bing-fund

Microsoft Announces Bing Fund, Here’s The Fineprint

Microsoft has formally unveiled their angel investment fund and incubator called Bing Fund. I wrote about its possible announcement a few days ago, back then I didn’t have a lot of information. My ZDNet colleague, Mary Jo Foley came across a job posting suggesting Microsoft’s intentions of improving their online product portfolio with new projects coming out of Bing Fund. Along with the Bing Fund announcement, Microsoft has shared some ┬ádetails.┬áThe fineprint of the fund is quite interesting since surprisingly using the Microsoft dev stack is not a compulsion. While Microsoft hopes to educate and would like to see startups using Microsoft products, it is not a rejection parameter. Some key points:

  • Startups that have a working product and some momentum will be chosen
  • Microsoft’s already cash-losing Bing will be providing an undisclosed sum of money to a limited number of startups incorporated in the US
  • The exclusive club will add a new startup only after a startup graduates
  • Focus will be on startups developing mobile and Internet products
  • Microsoft does not expect anything in return, or so they claim
  • The company hopes to get into the glamorous startup ecosystem that has so far evaded Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform
  • For startups in infancy, Microsoft suggests BizSpark
  • The incubator is based in Microsoft’s Seattle backyard and for good Microsoft guidance startups are expected to be in the neighboring area

For a while I’ve been wondering why Microsoft was not doing enough to get startups develop apps for Windows Phone along with iOS/Android, the Bing Fund will most likely fix this problem and at the same time help achieve Microsoft’s tablet goals.

 

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