Welcome to the BizSpark Startup Newsletter

Get Windows 7 RC first using your MSDN subscription, access free classroom Azure and Windows 7 developer training, and get ready to ride the Windows 7 wave!
Welcome to the latest edition of the BizSpark Newsletter for Ireland / Northern Ireland.
By the time you read this, the Windows 7 RC should be available for you to download using your MSDN subscription, see here for details from the Windows 7 team.
Remember the Visibility promise of BizSpark? The excitement around Windows 7 is growing – and I am building a pipeline of ISV launch partners! Get your app compatible by checking out the resources on Innovate On, and we have some in-person events coming up which can help - in this edition you’ll also find details of free developer training for both the Azure Services platform and Windows 7 – see the events section. Pease feel free to contact me for more details on becoming a launch partner.


Success stories

RevaHealth

RevaHealth.com Increase Conversion by 66% by Changing Two Words
RevaHealth.com is a healthcare search engine that helps users find and compare health clinics worldwide. With information about 60,000 clinics in the UK and Ireland and thousands more in 50 countries around the world, Revahealth.com helps people take control of their healthcare choices and find the most suitable clinic and treatment for their needs. Having raised €1.25 million of angel funding early this year, the RevaHealth team is now moving away from its original focus on niche markets, and expanding into wider local and national healthcare markets, with plans to move into the Far Eastern and American markets later in 2009. RevaHealth.com recorded traffic growth of 16% from February to March of this year, with UK traffic growing by just over 50%. Learn how they increased their conversion rate by 66%!

 

Lucey Technology Selected to present at Microsoft European Investor Summit
Microsoft will host the 6th Annual European Investor Summit in Prague, organized in conjunction with the EU SME Week, and I’m delighted to say that Lucey Technology, a BizSpark startup based in Ireland have been selected to present.


News

Virtual Earth

Got Millions of Users? You Can When You Share Your Web App
The Windows Web App Gallery provides simple ways for you to explore, discover, install, and deploy your web applications on the Windows platform. You can share your web app with millions of Windows users worldwide. Learn more about the simple submission process, and what you’ll need to join in

Guinness Enterprise Center BizSpark Cluster
Announced at the BizSpark briefing on April 29th, GEC have designated an open plan office suite to facilitate the development of a Microsoft® BizSpark™ start up cluster of enterprises. DBIC/GEC are one of the managers of the AIB Seed Capital Fund and also the Halo Business Angel Partnership
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, contact the GEC (details at http://co1piltwb.partners.extranet.microsoft.com/mcoeredir/mcoeredirect.aspx?linkId=11856370&s1=1c13a400-855d-4ad0-0ae6-2572fe664970)
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.
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 microsoftstartupzone.com, fill out a short profile and we’ll do the rest. It’s so easy. Each week, we select a new startup to showcase.
Outsourcing – the Perils and Benefits.
We are thinking of running an online seminar on this topic. Some would consider that outsourcing their software development enables them to focus more on executing their business strategy. The client can oversee the development very closely, choosing from a larger pool of specialist resources. Crucially, Irish-based outsource providers can also enter into an agreement covered by Irish law, guaranteeing protection of your IP. If you select the right partner you can greatly benefit from outsourcing and, like everything else, cheapest is not usually the best. Would this topic be of interest to you? If so, let me know...
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Events: Join Us

BizSpark Breakfast Briefing – IT@Cork
May 12th 2009
8.15am-10.00am
Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork
Read More.
European Investor Summit
6th European Investor Summit
May 13, 2009
Prague, Czech Republic
Microsoft will host the 6th Annual European Investor Summit in Prague, organized in conjunction with the EU SME Week. European Startups will present, and as a Startup, you will have an opportunity to meet with Microsoft executives, leading European VCs, and investor groups. Register here.
Seminar on the Microsoft BizSpark Program at the Galway Technology Centre
May 14th 2009
12.30pm-2.00pm
WESTBIC and Galway Technology Centre, Mervue Business Park, Galway
For more details, email mailto:info@gtc.ie
BizCamp Belfast
May 16th 2009
The Black Box, Belfast
Read More.
Azure Services Platform Training(Free!)
May 28th 2009
9.00am-5.00pm
Microsoft Ireland, Sandyford
The Azure™ Services Platform (Azure) is an internet-scale cloud services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers, which provides an operating system and a set of developer services that can be used individually or together. Azure’s flexible and interoperable platform can be used to build new applications to run from the cloud or enhance existing applications with cloud-based capabilities. This is a 1 day course for developers who are interested in building a solution on the Azure Platform. Registration is via the Metro portal : 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. Then search for Events in Ireland. Any problems, contact me.
2 day Windows 7 Developer Training (Free!)
June 11th & 12th 2009
New Horizons, Strand House 22-24 Strand Street Great Dublin
This instructor led training course will show developers how to build the next generation of software applications which deliver the richer application experiences and positive product discriminators that users now expect.
The course will consist of approximately 50% instructor presentation (PowerPoint slides and instructor-led demonstration) and 50% hands on lab activities, which will provide students the opportunity to gain solid hands-on experience with the compelling features of Windows7. Registration is via the Metro portal : 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. Then search for Events in Ireland. Any problems, contact me. The full agenda is available here.
Windows 7 ISV Remediation Workshops, Dublin
June 15th-19th 2009
New Horizons, Strand House 22-24 Strand Street Great Dublin
This is a set of half day and full day workshops where participants will have the opportunity to test their application for compatibility with the most recent publicly available version of Windows 7. You will also receive valuable guidance on how to address compatibility issues discovered during testing. This is a great opportunity to test your applications on Windows 7, but there is limited availability so be sure to register early to get your preferred time slot.
Who should participate in a Windows 7 Remediation Workshop?
Software vendors may send 1-2 individuals to participate in the half day workshop (for Vista compatible apps) or full day workshop (for XP compatible apps). These individuals should be intimately familiar with the design of the application being tested and should be prepared to work with the workshop staff to execute the technical aspects of the testing process. Software developers, database administrators and testers are all good candidates to represent your company at the workshop. Only one primary contact should register for your company, regardless if only 1 or 2 representatives will be present. Please note:
• You will need to bring your application(s) to be loaded on our secure Windows test platform in a private developer lab environment for testing and debugging application issues.
• Prior to participating in the workshop, it would be advisable to go through the Windows 7 Application Compatibility Cookbook
A dedicated consultant will be on hand to support participants in investigating application compatibility, and give architectural guidance. Registration for these workshops has not opened yet – please contact me directly for more details.
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Resources

Innovate On

Windows 7 App Compatibility Resources on the Innovate On Portal
If you have a solution on either the Windows Vista or Windows XP operating system, Innovate On has resources which will help you to ensure your solution lights up on Windows 7. If you’re interested in becoming eligible to display the Windows 7 Software Logo on your solution please feel free to contact me for more details. The good news is it’s become a lot easier!

 


 

Essentials

Microsoft StartupZone
Find guidance for your startup and your investors
BizSparkDB
Gain visibility by profiling your startup company
MSDN Download
Find and share software and code samples
Microsoft BizSpark
Software, support and visibility for your Startup
Channel 9
MSDN community for access to the people who devise Microsoft technologies
Microsoft Partner Program
Development, training, marketing, and sales resources