Microsoft Azure Accelerator: 10 Startup Names to Watch

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CEO Al Bsharah (who blogged about making the cut here) and CTO Bryan Hall, and Embarke also employs two software developers.

Fanzo is a social network for sports fans, focused on making a corner of the web for rabid followers to share information and connect with real-life meetups and events.

As a diehard Seahawks fan who has been trying to find a way to watch games on the East Coast, I definitely liked the idea of a place to find other displaced Seattleites. But there is, of course, the question about whether the world needs another separate socialization platform. But Microsoft and TechStars saw enough promise to select this Seattle-based startup for the Azure program.

The team has ties to Smilebox, the Redmond, WA-based photo sharing service that was acquired for up to $40 million by IncrediMail last year. Fanzo CEO Paul Ingalls was Smilebox’s co-founder and CTO, and also worked on the early versions of the video games business at RealNetworks. Interestingly, Ingalls was a mentor on the Kinect Accelerator program.

MetricsHub has the least information kicking around online. Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie describes it thusly: “A service providing cloud monitoring with incident detection and prebuilt workflows for remedying common problems.” The startup is based in Bellevue.

Mobilligy promises to help consumers collect all of their annoying monthly bills into one application that will allow quick and easy payments from mobile devices or PCs.

The app is free and the startup promises no fees of any kind, so I’m really curious to see how they plan to make money. As a consumer, this definitely is one of those situations that could use a good software solution to tie together several separate online services.

Three quarters of the Bellevue-based team are Microsoft veterans, including co-founder Steve Gordon, who was a principal development lead at the company before striking out with Mobilligy. Co-founder Tyler Griffin previously worked in investment banking and private equity.

Realty Mogul is another obscure one, billing its service as a place where private investors can pool their cash for real estate deals. It’s based in L.A.

Guthrie’s blog is once again helpful: “Realty Mogul is a crowdfunding platform for real estate where accredited investors pool capital and invest in properties that are acquired, managed and eventually resold by professional private real estate companies and their management teams.”

Staq is another developer tools startup. Staq’s backend service promises to help application developers add features more easily, including things like background processing, big data analysis, and web crawling.

A big part of the promise appears to be turning developer tasks into application programming interfaces that Staq manages for its customers, “taking care of execution, scaling and reliability so you don’t have to.” The San Francisco-based startup has a three-person team.

Socedo is a social media management service, specifically tailored to businesses using Twitter. This one also doesn’t offer a ton of insight on its website, but it appears to be focused on making it easier for businesses to engage with specific people over Twitter, and potentially helping to generate better leads and more sales.

Founder and CEO Aseem Badshah is a recent graduate of the University of Washington’s business school, and has worked as a marketing consultant for Microsoft.

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2 responses to “Microsoft Azure Accelerator: 10 Startup Names to Watch”

  1. Hi Curt, thanks for the mention, it was a busy first day but we’re really looking forward to the next 13 weeks.

  2. ALBsharah says:

    Hey Curt, thanks so much for taking the time to dig a little deeper into each of our companies! Very much appreciate the effort and exposure… Cheers!