Startup Camp Bohol and Cebu happened on May 7 and May 9 of 2015 respectively. Stars aligned that I was able to attend both which really gave me more insight on how the Bohol and Cebu communities worked. Other than that, I got to learn more about Microsoft's ventures into Startups through Mr. Arnie Locsin, the tech evangelist of Microsoft. They had more speakers in the Cebu camp though; the community being as diverse as it is. That's because the intended second speaker at the Bohol Startup Camp had to rest at the clinic for the day (lack of sleep and stress. poor sir Allan).
Two Microsoft programs were highlighted during the Startup Camp. Microsoft BizSpark and Microsoft Azure. The former is a program created by Microsoft for startups. Under it are similar programs like Microsoft BizSpark Plus and Microsoft Ventures, each with their own set of perks. Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform created by Microsoft for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network.
Basically, if you get accepted into the Microsoft BizSpark program, you get $750 worth of Microsoft cloud services for three years. That includes Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Cloud Solutions and all Microsoft software. That's already $150 for five developers.
"If you are a software startup and not a consulting firm, are in operation for less than 3 years, making less than 1M$ in annual revenue, you WILL be accepted. " *
In applying, it also helps to have a legitimate website domain name and custom email address.
If you are successful in your BizSpark application, you can then apply for BizSpark Plus with a stricter acceptance basis and regimen. Word of advice: before applying, sort out what resources you need and make sure that the BizSpark Plus program is really something you need at the current stage of your startup.
The BizSpark Plus program provides $5k per month as opposed to the $750 per month in the regular BizSpark program. Some startups fall out because they upgrade too early. Their consumption barely reaches a thousand dollars and yet they are applying for the BizSpark Plus program, only leading to their team's termination as their consumption is considerably less than what is given to them. So choose wisely.
The portal enables you to create databases, websites, applications, virtual machines and everything on the cloud with your Microsoft account. It provides PaaS and IaaS services and supports many other languages and frameworks including many Microsoft software.
PaaS vs IaaS vs SaaS
IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, means that the cloud computing service provider takes care of setting up the Virtualization, Storage, Networking and everything it needs to setup an environment where you only have to worry about the operating systems and other stacks above that.
If you want to only worry about your code, the PaaS, or the Platform as a Service, is the model you're looking for.
Startup Camps will be happening at Ilo-Ilo and General Santos city next so if you're near the area, check them out! Stay tuned for updates via the TechTalks facebook page!