# Monday, May 3, 2021

Episode 659

Danielle Walker on Technology Startups

Danielle Walker assists entrepreneurs in starting technology companies. She discusses some of the things that they can do to launch a more successful product.

Monday, May 3, 2021 9:33:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, April 26, 2021

Episode 658

Matt Adamczyk on Title Town Tech and Startups

Matt Adamczyk is the Microsoft Technologist in Residence at Title Town Tech in Green Bay, WI. He talks about this organization and what it brings to startups in Wisconsin.

Monday, April 26, 2021 2:17:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, July 26, 2018

IMG_1666Hundreds of people packed the ballroom at the Four Seasons ballroom in downtown Seattle for the World Finals of the 2018 Imagine Cup competition.

Hosts Kate Yeager and Corey Sanders paused.

"And the winner is…"

The crowd leaned forward in anticipation.

They stomped their feet in a simulated drumroll.

They had met the judges; they had heard from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Olympic Gold Medalist Chloe Kim; and they had seen presentations from the three finalists.

IMG_1678Over 40,000 students from almost 200 countries around the world had signed up for this competition, but only the top 40 teams were invited to the Seattle area for the finals. These teams represented 33 different countries, and each pitched their projects - a combination of hardware, software, and business ideas - to a panel of judges. The judges culled the field to 18 semi-finalists; then to 3 finalists and these 3 delivered their final pitches on Day 3.

The 3 finalists were

  • iCry2Talk, a team from Greece that developed a system to analyze the crying of babies,  determine what triggered the crying, and communicate that to parents via text, image, and voice messages.
  • Mediated Ear, a team from Japan that developed software to help hearing-impaired people listen to a single voice in a room full of other voices and noises.
  • SmartARM, a team from Canada that built a prosthetic arm with a camera in the palm, capable of recognizing images and positioning the fingers to pick up the item correctly on a muscle flex.

And now it was time to learn the winner.

And the winner was…


IMG_0659A cheer erupted. Confetti flew from the ceiling. Music played.

SmartArm consisted of Hamayal Choudhry and Samin Khan, students at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the University of Toronto respectively.

I was especially pleased to see them take home the world championship. Months ago, I helped mentor them at a hackathon at the University of Toronto, where they won a prize for best use of Microsoft technology; and I've followed them as they put in countless hours of work and great ideas to advance their project to where it is today.

SmartArm took home the top prize - $85,000 cash, $50,000 Azure credits, and a mentoring session with Satya Nadella; but there were many winners beyond them and the other 2 Finalist teams. Many of the teams will return home to turn their projects into business. And many will inspire their classmates to compete next year.

It was an amazing week filled with energy and ideas.

Thursday, July 26, 2018 3:26:17 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, January 15, 2018
Monday, January 15, 2018 6:29:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Agolo is using Machine Learning to match employers with the right candidates for their open jobs. I spoke with CEO Sage Wohns when I was in New York City last week.

The interview is available on DevRadio at https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/DevRadio/DR1730.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 10:11:19 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Recently, I spoke with Komal Dadlani if Lab4U – an educational startup based in Chile. We talked about how they use mobile technology to bring low-cost labs to low-income schools and how they are leveraging Azure and BizSpark.

You can watch the interview at this link or below.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 1:02:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Sunday, November 20, 2016

Recently, I sat down with Charles Wright and Ian Easton of ADATA to talk about how their company migrates and integrates data across platforms. That interview is now available on channel 9. Click here or view it below.

Sunday, November 20, 2016 9:08:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Sunday, August 21, 2016

Last week, I interviewed Olivier de Jong of Airwave, a startup in the Netherlands that offers video conferencing. You can see the interview below or at this link.

Sunday, August 21, 2016 4:51:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Recently I interviewed Sally Buberman and Ignacio Lopez, who turned an Imagine Cup project into a successful startup. Wormhole uses gamification to make online learning more engaging. Watch the interview below or at: Startup Stories: An Interview with Sally Buberman and Ignacio Lopez from Wormhole

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 6:20:04 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Here is an interview I conducted recently with Victor Cintron of DimDrop – a startup that uses location-based services to improve communication. They are deploying a number of open source technologies to Microsoft Azure.

Startup Stories: An Interview with Victor Cintron, CEO of DimDrop

Azure | DevRadio | Interviews | OSS | Startups | Video
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 6:47:04 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Friday, May 20, 2016

Here is a recent conversation I had with Sean Goltz and Addison Cameron-Huff of Global-Regulation, a company that assists researchers who are searching for international law documents. They are deploying a variety of open source technologies on Microsoft Azure.

Watch this interview below or follow this link to the interview.

Friday, May 20, 2016 2:39:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, April 25, 2016
Monday, April 25, 2016 11:51:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, January 14, 2016

Recently, I chatted with Oisin Kim, CEO webdoctor an online prescription and medical service. We talked about Azure and BizSpark and their market.

You can watch the interview below.

Thursday, January 14, 2016 11:29:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Last night, I attended a Founder Institute session for the first time. I was invited to tell members about the BizSpark program, but I stuck around after my presentation was done.

Founder Institute is an organization designed to assist people start a new company - helping them through every aspect of the startup process. At last night's meeting, members practiced pitching their startup idea to potential investors. Three experienced entrepreneurs listened to each 3-minute pitch and provided feedback on the presentation. It was good practice for the startup and it was educational for me.

Here are a few of the things I learned last night

What problem are you solving?

Identify this early in your presentation. Why do customers need your product or service? Who will potentially buy it?

Compare to something they know

Investors are unlikely to have heard your idea before. Make it easy for them by comparing it to things with which they are familiar. If your sales model uses contract salespeople who reach out to individual consumers, compare it to Avon. One startup proposed providing practical tests for companies hiring electrical engineers. Remind the audience that similar tests are now used successfully by companies hiring software engineers.

Identify your market

Not everyone is a potential customer. Identify what you are selling and who will buy it. If this is an established market, what are the current revenues - both worldwide and in your local area. One startup mentioned that the current market was in the trillions, but provided no context for that number, making it difficult to digest such a large number. Filter those customers to those who might reasonably consider your product and define who those customers are and how much they spend.

Stress your credibility

One hopeful startup was planning to sell wedding dresses online. At the end of his presentation, he casually mentioned that he owned a store that sells wedding dresses. Each of the panelists told him to lead with that information as it established his credibility. He was already familiar with the marketplace and the potential customers. In his case, it was even more important to establish this credibility because he is a man and his target audience is mostly female.


Startup pitches tend to be short (each pitch last night was limited to 3 minutes), so focus on the things that will make your startup successful. It doesn't help to list dozens of features your product will eventually have. It does help to list those features you plan to include in the first release of your product and why those features will resonate with potential users.

In my job as a Technical Evangelist, I work with many startups, often providing mentoring to them. Listening to experienced entrepreneurs last night will help me to serve as a better mentor in the future.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 3:35:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I recently interviewed Wunderflats CEO Jan Hase for DevRadio. Wunderflats is an online service allowing users to search for furnished apartments.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 4:49:23 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Recently, I interviewed technologist Andy Abbott about his startup BookdeOut, the technologies involved, and how he and his team leveraged the cloud to build the application.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015 11:18:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Recently, I sat down with my old friend Manohar Kamath to talk about his new startup – Pursuits. Manohar describes Pursuits as a CRM for career transitions because it helps graduating students and other job seekers manage their job search.

He talks about the startup process, his choice of platform (Pursuits is built on Azure) and how BizSpark helped.

You can view and listen to the entire interview below or at this link.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 3:35:26 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Recently, I interviewed Jeawy Jang and Tae Tongnussock, two students from Thailand who built Den-Lin  - a mobile application designed to test the composition of soil. The application placed in the Imagine Cup competition last year.

Here is that interview on DevRadio.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 10:39:24 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, May 11, 2015
Monday, May 11, 2015 11:00:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, March 30, 2015
Monday, March 30, 2015 8:08:25 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 9 was International Women's Day. To commemorate this event, Dev Radio decided to publish a series of interview last week, drawing attention to successful female entrepreneurs. 

We kicked off the series by talking with Microsoft Partner Business Evangelist Tereza Nemessanyi - a former entrepreneur herself. Tereza talked about BizSpark and other things that Microsoft is doing to help entrepreneurs in general and women in particular.

Then, we interviewed 4 women who are guiding successful tech startups around the world. You can watch all 5 interviews at the links below:

Microsoft for Startups: (Part 1) Women Building the Future – An Interview with Tereza Nemessanyi

Microsoft for Startups: (Part 2) Women Building the Future – An Interview with Bernadine Brocker, CEO of Vastari

Microsoft for Startups: (Part 3) Women Building the Future – An Interview with Diana Paredes, CEO of Suade

Microsoft for Startups: (Part 4) Women Building the Future – An Interview with Jennifer Whaley, CEO of Pose a Pet

Microsoft for Startups: (Part 5) Women Building the Future – An Interview with Luan Cox, CEO of Crowdnetic

This series was featured in a recent Microsoft News Center article celebrating International Women's Day and female entrepreneurs. You can read that article here: Technology disrupted: Meet 11 women leaders changing the innovation ecosystem.

Saturday, March 14, 2015 4:14:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, March 10, 2015

This is the fifth in a series we are doing at DevRadio on female entrepreneurs. I interviewed Luan Cox of Crowdnetic – a global crowdfinancing platform.

Watch episode at DevRadio

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 12:26:42 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Sunday, March 8, 2015

This is the fourth in a series we are doing at DevRadio on female entrepreneurs. I interviewed Jennifer Whaely and Jeff Everett of Pose-a-Pet, a Chicago-based company that helps find homes for animals.

Watch episode at DevRadio

Sunday, March 8, 2015 12:38:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Saturday, March 7, 2015

This is the third in a series we are doing at DevRadio on female entrepreneurs. I interviewed Diana Paredes, CEO of Suade - an open regulatory financial platform.

Watch episode at DevRadio

Saturday, March 7, 2015 8:20:21 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Friday, March 6, 2015

The second interview in the Microsoft for startups series is with Bernadine Brocker, CEO of Vastari - a company that matches art collectors and museums.

Watch episode at DevRadio

Friday, March 6, 2015 1:34:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Thursday, March 5, 2015

At DevRadio, we are starting a new series on Microsoft for Startups.

In this recent episode, I spoke with Microsoft Startup Evangelist Tereza Nemessanyi about her history as an entrepreneur, what she and Microsoft are doing for startups, and what it's like as a female entrepreneur.

Watch episode at DevRadio

Thursday, March 5, 2015 2:36:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)