Partnering up with Microsoft Canada!

Partnering up with Microsoft Canada!

Working on a new app? Want to test it on Windows 8 devices for free?

Starting next week, entrepreneurs working in the ICE (information technology, communications and entertainment) sector will be able to make full use of a Windows Store App Lab (WSAL) set up in the MaRS Commons through a new partnership with Microsoft Canada.

Microsoft Canada has also installed a cool new lounge in the Commons that includes a casual meeting space to relax or take a break, an Xbox 360 with Kinect and the latest Windows 8 devices such as the Surface tablet so ICE entrepreneurs can test their products, save money and get to market faster.

As a charity, MaRS relies on the generous support of our donors and partners to carry out our mission of accelerating innovation and helping Canadians grow successful new companies that will create the jobs of tomorrow. In launching this new space in the Commons, Microsoft Canada is now helping us achieve this goal!

Microsoft has launched physical locations like these for their new WSALs in more than 30 cities globally. In Canada, in addition to the MaRS Commons, there are Labs in strategic startup hubs such as LaunchAcademy in Vancouver and Notman House in Montreal.

The Labs connect developers or startups working with Windows 8 to Microsoft Premier Field Experts (PFEs), who can offer guidance on:

  • Windows 8 design, including layout, navigation, tiles, etc.
  • App Store certification process and common pitfalls
  • Testing
  • Performance issues and suggestions
  • General technical and development advice

“Microsoft is committed to growing and fostering the startup and entrepreneurial community,” says Marc Gagne, Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft Canada. “We have great resources for startups and developers, including BizSpark and the Windows Store App Labs. We encourage startups in the MaRS Commons to take full advantage of our various platforms, programs and expertise.”

Developing an app for Windows 8? Come pitch it!

Our partnership kick-off event, the App Pitch competition, will take place in the MaRS Commons on January 29, 2013.

This is your opportunity to show the Toronto startup community your app ideas for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The top three apps will receive a spot in the elevator to pitch to investors during the International Startup Festival Elevator World Tour on January 31.

We’re looking forward to collaborating with the Microsoft Canada team and other like-minded organizations in the coming year. Together, we’re launching incredible startups into the marketplace.