Microsoft recently unveiled a new potential source of funding for those small businesses out there who’d like to take their business to much bigger proportions, the Bing Fund.
The Bing Fund, a combination angel fund and incubator program, looks to give small businesses the added shot of resources and information to help take their businesses to the next level. Microsoft plans to use the fund as a way to connect what they call “like-minded entrepreneurs” in a bid to help those startups generate their new enterprises and, in some cases, also find the talent to back them up. Microsoft will be accepting startups to the Bing Fund’s auspices on a regular basis, and will also be looking to other accelerators to help fuel the ongoing plans of the Bing Fund in general. Companies that graduate from the program will be replaced by others, and Microsoft further mentions that Bing Fund successful graduates may well be acquired by Microsoft. More specifically, they said that “acquisition is always a possibility”, which isn’t exactly the same thing as saying “start a successful firm under the Bing Fund’s auspices and get bought out by Microsoft”, but it’s certainly a possibility.
What’s more, Bing Fund participants will get subsidies to access Bing’s APIs, technologies developed at Microsoft Research, co-workspace at Microsoft’s Bellevue location, and access to the BizSpark program, where companies under three years old and making less than $1 million per year are abole to get development tools at a discounted rate.
We recently discussed the Chase program’s Mission: Small Business program here, which also looked to put a hefty chunk of change into the pockets of small businesses out there. But while that was an impressive program in its own right, this one is actually significantly better as it not only offers cash, but it also offers some critical development tools, as well as useful contacts, to help a business get properly off the ground.
Indeed, the tools to succeed are every bit as vital as the cash, and that’s why having access to cloud-based telephony tools like instant conferencing and fax receive will help a business of most any size take advantage of cloud-based technologies to fuel their business.
The combination of tools and money will give a lot of businesses a lot of help, and that’s why the Bing Fund will likely do plenty for small businesses.