Announcing the Windows Startup Challenge

Ted Dworkin, Partner Program Manager for the Store, authored this post.

In September, we partnered with Startup Weekend to give entrepreneurs technical mentorship, design guidance, and other valuable resources through a series of Windows Bootcamps. Today, we’re excited to announce the next stage of this work: the Windows Startup Challenge. This challenge—a joint effort between Startup Weekend, DEMO and Windows—focuses on helping startup developers take an app from the prototype phase, through design and development, and finally to a great launch.

If you are just starting out as a Windows Store app developer, this challenge will test your ability to prototype a business idea and bring your app to life. The winning team will receive a spot at DEMO Mobile to launch their app on April 17th in San Francisco.

The challenge has two stages:

  1. Windows Store app prototype
    Submit a 2-minute video (or a presentation) that shows a prototype of your app.
    Deadline: January 29th
  2. App design and development
    If your entry is selected, work with an assigned expert to develop your prototyped app and get it ready for launch.
    Deadline: March 1st

The top 5 teams will each receive a promo package which includes banners, marketing and PR support from Microsoft. The top team will get the opportunity to launch their app to a global audience at the DEMO Mobile stage on April 17th in front of top tier seed investors, VCs, and tech press.

If your startup has a Windows Store app that hasn’t launched yet, we invite you to apply now to participate in the Windows Startup Challenge. The contest entry period for the first stage ends on January 29 and the second stage ends on March 1st. Check out the Official Rules, and if you have other contest related inquiries and questions, email


Comments (7)

  1. Krisztian Gyuris says:

    The server where the rules can be seen seems to be down! Can you please fix it?

  2. Ken Bishop says:

    The server is down. How about a fix?

  3. John Allwork says:

    And there I was thinking the challenge was to get windows to start up quicker!

  4. I can't leave a comment on the relevant post, but I don't know how else to get in touch with you, Antoine. A winner of the First Apps Contest, Jujuba Software, created an app that is an exact ripoff of my web site, merely converted to conform to Windows Store standards. Every tab, every bit of data, every color, and the exact order of that data. If this is not dealt with quickly, I have lost all respect for the Windows Store and will have no interest in developing a real app for my web site, Please get in touch with me about this.

  5. Continuing from my previous comment, here's an album detailing the ripoff.

  6. If feel at the moment the Windows app store is brain dead!


    1.) The Windows app to explore the store is bad. Only the apps on the first page will get attention. If you forward to the details page: 1000 mini icons (11!! per column) with hardly any text. OK: you can search it but if you don't know which app your looking for there is a massive effort to find something. You have to be VERY commited to search this massy view. Hence users do not do it.

    2.) The number of ratings is low – finding the rating function is way to hard for users from within the app. Either the developer adds an extra button or nag screen or he wil not get ratings

    3.) Way to many "trash" apps. I'd say: at least 70% have a BAD quality. Either don't work or do nothing else but offering the content of a web site in a app without any addtional value. Lot's of poorly designed stuff. Most apps I try I'll uninstall after a matter of two, three tries. Or never even use.

    4.) MS is not doing anything to market the app store. We are badly missing a page that helps the user find good apps. Once user find more apps the chance that they will try or buy other apps as well will increase.

    Overall: the time where MS could simply drop it's products to the market and users would run for them without the need for supporting marketing are over. There are plenty of other opportunities to spend your money – and many are way more attractive and easier to access.


    Hansjörg Reister

  7. Did they really let an app win that is a periodic table of elements?? What a lame duck 🙂 Even worse – it's a rip 🙁

    Millions of people waited to get a periodic table of elements.  Here is another one……/Periodic_table

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