Microsoft Wants to Be Your Angel Investor With New Bing Fund

Microsoft recently launched its Bing Fund, but it may face a challenge attracting entrepreneurs to the incubator program given media reports portraying the Redmond giant as a bureaucratic, moribund mess.

Vanity Fair, for example, characterized the company as having made “astonishingly foolish management decisions” in a recent article and, of course, Microsoft has to overcome its long-standing nickname of Borg to lure entrepreneurs.

Sponsored by Bing, the angel fund is “backed by the experience, expertise, and resources of Microsoft,” the company gushes. It says it wants to partner with “great talent that is innovating online to solve big problems and create amazing new experiences.”

Microsoft is looking for:

  • Startups that are building online or mobile experiences that incorporate fresh insights.
  • Startups with both inspirational vision and the ability to execute.
  • A working prototype, preferably a site or application that is already live (i.e. people can sign up to use it) and gaining momentum.
  • A compelling plan that describes the problem being solved, a general idea of the market potential/competitive landscape, and unique market advantages.

Once a company is accepted, it will receive subsidized use of APIs from Bing’s data ecosystem and the opportunity to access Microsoft Research’s technology assets. Microsoft experts will be available for consultation but rest assured, Microsoft says, “Your IP and product, of course, remain yours, even if we give input and assistance.”

Of course, entrepreneurs with a working prototype that’s gaining momentum may attract just as much interest from traditional angels and VCs. So the question is: Does Microsoft have the DNA to be a successful angel investor?

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. BY Jimmy Lozano says:

    —-”” the angel fund is “backed by the experience, expertise, and resources of Microsoft,” the company gushes. It says it wants to partner with “great talent that is innovating online to solve big problems and create amazing new experiences.” “”—-

    Seriously…!!!

    Let’s start with: What is the problem??? and What kind the experience???

    If you get those answers from Microsoft or Bing team, I’ll sure you: I can give you the solution and the kind the experience they wanted.

  2. BY David Strom says:

    They certainly have the DNA — numerous former Microsoft employees have started dozens if not hundreds of new ventures over the years. The issue is that they have started them AFTER leaving the company. If they can fast-track some of these ideas and get them connected with the right folks and money inside the company, there is hope.

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