There was a great turn-out at the launch of Bizspark, Microsoft's new programme for software start-ups. We had over 130 attendees from 90 companies and after a few short presentations from Paul Rellis (GM, Microsoft Ireland), Cliff Reeves (GM, Microsoft Global Emerging Business Team) and Dr Jimmy Devins, Minister of State for Science and Innovation (whose speech is online here), and a really great panel discussion, we had a great networking session!.

I want to send out a big thanks to everyone who helped make the night so enjoyable - particularly those folks on the panel discussion (along with everyone who asked questions). It was the highlight of the night for me - and I am very sorry we didn't get it recorded. The panel included:

  • Cliff Reeves (as above) 
  • Pat Brazel, CEO of Irish startup Zignals;
  • Brian Caulfield, Irish Venture Capitalist;
  • Pat Phelan, MAXroam, entrepreneur and winner of the IIA Net Visionary Award 2008
  • Anton Mannering, CEO of Irish Startup Udoogoo, Organiser of Digital Island Meetups, Network Facilitator All Island Digital Media Network at Digital Media Forum
  • Gren Armstrong, InvestNI
  • John O'Sullivan, CEO of Irish startup Tradefacilitate
  • Big thanks too to Anton, MoMoDublin and everyone involved in the Digital Island Meetup!

    For those of you who want to find out more about the program - check out www.microsoft.ie/bizspark (or my next blog post! :)