Betsy Aoki is Senior Program Manager at Bing
I first met Lori Anne Wardi, a vice president at .CO, during a Geeks on a Plane tour of Asia last fall. While on the shuttle to and from various startup accelerators and meeting spots, we chatted about the wacky dot-com 90s and how things have changed (and stayed the same) in startupland since those days. More consumers know what a domain name is now but people are still faced with the dilemma of how to fund and shape their new companies. And, just like the 90s, there is still a marked shortage of women tech entrepreneurs.
To that end, I’d like to offer up a resource that will be useful to men and women startup founders – the Bing Booster program at http://www.bingbooster.com– and also highlight some work Bing is doing with female founders that may be of interest to those of you in California.
First whether male or female, you may find some useful information at http://www.bingbooster.com, our pilot initiative which is part of the Microsoft BizSpark program. On the ground activities are available in select US tech hubs – New York City, Boston, San Francisco/Bay Area – and overall the project is designed to help accelerate the success of startups by offering no-cost tools and resources, technical guidance and market visibility.
Northern Californians, we’d like to direct your attention to a great startup event coming on Valentine’s Day – Women 2.0 PITCH conference at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
In addition to hearing from the PITCH competition finalists, Bing folks will join the 800+ attendees to hear and learn from the women who built Flickr, Facebook, Zipcar, TaskRabbit, and LARK as they talk about taking products from concept to cash (and of course, getting customers!). Bing stepped up last October (around the same time Lori and I were standing at the Great Wall of China) and subsidized 100 founders’ applications for the Women 2.0 Startup Competition which has its grand finale at the PITCH conference. I’m especially curious to see what the applicants have to say and who ends up winning the consultation with venture capitalists and other help.
If you are in the area and interested, definitely visit http://women2.org/conference2012 and save 10% by registering with discount code “MICROSOFT”.
.CO will be at Women 2.0, so please stop by and say hi!