Jul 03 2013

DC Startup Incubator 1776 Announces Partnership with Microsoft

New partnership will provide startups with tools and expertise from Redmond.

It’s good to have friends in high places. Especially friends who can leverage more than 30 years of experience in technology and business to nurture and foster your startup seed.

1776, a new startup incubator based in Washington, D.C., just announced a brand-new partnership with Microsoft, in which leaders from the company will collaborate with startups to guide them from a technical and business standpoint.

“[Microsoft] will help startups to leverage platforms upon which they can build innovative apps with the ability to scale rapidly and efficiently,” says 1776 co-founder Donna Harris. “Through 1776, they're also providing mentorships for architects who can ensure that startups are maximizing the potential of these tools and platforms.”

In particular, Harris believes that Microsoft can provide a serious leg up to startups in tough-to-crack verticals like health and education.

“Microsoft experts can significantly shorten the time to market for 1776 members. 1776 emphasizes startups reinventing education, health, energy, transportation, government and other highly regulated sectors. Microsoft has deep expertise and the most robust sales and marketing organization in these sectors of any technology company,” she says.

In addition to the guidance and mentorship from Microsoft experts, startups at 1776 will have access to Microsoft tools like Windows Azure, Bing and Windows 8 at reduced rates or for free through Microsoft’s BizSpark program.

More good news for startups enrolled at the 1776 campus: The incubator announced a partnership with Comcast to deploy high-speed Internet throughout the facility. Members will have access to Ethernet Dedicated Internet, which can scale up to 10 gigabit per second.

“Connectivity — both speed and availability — are the lifeblood of a modern technology startup. One of the aspects of 1776 that stuns visitors new to the startup world is that there are literally no servers. Everything that these companies do is in the cloud — from their email to their coding platforms to their business processes,” says Harris.

Tolerance for latency and downtime is incredibly low in sectors like financial services, and startups operate in a similar vein.

“Blindly fast and robust Internet access is what enables [startups] to operate so incredibly efficiently. It's central to the competitive advantage they have versus more traditional, legacy organizations,” says Harris. “And the more bandwidth, the more innovative ways startups will find to use it!”