Today, I am pleased to announce the ten finalists for the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure powered by TechStars. These startups are about to launch into a three-month program where they will develop new products and businesses using Windows Azure.
The response to the program has been fantastic - we received nearly 600 applications from entrepreneurs in 69 countries around the world, spanning a host of industries including retail, travel, entertainment, banking, real estate and more. There were so many innovative ideas and amazing teams that it really made the selection process hard. We finally landed on 10 finalists, based on their experience, qualifications, and innovative business ideas built on the cloud.
This fall’s Windows Azure class includes:
- Advertory – Berlin, Germany. Advertory helps local businesses increase revenue and build customer loyalty.
- Appetas – Seattle, WA. Appetas' mission is to make restaurants look as beautiful online as they do on the plate!
- BagsUp – Sydney, Australia. Find great places from people you trust.
- Embarke – San Diego, CA. Embarke allows developers and companies the ability to integrate with any human communication channel (Facebook, Email, Text Message, Twitter) without having to learn the specifics, write code, or spend time on any of them.
- Fanzo – Seattle, WA. Fanzo puts sports fans in the spotlight. Find other fans, show off your fanswagger and get rewarded for your passion.
- MetricsHub – Bellevue, WA. A service providing cloud monitoring with incident detection and prebuilt workflows for remedying common problems.
- Mobilligy – Bellevue, WA. Mobilligy revolutionizes how people pay their bills by bringing convenient, secure, and instant bill payment support to mobile devices.
- Realty Mogul – Los Angeles, CA. Realty Mogul is a crowdfunding platform for real estate where accredited investors pool capital and invest in properties that are acquired, managed and eventually resold by professional private real estate companies and their management teams.
- Staq – San Francisco, CA. Back-end as a service for APIs.
- Socedo – Bellevue, WA. A simple and effective web application for lead generation and relationship management on Twitter.
Each startup will be hosted in Seattle and mentored by entrepreneurs and venture capitalists as well as leaders from Windows Azure and other Microsoft organizations. The teams will spend the first month ideating and refining their business concepts with input and advice from their mentors as well as Microsoft customers, followed by two months of design and development. They will present their results to investors and Microsoft partners at an event in mid-January.
We are really looking forward to seeing how their businesses evolve. These teams have demonstrated incredible energy, passion, and innovative capabilities – and they are ready to show the world what’s possible with Windows Azure.
P.S. And if you are new to Twitter you can also optionally follow me: @scottgu