Leading startup hubs work with Microsoft to promote entrepreneurship in Canada

Startup hubs in Montreal, Toronto & Vancouver partner with Microsoft Ventures to bring support to local startups

TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - Working to help foster Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship, Microsoft Canada announced today formal relationships with three of the country's leading startup hubs: Launch Academy in Vancouver, Montreal's Notman House and MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

The relationship is part of Microsoft Ventures, a global initiative to help entrepreneurs build great companies. Working with startups at every stage of maturity, the initiative provides the tools, resources, and expertise startups need to help succeed.

"We are excited to partner with these three leading startup hubs because entrepreneurism is a local phenomenon and Launch Academy, Notman House and MaRS Discovery District with their proven record for success, represent amazing examples of startup innovation, support and community," said Cliff Reeves, senior director of community programs, Microsoft Ventures. "Great ideas and smart businesses are created in local entrepreneurial communities and we are looking forward to collaborating with Launch Academy, Notman House and MaRS Discovery District, some of Canada's leading startup hubs."

Microsoft Ventures works actively in the community to empower and enable entrepreneurs to thrive by offering resources to help launch successful businesses and, by extension, to help grow the Canadian economy overall.  Microsoft is on site at all three locations to provide technical mentorship and assistance as well as access to devices for development and testing. The Microsoft BizSpark program further supports tech startups by providing them with free software including Windows, Visual Studio, Office and more representing over $13,000 in software.  Windows Azure cloud hosting credits worth $150 a month is also available to technology based startups through Microsoft BizSpark.

For more information about Microsoft Ventures, visit www.microsoftventures.com

For more information about Microsoft BizSpark, visit www.microsoft.com/bizspark

Learn More about Each Startup Hub

MaRS Discovery District (@marsdd): Toronto's MaRS Discovery District is one of the world's largest urban innovation centres, cultivating high-impact ventures and equipping innovators to drive economic and social prosperity in Canada. MaRS' Information Technology, Communications & Entertainment (ICE) practice supports key industry clusters by providing them with business/technical advisory services, education and market research, and connecting them to talent, customers and capital. MaRS' global reputation for innovation and dedication to building high-growth companies makes them an ideal partner.

Notman House (@notman): Montreal represents a growing share of the Canadian tech startup ecosystem, with many startups emerging and an extremely active venture capital scene, and Notman House brings together players from all parts of the community. Notman House has rapidly become the "Home of the Web" in Montreal, making it a natural fit to partner with Microsoft. Many great founders, startups, and ideas have been born from the meeting space, where events and meetups occur almost daily, and the office space provides a place for collaboration and growth for many startups, both from Montreal and abroad.

Launch Academy (@launch_academy): Vancouver is known as a creative and entrepreneurial city and Launch Academy embodies this through their pre-accelerator program and co-working space. Launch Academy aims to build a vibrant startup ecosystem and a prosperous economy where new jobs are created and new markets are discovered, which is why Microsoft is excited to partner with them.

Visit Microsoft Ventures at www.microsoftventures.com to learn more about how Microsoft is helping the next generation of smart companies take flight.


Quotes from Microsoft Ventures Partners:

"Having members of the Microsoft Ventures team onsite at MaRS offers tremendous value to the diverse and talented entrepreneurs who gather here from across many fields and focus on many different technologies and markets," said Salim Teja, Managing Director of MaRS' ICE practice. "We're thrilled to have them here as a resource for our startups."

"Montreal has a growing web culture, and being the "Home of the Web" allows us to be at the center of all things tech in Montreal. Having Microsoft Ventures and BizSpark permanently in the house has been a fantastic offering for the city's developers, who are constantly seeking to bring new innovations to the web space. An invaluable partner, they offer our visitors access to markets that they wouldn't have otherwise, as well as unparalleled support for our developers through their presence at the House." Said Alan MacIntosh, President of OSMO Foundation

"This relationship embodies the spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship here in Vancouver. Microsoft has been instrumental in the growth and establishment of Launch Academy as the Centre for Entrepreneurship in British Columbia.  We are excited to expand our relationship with Microsoft Ventures and continue building the vibrant startup ecosystem and prosperous economy we all aspire to achieve," said Ray Walia Executive Director, Launch Academy.

About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.

SOURCE: Microsoft Canada Inc.

For further information:

Kate Burkholder
Veritas Communications


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