Microsoft today launched its new Bing Booster program. This new program, which is launching in Boston, New York and San Francisco today, aims to “to bring experts, connections, and resources to a few incubators and co-work spaces in each city.” With BizSpark, Microsoft has long been running a very successful program aimed at helping early-stage startups. Bing Booster wants to add a layer on top of this and is more focused on helping “Bing and startups connect.”
In each city, the program will work with existing incubators and co-working spaces to reach out to startups. Bing has designated one member of its team to each city – all of them senior employees at Microsoft: Betsy Aoki for Boston, Senior Program Manger in Microsoft’s Online Services Division; Aya Zook for New York, Senior Product Manager with the Bing team and Stefan Weitz, the public face of Bing and its Director, for the San Francisco area.
Connections, Resources and Bing APIs
Unlike BizSpark, there doesn’t seem to be any direct monetary value attached to working with the Bing Booster program for startups, but according to the announcement, Microsoft plans to “foster connections between our internal teams and startups where it makes sense.” Those connections could prove to be quite valuable for startups in the long run.
On the surface, Microsoft’s team argues that it wants to help startups discover Bing’s APIs and help them develop “the future of the Internet.” More cynical minds would also argue that Microsoft obviously wants to siphon some startups away from using Google’s ubiquitous APIs and maybe even acquire some of the most promising startups and incorporate their products into Bing itself.