I just got pinged by the ISV Buddy of a local ISV that I never ran into, and they’re right in my back yard.  The ISV is doing some interesting stuff, and wants to get more help at a local, technical level.  Had they not had a buddy it would have taken them longer to have figured out how to connect.

The Microsoft ISV Buddy Program is all about connecting you, the Independent Software Vendor, with a Microsoft employee who will be your point person within Microsoft. It’s about putting a face to Microsoft and helping you get timely answers to your questions and requests. Through this 1-on-1 relationship, your Microsoft buddy will be able to guide you to resources and to help you succeed in building solutions on Microsoft platforms.

Basically, you just sign up by filling out a profile form, and the program matches you with a Microsoft employee who’s volunteered to work with an ISV.  The buddy will work with you for a year, and help you get into other ISV programs that can get you even more help.