15 Windows Store gift card via email. Gift card offer is good only to the first 600 registered members who complete the “Apps Quest” or until February 28, 2014, whichever comes first. Limit 1 gift card per registered member. The Windows Store gift card will expire 60 days of receiving the email activation code. In addition, registered Members whose Qualified App(s) reach 100 unique, third-party downloads by February 28, 2014 will receive 500 points for each such Qualified App in App Builder Rewards. May not be combined with other app offers with the exception of offers within the App Builder program. Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient. The 500 reward points offer ends on 2/28/2014 or until the offer budget is exhausted. Please allow up to 2 weeks to validate the app(s) are Qualified Apps, have been published in the Windows Store and to process the gift card, if applicable. Microsoft reserves the right to modify or cancel the terms of this offer at any time. Microsoft reserves the right to disqualify from this offer any person who they believe is not complying with these offer terms, and / or, who is acting with the intent to avoid offer restrictions or other limitations.

Awesome Chance to win Cash for your App

Just this week on 10/1, some friends at MoDev announced a contest, for a chance to win cash prizes, totaling $10K.  My favorite part, is that you can actually control whether or not you win, with a public vote, which will occur after the contest entry period ends on 12/31.  You just have to get your friends (and their friends) to vote for your app! Helps drive awareness for your published app & increase your downloads, but also increases your chance to win.  Check out the details below.

The Modev Windows $10k App Contest

We’re looking for those game changers, industry disruptors—denizens of creative awesome from across the developer community. We’ll award prizes two ways:


  1. An impartial panel of judges will pick the top three apps from among the entries and award prizes
  2. We’ll put the pool of entries up for a public vote, and encourage some healthy competition between entrants to promote your app and get the public to vote for you


To qualify, entrants need to submit new Windows 8 or Windows Phone apps to the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store between October 1 and December 31, 2013, and fill out the Contest Entry form. Judging and public voting will begin in January 2014, with winners announced by January 31st.