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Innovation center partners with Microsoft BizSpark

Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center selected to join Microsoft BizSpark program 

Microsoft BizSpark

Global program to foster success of Brandeis University startups
May 6, 2016

Brandeis University’s Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center (HFIC) announced today that it has been selected to join the Microsoft BizSpark Program as a Network Partner.  BizSpark is a global program designed to accelerate the success of early-stage startups by connecting them with active members of the global software ecosystem who can provide mentorship, guidance and resources to eligible university startups. BizSpark creates an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship between Microsoft Corp., startups and the innovation center.  

“The Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center was established to support the deeply diverse entrepreneurial spirit at Brandeis,” says Rebecca Menapace, associate provost for innovation and executive director of the center and the Brandeis Office of Technology Licensing. “We are excited to partner with Microsoft in order to complement our current initiatives and deliver our students, faculty and staff additional opportunities to accelerate their innovative endeavors and help scale our community’s novel ideas to have far-reaching, real-world impact.” 

Microsoft and the university’s innovation center are committed to helping entrepreneurs transform their ambitions into sustainable, dynamic businesses and to foster innovation and entrepreneurialism across the Brandeis community. To this end, the BizSpark program provides startups with leading technology, business and technical support, and market and networking opportunities at a time when they are most valuable and least affordable — during their first three years, with absolutely no upfront costs and minimal requirements.

Steve Ramsay, director of developer, student and startup evangelism at Microsoft, praised the current programming focused around innovation and entrepreneurship at the university. “Whether through the MakerLab, the rapid 3 Day Startup Challenge at Brandeis International Business School (IBS), or the SPARK and SPROUT programs, students are encouraged to think and press for an innovative set of ideas while leveraging the assets that Brandeis can offer,” Ramsay said. “The partnership approach taken at Brandeis as a part of the startup ecosystem is critical, and Microsoft is happy to support the university’s startup activity to ensure that startups get the very best technology they can to build successful ventures.”

The center currently offers enrollment to qualified teams and participants from their highly successful SPARK and SPROUT seed-funding competitions, as well as Brandeis IBS’s 3 Day Startup event. It hopes to expand on the opportunity and welcomes potential startups to submit requests for codes.

To be eligible for the Microsoft BizSpark Program, startups must be actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that is a core piece of their business model, have been in business less than three years at the time of enrollment and have less than US$1 million in annual revenue. Startups may enroll in the program by obtaining an enrollment code from the Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center.

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