Bringing Volume to Serendipity: BizSpark Grows Under Microsoft Ventures, Germany Opens Microsoft Accelerator to Packed Event

A high-caliber panel of judges chose Spreaker, a digital music sharing service, as the most promising BizSpark startup from Europe, and the People’s Choice Award this year went to Booklikes, a social platform for the curation of books.

But the bigger story of the entire day was that Microsoft’s presence in Germany – and their brand new accelerator – is bringing volume to serendipity, making it possible for startups from around the world to tap into the huge partner and enterprise network developed by the corporation during its long history in high tech.
The infusion of a venture capitalist mindset into existing offerings showed that entrepreneurs could work with Microsoft and help establish customers, build defensive walls around their product offerings and build great companies with solid partners.
Everything from the Microsoft BizSpark software development offer to working in the Windows Azure cloud and collaborating with investors through Microsoft Ventures sent a solid message to Europe’s startups that there was a wealth of new collaboration opportunities in Berlin.
Stephan Jacquemot, Microsoft Germany’s startup liaison, said that the opening of the accelerator and the work they are doing with BizSpark through the Microsoft Ventures developments, means that Microsoft is signaling very strongly they are working with startups in a dense, rich ecosystem.
“This shows how fully engaged we are in the lives and business development of startups,” Jacquemot said. “This demonstrates how much effort and sincerity we are putting into collaborating with startups in a very interesting city for the development of the startup ecosystem in Europe.”

The award winners both said that they have been impressed by this activity over the past several months.
“We’ve been working [together] for four months,” says Francesco Baschieri, founder of Spreaker, based in Italy. “They were super helpful. We are now moving to Azure from AWS as our backend system and it’s been super easy.”
The people’s choice winner, David Piaskowski, from Booklikes in Poland, said that seeing the Accelerator and being in the same place as startups from all over Europe proved to him that he was in the right place for business.
“Honestly, if I had the money to put toward investments, I would not be shy about investing in any of the startups I saw here today.”
Jan Sessenhausen, Senior Investment Manager for High-Tech Grunderfonds, said that the actual existence of the Microsoft Accelerator andthe work Microsoft BizSpark team members have done on the ground with startups over the past five years just makes for a better ecosystem.
“It just creates better companies, and frankly, it makes my life so much easier,” he said. The right companies are coming at the right time to the right place to get the five minutes they need face-to-face to make introductions and solve problems or answers questions, he said.

Reid Hoffman, founder of professional networking site LinkedIn, has said that building a startup is like throwing yourself off a cliff and building the plane on your way down. That whole enterprise becomes a little bit easier when you have partners like Microsoft and the Microsoft BizSpark program.
The BizSpark European Summit in Berlin was....Read the rest of this post ---->
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