Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC), Karachi will host the 2015 episode of BizSpark Camp in Karachi, Pakistan for local startups. With the aim to provide “free technology, support, visibility, and community to promising startups and entrepreneurs,” BizSpark Camp 2015 will be the 5th occurrence of the global event to be held in Pakistan.
Any local startup related to some technology domain can apply for the Camp. Selected startups will receive free tools and services from Microsoft, and will attend the intensive Technical and Business training workshops throughout the month of April. The camp activities will conclude with the BizSpark Demo Day which will be held in June, 2015. At the Demo Day, 2015’s BizSpark startups will demonstrate their projects and will receive the opportunity to network with potential partners and investors.
We got in touch with MIC Lead, Muhammad Umer, for more details about the Camp. He told us that over 800 startups from all over Pakistan registered with MIC for the BizSpark Camp events held in previous years. While he did not disclose the number of teams MIC will mentor this year, he provided answers to some frequently-asked questions:
TechJuice: Can any startup from Pakistan apply for the BizSpark Camp 2015? Is there a limit for the number of team members from a startup?
Muhammad Umer: Yes, any startup from Pakistan can apply, but their presence is mandatory on the local events i.e. Trainings etc. And there is no limit of team members.
TJ: How can a startup improve its chances in getting selected for the camp?
MU: The secret sauce for startups to improve their chances for selection is a well-developed product idea, clear understanding of market size, startup vision and commitment etc.
TJ: Is it necessary to use Microsoft technologies in order to get selected for the camp? What about the startups which do not use MS technologies?
MU: We do not restrict startups to use Microsoft technologies since our cloud platform (Azure) supports open source community and its technologies. So startups can build solutions that are powered by Azure back-end, and front-end on the technology of their choice like Web, Windows, Android, iOS etc.
TJ: Will all the activities under BizSpark Camp be held in Karachi?
MU: The activities will be held at different locations of Karachi including MIC and our partner premises as well. Startup members competing from other cities of Pakistan will have to attend these trainings events in Karachi.
A tentative timeline of the Camp activities is as follows:
- Registrations open: March 15, 2015
- Registrations close: March 22, 2015
- Announcement of selected startups: March 24, 2015
- Inauguration Ceremony: Late March 2015
- Camp Events/Training Workshops: April 2015
- Microsoft Azure Cloud Camp
- Universal & Cross-platform App Development Camp
- Business Camp [Sales, Marketing, etc.]
- BizSpark Demo Day: June 2015