Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program - great for MS centric applications


Microsoft has launched what it calls the Software Accelerator Program. It is designed to ID high potential emerging partners and to bring them into the fold. MSFT’s Don Dodge explains that the program is launching with Image20 companies and will grow to 100 over the next 12 months.

So who made the launch list?
Kiptronic (more video ads)
Spotrunner (yet more video ads) (online tutoring)
iBloks (3d animation)

Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program Benefits include access to MS technology, Business Development resources may include, a blogging opportunity (?), event opportunity and introduction to the investor.


Each company has a “case study” description and all of them extol the benefits of using Microsoft Product. Typically it reads:

Solutions Built on the Microsoft Platform

Leverage Software chose the Microsoft .NET platform because it provided both the ability to scale and the flexibility to move quickly. “We create communities for some of the largest companies in the world, so we need a platform that will scale,�? says CTO Joseph Kleinschmidt. “At the same time, the social networking space is a fast-moving one, so we need to be able to quickly deliver new features to our customers. Our solution was to create an on-demand application with a full set of open APIs as a way to deliver both the scale and the flexibility our customers need, and the .NET platform has been a wonderful base from which to do that.�?

So, if you already have plans to use MS products to build the core of your application, this might be a good opportunity. You can apply here.

MyBuys helps tell you what you want to buy

1191892062651MyBuys, a behavioral one-to-one recommendation service for online merchants, recently raised $10 million in a series B round led by Palomar Ventures with help from previous investor Lightspeed Venture Partners.

MyBuys helps people find what they want on web merchant stores. Based on data gathered by the retailer in addition to personal info offered by the consumer, MyBuys suggests products on a one-to-one customized basis to shoppers. In addition, the service will alert you when a product that you want becomes available. Found a great pair of shoes but only want them if they have a pair that’s pink size 12? MyBuys will alert you when it comes in stock.

The service, which has no upfront costs for the client and is ran on a pay for performance model, is already in place on Ritz Interactive in addition to smaller sites Lancome Cosmetics and Hancock Fabrics. In June of this year MyBuys released version 3.0 of the service, expanding the modes of delivery for their recommendations from email and RSS to include real-time recs right on the merchant’s website.

Check out a podcast interview with Paul Rosenblum, VP of Marketing for MyBuys (hosted by Get Elastic). Rosenblum says that when recommendations to consumers are accurate and useful, “it’s really not advertising anymore. It’s about service.


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MSNBC acquires Newsvine

NewsvNewsvine was just acquired by MSNBC for an undisclosed amount. For now, the seven-employee startup will remain operating as an independent company. For those unfamiliar with the company, Newsvine is a community-driven social news site that aims to provide a clear sense of what people ‘are really talking about.’ Members of the site select articles from outside sources to be presented and then vote on them for relevance and display priority (individual comments in response to articles are also voted on). Newsvine also encourages members to write and publish their own articles, creating a portion of original content for the site. This unique content along with the site’s professional newspaper-like layout are what separate Newsvine from Digg, the most popular crowd-sourcing news page. Recently, Newsvine’s CEO and founder Mike Davidson was in the news for altering an image on his servers that was being unfairly used on John McCain’s MySpace profile, resulting in a fake message from the Arizona senator being displayed on his MySpace announcing his support of gay marriage (discussion over on TechCrunch). While one could say this was an unprofessional action by Davidson, the flip-side is that it revealed that he doesn’t always play by the rules — a trait that is generally found in true entrepreneurs. This acquisition is another example of big media trying to realign themselves to survive in a Web 2.0 media landscape that seems to be slowly but steadily outpacing them. Om Malik notes that the first media giant to purchase a social news startup was News Corp. when they acquired Newroo in April 2006. view - site

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ActivePrime: Making data presentable one record at a time

activeprime logoActivePrime is a Pasadena, California based company that is providing products and services geared towards cleaning and improving the quality of data, in the CRM space.

ActivePrime’s suite of products includes CleanCRM, a PC based product, for “Contextual Data Shaping“. The software verifies and fixes data records, using artificial intelligence (AI) and a proprietary Rules Engine, that can recognize and fill in structured data.

activeprime contextual data shapingActivePrime is a data quality partner for top CRM providers Saleslogix, and Siebel. ActivePrime plans to continue to broaden its compatibility base in the CRM arena.

ActivePrime will be presenting at the VentureNet Conference on October 5th, 2007. The company is currently self funded.

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