Microsoft and Enterprise Ireland launch BizSparkCamp 2010

26 Feb 2010

Software giant Microsoft and Enterprise Ireland are holding a free day-long conference that will feature tech entrepreneur Brian Caulfield and a PitchSlam event that will provide the opportunity to be identified as one of the world’s most promising technology start-ups.

The day-long conference will run on Monday, 8 March, at the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Dublin’s city centre.

“At last year’s BizSpark event, we worked to provide business guidance on how to get start-ups off the ground,” said Clare Dillon from Microsoft Ireland.

“From feedback, this year the plan is to focus on ways to secure funding, as well as ways to build up new markets.

“Any company currently looking for funding, grants or other sources of capital – or currently looking to expand their business to new markets, they should come along to hear from local and visiting speakers about the programs and supports available through BizSpark and the Irish start-up ecosystem.”

Through the new BizSpark EUGA program, Microsoft Ireland is providing support for BizSpark companies interested in accessing local and EU grants, providing a facilitated application process to make applying for these funds easier.

Grants covered by EUGA include ICT infrastructure, training, R&D and recruitment. Nicky Martin from Affect Networks will be covering how Microsoft Ireland can help you access these grants.

Mike Sigal from early stage analyst firm Guidewire Group will be giving an overview of the Guidewire Group’s G/Score Assessment Methodology, an analytical tool to help you understand your competitive strength and market position.

Caulfield will give some key insights into the local VC landscape with tips on how to maximise your chances of securing VC funding.

Caroline Egan and Nigel Turner from MS Connections have worked with many Irish companies, helping them to enter the UK market and partner successfully with the Microsoft UK channel. They will talk about how to expand your business internationally and the best ways to build partner strategies.

In addition, there will be speakers from Enterprise Ireland and other BizSpark Network Partners to provide more advice for getting access to capital and new markets.

In addition to the planned BizSpark sessions, BizSpark companies will participate in Innovate!2010  – a global competition to identify and accelerate the Innovate!100: The World’s 100 Most Promising Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Startups.

Microsoft BizSpark has partnered with early stage analyst firm Guidewire Group to bring opportunities for expert feedback and validation, global exposure, cash and in-kind prizes (worth more than $100,000), qualified introductions to potential partners and investors, and the possibility of being named one of the Innovate!100: The World’s 100 Most Promising Startups.

Local Irish finalists will present their product or company at a PitchSlam event on the evening of 8 March.

Finalists will also be eligible to apply to present at Microsoft’s European Community Summit for investors and Start-ups in May 2010.

By John Kennedy

Photo: BizSparkCamp on 8 March aims to help start-ups get off the ground

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years