Microsoft Australia kicked off the Global Entrepreneur week with 7 teams from their BizSpark Program coming together in Brisbane over the weekend of the 15th-16th of November to participate in a Startup camp focused on developing apps for the new Phone 7 platform.

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Teams attended an intensive Deep Dive technical session on Friday around Phone 7 Run by Nick Randolph from Built To Roam.  After receiving the single day of training, at 9am Saturday morning the 7 teams kicked off their development in the Brisbane Microsoft Office.  Across the weekend, each of the teams had the additional help & support of technical specialists for both Phone 7, Silverlight & Windows Azure.

Many of the teams chose to enhance the potential of the Phone 7 platform by extending their applications to encompass cloud technologies via the Windows Azure platform. Participant Guy Perrin Development Engineer from BizSpark Partner Dobroyd discovered as a result of attending the weekend that “Bottom line ... yes, I am now convinced that investing time and effort into tooling up with Windows Phone 7 will give me a good ROI. I am particularly interested in the potential synergy between Windows Azure and Windows Phone 7 applications”. Another Participant, Indrajit Chakrabarty, Principal Engineer & Director, Liana Solutions Pty Ltd said:  “We are harnessing the power of Windows Azure and SQL Azure and building solutions that include client software running on Windows Phone 7.With Windows Phone 7 and Windows Azure, the possibilities are endless.”

Throughout the weekend, the BizSpark partners had the opportunity to:

· Learn and apply new skills to help grow their skillset & business opportunities;

· Learn from experts in Law, Business and Government about how to best structure their business, protect their IP, Pitch to venture capitalists & work with government bodies to grow & support their businesses;

· Develop important business relationships;

· Meet the Microsoft technical experts and network with other Microsoft BizSpark partners.

clip_image004clip_image006The Winner for the weekend was Cameron Moses & Andy Wellins whose application My Bike App used the Phone 7 GPS to track your bike ride, graph improvements to your time, and integrate the camera for photos you take during the ride. Cameron & Andy both won themselves a HTC Phone 7 Mozart. Winner Cameron Moses said: “BizSpark has helped accelerate our Phone 7 development and given us insight into its potential in a diverse range of industries. We are now better equipped to promote the Phone 7 platform to our customers who are searching for reliable, scalable mobile solutions.”

The Runner up was the Code Joker team including Beau Allison, Tara Miles and Jesse Drury whose application Lavatographer uses the Bing Maps integration to help you find the closest public toilet – when you need to go!  Beau Allison of Code Joker shared that “With the help of Microsoft BizSpark our development studio has hit the ground running. Microsoft not only provided us with the tools we needed but also industry contacts in order to get valuable advice and training. Our main focus is developing Windows Phone 7 applications and without the help of Microsoft BizSpark we wouldn’t have had the opportunities we have today.”

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Third place winner Oasis App’s  had geographically distributed team participating remotely throughout the weekend. They were also called out for the best Pitch. Their application Hfree0 which they refer to as a digital Water Diviner aims to replace the need for expensive bottled water with the ability to easily find free fresh water. John Lambie of Oasis Apps mentioned that "BizSpark has proven to be a great move for our team. We get heaps of support as well as hands-on advice from Microsoft - which means our remote team can function at full efficiency." Of participating in the weekend itself, John went on to say that “Microsoft got some really good people up to give advice - and they hung around long before and after to take questions and offer help”

Catherine Eibner, Developer Evangelist  and BizSpark owner for Microsoft Australia, said: “This  weekend’s event was far more than an opportunity to learn a new technology. It allowed participants to understand how integrating across the entire Microsoft stack can allow you to build rich new experiences for your customers.

“The quality of the applications built in less than 2 days is a testament to the Microsoft tools, the power of the integrated platform as well as the help of the fantastic technical experts we had on hand across the weekend.”

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Thank you to everyone that helped, participated & presented.