Microsoft Ireland Team Blog

  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Coming Soon – Best of MIX09 Event


    I’m still trying to get through a few more videos from MIX09 (videos are posted here:  But while I work through those to find the best nuggets and most useful information for you, I was wondering if you could help me out with something. 

    We’re putting together a “Best of the Best of MIX09” event, and I’m wondering what format people would like best for something like this.  I’ve tried a few different things.  Breakfast briefings are too short and just end up being throwing around the new buzzwords.  Also, I almost broke my nose opening a champagne bottle at the last one.  Smaller evening events with just a few highlights from the various sessions have been good but don’t let people ask questions. 

    So I am looking for input.  Would you please take a second and select what you’d prefer?  Also if there are any specific topics you’re interested in covering, let me know by e-mailing me at martharo[at]

    Thanks for your help.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Alpha toolkit for the Windows 7 Software Logo Program now available


    The alpha toolkit for the Windows 7 Software Logo Program is now available. The toolkit provides you with a quick and agile, automated, light weight command-line tool to verify their application’s compliance against the technical requirements.

    The toolkit is being made available and supported through the Windows 7 Software Logo Connect site. Anyone can access the connect site, but to download the alpha toolkit or leave feedback, you need to have an invitation code. Sign up to receive updates to get the code.

    More information about the alpha toolkit is available at the Microsoft Connect site for the software logo program. Be sure to read the readme file,  release notes, the PowerPoint overview with step by step guidance on how to use the toolkit.

    If you’re an ISV based in Ireland/Northern Ireland and want to find out more about Windows 7 application compatibility please contact me.

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Lots of Upcoming Tech Events


    I know I’m not the only one who is busy lately.  Events are popping up all over the place, so I thought I’d take a second and throw some out there in case you’re not aware of them.

    Dublin ALT.NET Meetup:  Thursday, April 16th starting at 7:00pm at The Duke off Grafton Street in Dublin city centre

    Dublin ALT.NET meets monthly to discuss issues that interest us in a loose, informal discussion-style environment. All software developers of every stripe are hereby extended an invitation to participate in the discussion or just come and see what all this ALT.NET stuff is about.  This meeting will be covering Domain Driven Design (DDD).

    Register for Dublin ALT.NET Meetup here:

    OpenCoffee Club Dublin: Saturday, April 18th starting at 10:30am at Dakota on South William Street in Dublin city centre

    OpenCoffee Club Dublin has updated its locations.  The regular monthly Saturday meetings are now moved to Dakota on South William Street.  OpenCoffee is an informal event for web / tech / business people to get together and chat about anything and everything

    Register for OpenCoffee Dublin here:

    GirlGeekDinnerLogoDublin Girl Geek Dinner: Tuesday, April 21st at 7:30pm in herbstreet restaurant on Hanover Quay in the Dublin Docklands

    Ireland Girl Geek Dinners is delighted to welcome guest speaker Amanda Scott of  Amanda is a career development coach, as well as a fantastic speaker and will be joining Dublin Girl Geeks to chat about her experiences and women in technology.  The title of her talk is “Career Success, in Girl Terms.”

    Register for the Dublin Girl Geek Dinner here: Dublin girl geek dinner open for registration

    Connector Meetup:  Thursday, April 23rd starting at 7pm at 4 Dame Lane in Dublin city centre

    Connector is made up of a a multi-national mix of bloggers, twitterers, marketers, designers, web entrepreneurs, photographers, musicians, digital filmmakters, PR people and some Thursday night party people.  The theme for this meetup is “Starting a Digital Business” and it features a panel of industry experts including a talk by Damian Ryan.

    Register for Connector here:

    BarCamp Belfast: Saturday, April 25th all day at the University of Ulster, Belfast

    BarCamp Belfast is a user-generated unconference for designers, developers, startups and geeks to share and learn in an open environment.   There are tons of folks signed up for BarCamp Belfast and lots of great talks lined up already including “Teens and T’Internet”, “The Semi-permeable Newsroom”, “Niche Social Networks” and even “Coffee Brewing 101.”  There is certain to be something for everyone.

    Register for BarCamp Belfast here:

    Cork MTUG: Encryption using SQLCLR (Using the .NET framework inside the SQL Server engine): Monday, April 27th at 7:00pm in the Hillcrest Suite of the Imperial Hotel in Cork







    This talk provides a hands-on introduction to developers on how to get started writing plug-ins for SQL Server 2005/2008. A basic primer on SQLCLR is provided. Then a simple SHA-256 hash example is developed using Visual Studio. Finally I provide a case study of a  real life cryptography solution for the Point of Sales industry. Familiarity with the .NET base class libraries and Private Key cryptography concepts would be helpful for the presentation but is not absolutely required.

    Register for Cork MTUG talk here: Encryption using SQLCLR (Using the .NET framework inside the SQL Server engine

    Irish Internet Association (IIA) National Congress: Thursday May 21st & Friday May 22nd all day at the Crowne Plaza Dublin Northwood

    The theme of Congress 2009 is "Better Business Online in a Tough Economy: Money, Marketing, Monitoring & Mobile". Facing the new reality, we look at the unique advantage that the Internet can deliver for businesses across Ireland, north and south. It is clearly a cost effective medium and we will show you how you can leverage it for your maximum advantage in these testing times.  Speakers include Facebook - speaking at the largest Internet industry event in Ireland to date - Google, dotMobi and Realex Payments.

    Register for the IIA National Congress here:

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Dublin Business Innovation Centre / BizSpark Cluster briefing, April 29th 2009


    DBIC/GEC are one of our recent Network Partners in Ireland and have arranged a Breakfast Briefing on April 29th.

    Full details are in the document attached to this post - come along to hear details of a plan to facilitate a cluster of BizSpark startups in the GEC.


    Any questions, please feel free to contact me.

  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    BizSpark Ireland – News and Upcoming Events for April / May 2009




    Virtual Earth offer for BizSpark startups

    Microsoft Virtual Earth, the integrated GIS mapping, imaging, search, and data visualization web service platform,  has now been added to the Bizspark program. As a BizSpark member, you can now get a Microsoft Virtual Earth account for commercial production for just $2,000 per year (a 50% discount on the regular Virtual Earth entry-level price).

    BizSpark Startups Can Now Join Metro: Get Pre-release Support and Training!
    Metro, Microsoft’s early adoption program that provides access to training and a broad range of pre-release support for projects based on Microsoft’s newest technologies, is now available for BizSpark startups. Get free support and resources on Windows 7, Azure, .NET 4.0, Visual Studio 2010, Office 14 and more!
    Join Metro by logging into your account from the BizSpark Welcome Page on the BizSpark Portal— look for the Metro banner on the bottom of the page.

    DBIC/Guinness Enterprise Center BizSpark Cluster
    GEC provides a positive entrepreneurial environment for start up companies and early stage developing enterprises. GEC plan to designate an open plan office suite to facilitate the development of a Microsoft® BizSpark™ start up cluster of enterprises.

    The overall objective of this cluster is to accelerate the success of early stage software start up companies in Dublin.

    Bizspark participants will join the GEC / DBIC community of over 100 entrepreneurs who have started their companies with GEC / DBIC business mentoring, guidance and resources, and who are equally driven by innovation and technology. For more information attend the breakfast briefing in April (see the events section) or contact me.

    17th Hothouse Venture Programme

    The Hothouse Venture Programme is a year-long comprehensive support and incubation programme for entrepreneurs with technology-based business ideas. There are sixteen places available on each Programme. Participants must have left full-time employment and be working full-time on developing their new business. Read more.

    Invent DCU launches Business-Start-Programme

    April 24th 2009

    Location: Invent DCU

    The Business-Start-Programme is a six week part-time programme offering people with a business idea the chance to investigate its potential.

    The programme is designed to fit around people who work and weekly sessions are held on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. The programme takes participants through the planning elements necessary for start-up business.

    If you are interested in taking part in the programme or would like further information please contact me.

    Innovation Accelerator

    Microsoft Ireland in conjunction with the Digital Media Forum hosted an Innovation Accelerator event on Feb 24th where over 200 startups attended to hear some of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs including Iona Founder, Chris Horn   Havok founder, Dr Steve Collins share their experiences. In addition to hearing about past success stories attendees were also given extensive practical advice from a range of experts who hosted workshops in key areas such as business planning, sales, marketing, financial and legal services. Read More. Thanks to Peter Griffin, of PowerManual, a local BizSpark startup, for producing this manual of the slides using PowerManual V2! We’re still working on making videos of the sessions available.

    Get Hard to Find Windows® 7 Beta
    As a BizSpark startup, you get access to the Windows 7 Beta from your MSDN subscription — downloaded from MSDN. Use the beta to test the compatibility of your application. If you’re having application compatibility problems, get all the technical resources and guidance you need from the Metro Portal — see Metro story for details on joining.
    Promote Your Company on BizSpark DB.
    Want to promote your startup to potential investors, clients, employees, and partners? Go to the “Add Your Startup” tab on the BizSparkDB at, fill out a short profile and we’ll do the rest. It’s so easy. Each week, we select a new startup to showcase.

    Our local Network Partners

    Network Partners are a crucial part of BizSpark and our local community is shaping up nicely. You can find latest details of NPs in Ireland/Northern Ireland here and they are also mapped on Virtual Earth. Suggestions for new Network Partners are always welcome! Note that many of our Network Partners are hosting events over the coming months which you may find useful – see the Events section below for more details.

    Events: Join Us

    Microsoft European Investor Summit

    Prague – 12/13 May 2009

    We are now accepting registrations for our event in CZ in May for investors and start-ups. This is an opportunity for start-ups who are seeking funding to pitch to 80+ investors from across Europe. If you are interested in pitching please contact me and we will nominate you. (Accommodation will be paid for pitching companies).

    BizSpark Breakfast Briefing - DBIC
    April 27th 2009
    8.30am-10.30am Guinness Enterprise Centre

    Further details will be posted here as they become available.

    Platform Briefing, presented by Spanish Point Technologies Ltd

    April, 2009
    Live Meeting
    Attend this Live Meeting from your desk to get an overview of the current Microsoft application platform. The aim is to "get you current" with the platform and its latest features, from .NET 3.5 to MOSS 2007. Contact me if you are interested in attending.

    Networking Event ‘Knowledge Economy Research: Supports for 3rd Level & Companies to facilitate commercialisation and collaboration’

    April 2nd 2009  
    1.30 pm -5.00 pm, Thomond Park, Limerick.

    For start up entrepreneurs and established businesses to focus on the supports available in Ireland for research commercialisation, industry/3rd level collaboration and technology transfer. See  for full agenda, speakers and how to book your place.

    Better Business Online in a Tough Economy: Money, Marketing, Monitoring & Mobile

    The IIA Annual Congress 2009 will be held on Thursday 21 May and Friday 22 May in the Crowne Plaza Dublin Northwood. The Net Visionary Awards 2009 will also be held on the first night of Congress, 21 May. Read More.

    “The Juice” Breakfast Briefing

    Tuesday April 21st, 8.30 – 10.00, Synergy Centre, ITT Dublin

    Brian Hurley, Director of Outsourcing Services at HP will advise high technology start-ups on how to win outsourced business.  Places are free see for more details.

    Get Motivated and Get Marketing!
    April 29th 2009  
    10.00am-1pm, The Digital Exchange Building, Crane St, Dublin 8.

    Attention start-ups! This free event will give attendees the chance to learn more about marketing their company. Speakers on the day will give tips on marketing on a budget, email campaigns and online marketing methods, such as Facebook and Twitter. Please click to find out more and to register for this event.

    Creating Relevant & Profitable Online Services.

    16 Apr 2009

    The IIA and Front present a half day course on how to design online services and businesses that succeed! Read More.

    Meetball: Demonstration & Networking Breakfast.

    22 May 2009

    The IIA presents the first in a new series of Demonstration and Networking events entitled Meetball. Read More.

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Microsoft European Investor Summit, Prague, 12/13 May 2009


    Coinciding with the first European SME Week, Microsoft will bring together key players from the investment community, entrepreneurs and start-ups, innovation organizations, incubators, Partners and Microsoft executives involved in the next generation of technologies and programs to support early stage companies.


    Start-ups who are seeking funding can pitch to 80+ investors from across Europe.

    You can register for the summit here.  (It’s FREE!)

    If you want more information about how to get selected to pitch, please contact me.

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    2009 Worldwide Partner Conference: (and details of awards)


    Registration is now open for this year's Worldwide Partner conference, scheduled for July 13-16 in New Orleans.

    By attending you can gain exclusive access to the latest information and insights about upcoming Microsoft strategies, cutting-edge technologies, and programs—directly from Microsoft leadership.

    Learn more about the conference and register today to ensure your place.

    You might also want to enter for a Worldwide Partner of the Year Award in your particular competency. Each year at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft recognizes the best in partner innovation and contributions —from competency excellence to supporting nonprofit technology access.

    See here for an overview of the awards and check out the categories here.

    For example, here are details of the ISV/Software Solutions category:

    ISV/Software Solutions Partner of the Year

    The Independent Software Vendor (ISV)/Software Solutions Partner of the Year award recognizes the ISV/Software Solutions competency partners who excel at developing and delivering packaged software to customers. Your software solution must work with one or more of the latest Microsoft server platforms and middleware products, including SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2008, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Dynamics business management software (all products and versions), and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. The solution must also have been built using Microsoft .NET development frameworks and tools, including Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008. Your ISV software solution qualifies for this award if it helps customers make better-informed decisions and facilitate effective collaboration with colleagues, customers, and partners. Companies applying for this award should also have demonstrated effective partnering with Microsoft by using Microsoft Partner Program benefits and engaging with Microsoft to develop, create demand for, and sell their software solutions.

    To be eligible for this award, you must:

    ISV/Software Solutions Innovation Partner of the Year

    The ISV/Software Solutions Innovation Partner of the Year award recognizes an ISV who has developed an innovative, disruptive approach to solving a new or existing business or consumer need based on the latest Microsoft server or client technologies. Companies applying for this award must have demonstrated leadership in the areas of innovation, market potential, media and analyst attention, investor value creation, and customer adoption with at least three active business customers or 1,000 consumers.

    To be eligible for this award, you must:

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    BizSpark startups get access to the Metro portal : free Support and Training


    This is a very significant development in the BizSpark program!

    Metro is a program we’ve been running for a couple of yearss which provides access to training and a broad range of pre-release support for projects based on Microsoft’s newest technologies, and now all BizSpark startups have access to the resources available in the program, giving you access to training / resources / support on techs like .NET 4.0, Azure, Windows 7, WPF, Silverlight 3 and more.

    Join Metro by logging into your account from the BizSpark Welcome Page on the BizSpark Portal— look for the Metro banner on the bottom of the page:


    This is a one-click process from the BizSpark portal once you’re logged in.

    Read the Metro user guide when you log in to find out how to profile a project you’re working on so that you can filter on content that’s relevant to you.

    Any questions, contact me.

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    BizSpark latest in Ireland/Northern Ireland


    Microsoft BizSpark has been receiving a lot of attention in the media over the last number of weeks, featuring on RTE’s Prime Time, The Wide Angle on NewsTalk 106, associated coverage in the Sunday Business Post, the Irish Times and the Irish Independent, and details of the Northern Ireland launch in the Belfast Telegraph.

    As part of the program, Microsoft Ireland hosted an Innovation Accelerator event on Feb 24th where over 200 startups attended to hear some of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs including Iona Founder, Chris Horn   Havok founder, Dr Steve Collins share their experiences. In addition to hearing about past success stories attendees were also given extensive practical advice from a range of experts who hosted workshops in key areas such as business planning, sales, marketing, financial and legal services.

    We now have over 30 local Network Partners and 140 software start-ups in Ireland/Northern Ireland on the BizSpark program.

    See the graphic inline below for details of our current NPs, and refer to for contact information / more details, or contact me for more details.



    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    PC Live Radio Podcast on Zune


    I was excited to see this morning that our local PC Live! Radio Show podcast is listed on the Zune marketplace.  If you’re a Zune user, you can search for PC Live and our podcast will come up.  You can subscribe using the button there.

    PC Live! Radio Show on Zune Marketplace

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    I Never Thought I’d Be Blogging About Playboy


    But cool technology is worth writing about, so here we go. 

    If you were watching the MIX09 Live Keynote yesterday (, you saw a couple of awesome applications which really take rich, Internet applications to a new level.  One of them, the Playboy Archive, is live now at  This is a DeepZoom application showing an archive of 53 issues of Playboy Magazine. 


    Any Silverlight fan has seen DeepZoom by now, so we all know how cool that is.  But what was really interesting to me was how nice the fulltext search integration was.  You can see in the image below the word I typed into the search box, and how it’s then highlighted in the article I selected.  As the pages are DeepZoom-enabled, I can easily read the full text of the article.


    One other feature I wanted to highlight is the Ads & Content locator feature.  While on one of the different 53 issues, you can click on “Content” at the top & have all of the content show up in a small frame for you to select.  You can also see the different ads shown and click on those to jump right to the page with the selected ad.


    Overall this is a fantastic application.  It’s fast, easy-to-use and well-designed.  In a few months, a similar version of Rolling Stone magazine is also due out as well.  My guess is that it will be a bit easier with Rolling Stone to grab conservative screen shots for my blog while at work. :)

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    BizSpark Ireland/Northern Ireland NPs now mapped on Virtual Earth


    Check out:!278



    A few gaps in there – am working on it, particularly in South West…Let me know if you have any NPs in mind!

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    XNA Questions – Physics Engines & a New XNA 3.0 Book


    Last week I was visiting DCU for their annual Tech Week to talk about XNA and video game development.  I received a few questions which I mentioned I would blog the answers to.  One of those was regarding recommended physics engines for XNA.

    image There are in fact several different physics engines you can use, both commercial and free versions.  One thing to take into consideration is whether you’re going to be deploying games on Windows, Xbox 360 or Zune.  If you’re deploying on Windows, you have a bit more flexibility, whereas if you’re deploying on Xbox 360 or Zune, you need a completely managed engine like Farseer, JigLibX or Bullet. 

    Farseer Physics Engine:

    Farseer is 2D only.  It’s available (including source code) on, and it also has a Silverlight version of the engine if you are building Silverlight games or applications as well (Silverlight 2.0 or above).  Farseer is very easy to use engine.  It has features for collision like multiple collision geometries per body and collision callback as well as features for dynamics like joints and force controllers.


    JibLibX is 3D and is a direct port of JigLib and is still in Beta.  It’s free, open sources and also on so you can see the source code there.  The better site for this actually is the wiki which is located here:  It has a lot more information including a great quickstart guide, a small Q&A forum, and a few basic tutorials.

    Bullet for XNA Physics Library: 

    Another project, Bullet for XNA Physics Library is the first fully managed 3D physics engine.  It looks nice, however the last full release was in December 2007, so I’m not sure if anyone is still working on it.


    PhysX is by NVIDIA, and is supported on Xbox 360 as well as Windows, Sony Playstation & Nintendo Wii.  You can download the PC binaries for free & start developing right away, although source code is licensed and not free.

    For more up-to-date libraries, links & recommendations, you should check out the XNA wiki on Physics Engines here:

    Ziggyware is also a great resource site for XNA content.  They have a list of links to XNA Physics Libraries here: 

    Something else I should mention is that there is a brand new, hot off the press, XNA 3.0 book by Dan Waters available.  It’s focused on Zune Game Development, and is called Zune Game Development using XNA 3.0.  It is available from Apress publishing as of March 23rd.  One of the things that jumped out at me while glancing through the book is the amount of unique features you can take advantage of with Zune, like using the XNA 3.0 Framework to play music from the Zune library and your own custom sounds to enrich your games as well as understanding how to take advantage of the wireless system on Zune to create multiplayer games.  Looks cool – check it out on Amazon here.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Developer Developer Developer Belfast – Getting Close!


    imageIf you haven’t yet heard of Developer Developer Developer, you’re missing out.

    DDD is coming to Belfast FOR FREE on Saturday April 4th, and registration is open here:

    Topics planned include:

    • Monorail
    • Functional Programming
    • SQL Server
    • Dynamic Data
    • Silverlight 3
    • jQuery
    • .NET 4.0

    and much more.  See the schedule here:

    DDD is one of my favourite events because all the speakers are actually experts on their topics.  There are no salespeople, no marketers, and no pressure.  It’s a community-organized event, and speakers are professionals who use the technology they talk about on a regular basis.

    The event is being held at Belfast Metropolitan College (Gerald Moag Campus) all day on April 4th, and lunch & refreshments will be provided.

    If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment below.  See you on April 4th.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Podcast & Screencast: Slow Train Software, WPF, Windows 7


    Replay Tab

    Slow Train Software are a Dublin-based software development company who recently delivered a fantastic WPF-based user experience to their customer in the form of Velocitek Speedplay.

    Velocitek is a leading provider of GPS equipment for sailors. Their products enable dinghy and sport boats sailors to improve boat speed and tactics with a combination of real-time on the water performance feedback and post race
    analysis. In order to ensure the success of the next generation
    of their hardware, Velocitek engaged with Slow Train Software to develop an
    unrivalled user experience that complements their products.
    To meet this requirement, Velocitek and Slow Train Software developed the
    SpeedPlay desktop application. Among the features of note are use of the Office Fluent UI (Ribbon) and the integration with Virtual Earth which is used in the playback of races based on timestamped GPS data downloaded from the custom GPS devices.

    Listen to this audio track to hear Cormac O’Brien of Slow Train discuss the project and why WPF proved to be a sound choice as the framework for the project.

    “As we developed with WPF we realised that there is more to it than pretty graphics and animations. It is a complete framework for building rich client applications, that is just as relevant for developing LOB applications. For example the powerful databinding support allows you to create applications with clean architectures, such as the Model-ViewModel pattern, that are significantly easier to develop and maintain.”

    Cormac O’Brien, Slow Train Software

    Also available: mp3 (coming!)

    One particularly interesting aspect of the project is the fact that it makes use of custom hardware and 3rd party device drivers. The application is supported on Windows Vista, and when Cormac came in to record the screencast it was the first time that the application had been installed on Windows 7. The below records the process from start to finish and is a good testament to the Vista/Windows 7 application compatibility proposition, as the app successfully installs, runs and talks to custom hardware on Windows 7 beta. 

    On his way out to Microsoft in Sandyford Cormac used the GPS device to capture his trip, which we then replayed – so you can chart Cormac’s progress down the M50 in Dublin.

    Key factors in the project were

    - Use of custom hardware in the form custom GPS devices from Velocitek

    - 3rd party components and device drivers (application compatibility)

    - Ease of use as a top priority – watch for the modelling of real-world objects such as the compass!

    - Performance – each race gathers a huge amount of data which needed to be played back in real-time. Leveraging the local GPU makes this achievable.

    - It’s 100% managed code –  no need for specialised DirectX skills for example

    - How WPF databinding made zero-code linking between controls possible

    For more information on the project see the PDF attached to this post.

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Awakening Creative Entrepreneurship, Mar 25th – 27th 2009


    I’m going to be attending / speaking about BizSpark at the ACE un-conference on Friday March 27th. Full details available at – it’s free, but register early as it’s likely to fill up quickly!


    An un-conference about all things creativity
    Ace - a.k.a "The Unconference for Creative Entrepreneurship" is an unconference-style iconic event that's dedicated to bringing together the creative community for a face-to-face collaborative meet-up where new relationships are formed, old relationships are nurtured, ideas are shared, skills are developed, creative entrepreneurs are promoted, and innovation happens in real-time.
    The technology world will converge in the North West from 25 to 27 March when Silicon Valley comes to Derry/Londonderry for the ACE UnConference, which has been funded through the Arts Council’s Innovation Fund and is managed by NORIBIC – The Northern Ireland Business & Innovation Centre.
    The not to be missed three day UnConference for Creative Entrepreneurship will see senior figures from the world’s leading creative technology and communications companies visit the region including Palm, Adobe, Powerscourt, Deutsche Bank, Nokia, Microsoft and DemonWare among others. The delegate driven industry event provides an opportunity to showcase the talent of local creative industries and will act as a platform for local entrepreneurs to access global expertise within an open innovation environment. Tickets for ACE are free, and with demand expected to be high, it is essential you register your interest to avoid disappointment.

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    NovaUCD hosting an Open Day on 24th March


    NovaUCD, a BizSpark Network Partner, is hosting an Open Day on 24th March:

    NovaUCD, is hosting an Open Day ( on Tuesday March 24th as part of the 2009 Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Enterprise Week ( This Enterprise Week features 4-days of activities (March 23rd - March 26th) taking place in various locations throughout the county of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. The week has been designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs to start new businesses and the owners of existing businesses to expand.

    The message from the organisers of the Enterprise Week, which includes NovaUCD, is that small businesses can 'still fly higher, even during an economic storm.'

    The aim of the NovaUCD Open Day is to give budding high-tech entrepreneurs an opportunity to drop in and visit the NovaUCD facility, to discover the unique services, supports and facilities available and to meet members of NovaUCD's successful community of entrepreneurs.

    The guest speaker at the NovaUCD Open Day will be Sean Gallagher, co-founder and CEO, Smarthomes and a 'Dragon' on RTE's 'Dragons' Den' TV programme who will deliver a lunchtime NovaUCD ‘Entrepreneurs Live!’ seminar (

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Irish startup TradeFacilitate nominated in InformationWeek’s Startup 50 Competition


    Startup 50 is a competition being run by InformationWeek magazine to find the most innovative and compelling 50 startups worldwide.

    More details on the competition at InformationWeek And if you feel like voting, you can vote by clicking on the below, it will take 1 minute of your time:



    Startup: TradeFacilitate

    Year Founded: 2006

    Description: TradeFacilitate is working on paper-free solutions for customs in the EU and the US, who have both adopted paper-free trade. Their CEO is global Vice Chair on UNeDOcs (United Nations Electronic Documents), and they are currently involved in the Microsoft BizSpark program. 

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Oracle Database Schema Provider for Visdual Studio Team System 2010 – Quest Software


    I know that plenty of people will be very happy to see this! Quest, a provider of Database Management Solutions, is developing the Oracle DSP for Visual Studio Team System

    See  for more details, with a good post for context by the VS TS DB team here:

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Hey Students – Get the Latest Developer News


    If you’re a student studying computer science, development, IT, software design, web design or anything along those lines, sign up for the Microsoft Ireland Student Newsletter.  This twice-monthly newsletter contains guest articles by fellow students, book discounts, pointers to interviews, tips and tricks, and information about the latest student events and contests.

    Microsoft Ireland Student Newsletter

    Any student is allowed to sign up for the newsletter, and get the latest and greatest in news for students.  In addition, you can provide your own ideas of what types of content would be useful for you as a student. 

    Click here to register today for the Microsoft Ireland Student Newsletter.

    Anything else you’d like to see?  E-mail me at martharo [at] and let me know!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Are You a Web Developer, Designer, Business Decision Maker?


    The Irish Internet Association ( has several working groups designed to focus on various areas of  the Web.  The Web Development Working Group have created a survey to find out what you would value them spending their time and energy on.

    It is quite short and will definitely take you under five minutes to complete, so please click here to take the IIA’s survey and voice your opinion about what matters to you on the Web.

    Thanks for your help!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Microsoft BizSpark & Startups in the Sunday Business Post


    Some great visbility for BizSpark startups such as CarsNow, TradeFacilitate and TalkIrish.

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Microsoft BizSpark – Northern Ireland launch, March 12th 2009





    Microsoft Bizspark - NI Launch

    Date: 12th March

    Time: 08.00-10.00am

    Location: Malone House

    Momentum is delighted to host a two hour breakfast briefing along with Invest NI and Microsoft for software companies and start-ups to focus on the key issues for software companies and the support which is available to fast track their development.

    This event is being organised to launch the Microsoft BizSpark Programme in N.Ireland. Momentum has recently signed up as a Network Partner in this programme which is specifically designed to facilitate the development of promising technology start-ups."

    Invest NI will discuss their new R&D programme which will assist companies to invest more in R&D. Invest Northern Ireland’s ‘Grant for R&D’, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Programme, will make it easier for companies to access financial support from the £50 million allocated by Invest NI, to promote investment in innovation-focused projects from 2008 to 2011.

    Invest NI Speaker - Nigel Carr

    Key note Speaker

    Ronan Geraghty - A member of Microsoft Ireland's Developer and Platform Group, Ronan is primarily responsible for working with Software and Service vendors from Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ronan runs Microsoft's BizSpark Program aimed at delivering software, support and visibility to Ireland's tech Start-ups

    About Microsoft Bizspark

    Microsoft BizSpark provides entrepreneurs with fast and easy access to Microsoft software including development tools and server products with no upfront costs, it provides discounts on the purchase of Dell hardware and preferential rates from Internet hosters, enabling companies to get their products and services online faster and more cost effectively. In addition, BizSpark start ups receive professional support from Microsoft as well as community-driven support from a range of Network Partners. BizSpark companies will also have enhanced opportunities to interact with and meet those in the venture capital community who are actively seeking investment opportunities.

    The Bizspark programme

    Microsoft's BizSpark Programme is open to all tech start-up companies who are privately held, less than 3 years old and have less than $1m annual revenue developing a software product or service.

    Find out more at


    08.00 - 08.30 -Breakfast and networking

    08:30 - 08.35 -Short introduction from Momentum.

    08:35 - 08.55 - Invest NI presentation on new R &D programme and support for early stage companies.

    08.55 - 09.15 - Microsoft BizSpark programme - Ronan Geraghty.

    09:15 - 09:25 – Chance to hear from a NI company already on the programme- Speaker TBC

    09.25 - 09.40 - Discussion

    Cost: Free

    To register: Please click here

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    BizSpark in the Irish Times


    Following on from the Innovation Accelerator Event earlier this week…

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    LinkedIn Group for BizSpark Startups in Ireland/Northern Ireland


    Quick one for those enrolled on the BizSpark program, I’ve set up a group on LinkedIn to help with Networking…Sign up here

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog