This is a guest post by Claire Lee of the Microsoft BizSpark team.
What an awesome experience.
Today I am still drawn, like a bee to honey, to the #swbayMEGA Twitter stream and smiling as I can feel people’s joy and optimism, and looking at the pics.
Thank you to all the (300+) creatives and geeks, developers, designers and enthusiasts, mentors, experts, partners and friends, for showing up and making cool stuff. We just get to bask in all that energy and help you on your path to greatness.
Microsoft Silicon Valley is delighted to host this ground-breaking innovation station.
Alongside a number of of photo sharing apps and social games, we’re just so fired up to see such fantastic mobile apps like (mobile track winner) Predict Gaze and other impactful solutions to real world problems such as managing the fostering process, or enabling blind people access remote human assistance.
Not to mention the robots.
HUGE congrats to every single entrepreneur who formed teams and pitched their ideas.
Hard to argue with the quality of apps at this Mega – the largest Startup Weekend ever, anywhere. Kudos to the Startup Weekend folks: Marc, Franck, Ahmed – you deserve a lot of credit for creating and executing this model. Anyone who has facilitated a Startup Weekend knows the intense organization, and the myriad moving parts.
What makes these possible? Strong partnerships
The beauty of Mega is all of the Bay Area ecosystem players coming together, and lending their support and expertise: their generosity and enthusiasm helps a great deal.
DEMO are enabling all three winning teams go to DEMO Spring and pitch on stage.
Shout out to Sharon at Astia (who is jumping up and down today with glee at the opportunity to help female entrepreneurs via their program); to Adeo Ressi and Founder Institute (and their pledge to offer two scholarships to the Fall SV FI program); to Chris Gill from SV Forum who is offering the winning teams the chance to pitch to hundreds of investors at Launch 2012 in June; to Max Bloom from the brand new co-working space down 101, Ground Floor SV, for giving away membership.
Companies with best-of-breed solutions and resources to help startups succeed – like Twilio, Xero, 9Slides, CapLinked, and more … are giving free services to winners and teams. Make sure you get yours!
To mentors and experts: without your advice people cannot reach their potential and do great things. Especially the ones who got on planes to be with us.
Major points to T Scott Case and the Startup America crew, for spending the whole weekend in the thick of it – and son Ryan for staying up late on Saturday to beat everyone at Black Ops on Xbox.
Shout out to the Microsoft SV staff, BizSpark team and SVC events team, for helping make it happen. To our friends at Silicon Valley Bank – thanks for the yummy wine (and the legendary headache this morning). To Gordon Biersch for the beer, and to all the other contributors: we are grateful for your assistance.
High Five to our friends in the Windows team: without you this event would not be!
Finally – don’t forget to get your premium Microsoft software (free) from BizSpark: Startup Weekend teams, use this URL to apply today: aka.ms/swbizspark
Our man Douglas has already captured some profound thoughts and, as he says, there’s more to come as we track the progress of those teams created this weekend, with hope and optimism.
Keep on Truckin’!