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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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The Companies in the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure Program

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I’ve written before about the Kinect Accelerator and Microsoft Accelerator. On Monday, the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure companies were announced. The program begins this week and ends in mid-January. Since the program is powered by TechStars, it’ll follow the standard TechStars timeline, finishing up with a demo day at the end of the program.

This is a global class. The companies included in this group hail from from Australia, Germany, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles to join the program in Seattle. I’m psyched to see what these companies build for and on top of Microsoft Azure.

Meet the ten Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure companies that made the cut:

               
               
     

Follow the program on Twitter: @bizspark and @windowsazure.

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The Microsoft Accelerator (Powered By TechStars) Is A Hit And It’s Expanding

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The first cycle of The Microsoft Accelerator, powered by TechStars, is in its final run up to demo day. The first program has focused on Kinect applications and has some super teams, such as Gestsure (they control operating rooms with motion control) and Ubi (they turn any surface into a touch screen.)

Demo Day is in Seattle on June 28th. If you are an investor (angel or VC), send me an email and I’ll get you an invitation.

TechStars and Microsoft have been so pleased with the program that a second cycle of the Microsoft Accelerator in Seattle has been added focusing on cloud-based applications.  The applications are open now through July 13. Each company gets $20k in funding, mentorship from top entrepreneurs, investors and Microsoft executives, $60K in Azure credit, office space, training and support, and demo day to pitch to investors, media, and industry influentials.

As you may know Microsoft has really made some awesome improvements to Windows Azure. Most notably it’s much more open source focused. Want to run Linux? No problem. Python? No problem as Microsoft has embraced open source with this update of Windows Azure. While you need not be using Azure to apply to the Microsoft Accelerator, if you’re playing in the Microsoft ecosystem at all I’d really encourage you to take a look at the latest news about Windows Azure.

If you are an entrepreneur working on something cloud computing related, especially in the Microsoft ecosystem, consider applying to the Microsoft Accelerator today.

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