Most startups focus on their application of technology to solve a problem but fail to think about how to monetize this, Microsoft Philippines technical evangelist for Azure Arnie Locsin said over the weekend.
Locsin was in Cebu for the Startup Camp, a one-day workshop on technology and entrepreneurship held last May 9 at the University of San Carlos in Talamban, Cebu City. The event was organized by Microsoft Philippines in collaboration with TechTalks.ph.
Startup Camp discussed free software and services that startups can use to build their business. A key focus of the event was Microsoft’s BizSpark program, which offers startups free software and credits for Azure cloud services for 3 years.
“It’s really about providing support and visibility to startups,” Locsin told MyCebu.ph in an interview during the event. He said the free Azure cloud services credits are a big help to the startups that many work to be included in the program primarily because of it.
Apart from the software and services, BizSpark helps startups through networking. “We set up a community networking environment. We also link startups with other entities that can help them,” Locsin said.
He also said the company helps startups through business mentorship.
Locsin said Microsoft also helps boost startups by introducing them to and bringing their products to “actual customers” that are some of the biggest companies in the country. He said the company has account managers working with top firms who can help introduce startups under their fold.
He cited as example Tudlo, a Cebu-based startup, that they introduced to different local governments through its Microsoft Next program.
Locsin said there are 700 startups in the Philippines who are part of BizSpark. About 15 are in BizSpark Plus, a program for more advanced startups.
During the event, Locsin highlighted the capabilities of Azure including the ability to run non-Microsoft Windows and open source technology like Linux. Among the topics discussed in the Startup Camp were free tools, the cloud, and building apps.
In Startup Camps, “the participants will learn about tech startups or Innovation-Driven enterprises as well as ways to start their own businesses. Entrepreneurs and members of the business sector will gain more knowledge on the ways to enhance their businesses with technological tools,” said TechTalks.ph founder Tina Amper.
The first Startup Camp was held on April 11 in Batangas and was co-organized with Brainsparks.ph. Microsoft partnered with TechTalks.ph for the Startup Camp last May 7 in Tagbilaran City. Succeeding Startup Camps will be organized in collaboration with TechTalks.ph.