Irish companies SkillPages and Inishtech have been chosen to join Microsoft BizSpark One, a fast-track programme for the world’s highest potential start-ups. The two firms were amongst 100 companies identified globally for the programme.
An expansion of the BizSpark programme, BizSpark One seeks to accelerate the growth of selected high-potential start-ups through a one-to-one relationship between Microsoft and the chosen companies.
In this invite-only programme, start-ups are paired with a relationship manager who works with them to promote visibility, expand the network of investors and mentors, expose the company to business opportunities and develop cutting-edge applications.
“The companies on BizSpark One are amongst the highest potential start-ups around the world," said Paul Rellis, managing director, Microsoft Ireland. "This is a huge testament to the achievements of Inishtech and SkillPages and sends out a clear message that these companies are going places on the global stage.
“At Microsoft, we firmly believe that indigenous companies will be a critical component of economic recovery. A strong and healthy start-up community, exporting services globally, will be central to returning Ireland to a position of economic strength.
"Microsoft supports technology start-ups and entrepreneurs in an effort to drive the local software industry to create economic opportunities and address national priorities. It is companies like SkillPages and Inishtech who will lead this emerging sector and we are delighted to be working with them," Rellis said.
Iain MacDonald, CEO, SkillPages, said that having such a close relationship with Microsoft will be of major benefit to SkillPages.
"With over 1,500,000 people joining SkillPages in the last six months, BizSpark One will help accelerate our growth through Microsoft providing SkillPages with customised technical and development assistance," said MacDonald. "This insight into complex challenges that we may face will be invaluable as our user growth accelerates across the globe.”
Inishtech, which was founded just more than two years ago, is already working with more than 120 customers in 20 countries, said Aidan Gallagher, CEO, Inishtech.
"Membership of BizSpark One will now help us fast track our growth by giving us access to networks, markets and business development opportunities that would take us time to develop on our own.”