Wow!! What an incredible experience of hosting our first ever Microsoft Dynamics CRM Incubation week. I would say two key aspects (communal and entrepreneur) made this event a huge success.
Five Startups (out of 50+) were invited for a week at MTC Reston to learn, and develop their business idea using Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a Rapid Development/Deployment Platform. Each startup team along with their assigned advisor (Thanks Jim Steger and Dan Blake for investing your time and money) and an offshore development company (Thanks Nilesh Patel from Proteans), worked very long hours every day to develop working prototypes.
In addition to technology, we had several business/industry guest speakers to cover topics like 'How to market your solution', 'How to raise money', and 'How to build a S+S business'. On Friday, each team pitched their business plan with solution demo to a panel of judges (VCs, CRM Thought Leader, Incubator), and could walk away with their own IP (in some cases near production ready code).
The event got very good blog/PR coverage including from Paul Greenberg, well known CRM thought leader; Joe Zuccaro, neutral blogger; Jeremy Epstein, marketing expert. These blogs highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to work with startups in today’s tough economy and our investment in the BizSpark initiative.
The following awards were won by the indicated companies.
Best Business Award (1st)
Best Business Award (2nd)
Super Cool Award (1st)
Super Cool Award (2nd)
You can see the detailed event coverage at Sanjay Jain’s various blog posts (Day0, Day1, Day2, Day3, Day4, Day5). Feel free to send your questions/comments to Sanjay Jain. You can submit your nomination for future CRM Incubation Weeks by following the directions at Sanjay Jain's blog.