January 13, 2015
We are proud to partner with Microsoft Ventures to promote their Digital Work Accelerator in Seattle and the information sessions they have scheduled for the month of January! Check out the full content series here!
The Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Seattle’s upcoming cohort will be dedicated to Digital Work. This means that they will focus on “startups building scalable productivity applications, cloud-centric software platforms and enterprise-grade solutions to help people get more done”. To promote this program, they kicked off a ten-city tour last night, where they met with Denver startups for their first informational session. The next city on the tour? Provo, Utah.
Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah, have progressively been improving their high-tech startup presence, and the world is taking notice. Utah has placed at the top of Forbes’ Best Places for Business for several years, and in 2014 Provo placed #3.
We at Tech.Co have known for some time that Provo is definitely “one to watch” on the startup scene. The BoomStartup incubator and investment fund has hit our top lists of startup programs several times, and for our national Celebrate Conference in 2014, we invited Mayor John Curtis of Provo to speak about supporting startup and entrepreneurial ecosystems.
We reached out to John Richards of FirstStep Ventures, who is also an entrepreneurship professor and co-founded BoomStartup, for input on the affect an accelerator has on a community.
“An accelerator boosts the local venture and startup ecosystem greatly by rallying the community so that more teams form, more teams get early assistance, and teams get access to national and international trends and techniques for building great companies,” Richards shared.
The list of successful startups to come out of Provo is long, and it includes NoviSecurity, who went through Microsoft’s Internet of Things accelerator last year. Novi’s CTO, Wade Anderson, will present on a panel at the Microsoft Ventures information session tonight at DevMountain and Gavin Tanner, Director of Sales and Marketing for Novi, will also be in attendance – what a great networking opportunity!
Also notable is the vast number of Provo startups who have appeared on Shark Tank! According to Richards, over a dozen local companies have pitched to the sharks on the famous show. The list of BoomStartup graduates who are building tools for the enterprise is quite impressive. It’s easy to see why Microsoft Ventures chose Provo to host one of their information sessions to attract top startups to the accelerator.
BoomStartup teams building products for the enterprise include: JobPiper ~ ActiveNet ~ SmartStay ~ ADamatic ~ ForeUp ~ SuraLink ~ CitizenDish ~ CityGro ~ MapItTrackIt ~ Tute Genomics ~ Screenie ~ BlueRoof360 ~ CitySpark ~ Referral.IM ~ iActionable
Microsoft Ventures Accelerator tells us that “as a platform and productivity company, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help startups succeed. We firmly believe that in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, startups have a huge opportunity to revolutionize the workplace with smart, powerful and connected solutions.”
The Digital Work Accelerator will provide mentorship, technology, and expertise to build global companies, without taking equity. The accelerator will kick off in March in Seattle. This cohort will offer spots to 10-15 startups selected to participate in the program and will conclude with a Demo Day event in June.
If your startup is looking to change the way we work, the Digital Work Accelerator might be for you. Startups from around the world with an itch to change the way we work are urged to apply for this accelerator cohort. Use this link to apply, or if you are in Provo tonight, head over to DevMountain for the Microsoft Ventures information session. The schedule for the remaining sessions can be found here.
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