• Main Event Series

Microsoft/SDForum Entrepreneur Challenge



  • Looking for venture financing? Interested in building ties with Microsoft? Apply now for your chance to catch Microsoft's eye and pitch to a panel of high-profile venture capitalists at SDForum on November 9th!

    On November 9th, SDForum is hosting a special Entrepreneur Challenge where Microsoft will choose a small number of companies who fit their strategic profile to pitch to a panel of hand-picked venture capitalists. The application process will be run through SDForum and all SDForum members are welcome to apply (join online at http://www.sdforum.org/join). Microsoft will choose companies from submitted applications based on both a traditional executive summary and a short questionnaire on their strategy visa vis Microsoft products and services (see below).

    Participating venture firms include Alta Partners, Battery Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Garage Technology Ventures, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Osprey Ventures and SOFTBANK Venture Capital.

    Applications are due by NOON on FRIDAY OCTOBER 26TH. All applicants will be notified of their status by Tuesday November 6th. Winners will be scheduled for a private 45 minute slot with the panel between 9am - 5pm on Friday November 9th. The format of the panel will include 30 minutes to pitch and 15 minutes for Q&A from the panel. The pitches are private - only the VC panelists and Microsoft representatives will be in the room. Not all panelists will hear all pitches, so be sure to indicate on your application if you have met with any of these venture firms before. See below for details.

    Entrepreneur Challenge Application

    To be considered for the Microsoft/SDForum Entrepreneur Challenge, please mail the following information to challenge@sdforum.org by NOON on FRIDAY OCTOBER 26TH and attach a three page executive summary covering the five key areas outlined below. Only complete applications will be considered. If you have any questions, please call 408-494-8378.

    Personal Data

    Company Name
    Size of Co. (people)
    Mailing Address
    City, State Zip
    Contact Email
    Are you currently an SDForum member? Yes / No
    If no, please join now at http://www.sdforum.org/join
    Have you met previously with any of the participating venture firms? Yes / No
    If yes, please list the names of those firms.


    Please rate your company 1-4 in each of the following eight areas, where:
    1 = Already using
    2 = Interested but need more information to make a decision
    3 = Reviewed and decided not to use / could not meet our needs
    4 = Not applicable

    1) XML
    - Using XML to share data and communicate with other web components

    2) UDDI
    - Register in the UDDI public directory

    3) SOAP
    - Using XML/SOAP RPCs to invoke web services

    4) Passport
    - Consuming Foundation Services

    5) Visual Studio .NET Beta
    - Using ASP.Net, Using RPCs to invoke web services

    6) SQL Server
    - SQL Server licensed or deployed

    7) BizTalk Server
    - BizTalk Server licensed or deployed

    8) Windows 2000 Server
    - Windows 2000 Server licensed or deployed

    Executive Summary

    Along with the above information, please attach an Executive Summary, 3 pages or less (as a Word document) covering the following:

    Management Team. Outline the members of your core team, relevant skillsets, industry specific knowledge and expertise, proven ability, leadership capacity, etc.

    Market Landscape. Outline the current and future state of the market, including size, market conditions, time to market, how you'll address and meet the needs, etc.

    Competitive Advantage. Outline your unfair competitive advantage related to other direct and indirect competitors, including uniqueness of concept, technology expertise, intellectual property, etc.

    Business Model. Outline how you will make money, including revenue model(s), sales targets and channels, expenses, costs of customer acquisition, etc.

    Feasibility. Outline your execution and growth plans, including strategic relationships, planned usage of funds, liquidity/exit strategy, etc.

    Email your completed application to challenge@sdforum.org by NOON on Friday October 26th.