When I’m asked how search needs to change, I often talk about how many new types of data and services need to be incorporated into the results to help you do something rather than just find something. That means there could be thousands of new businesses created that Bing can tap into in much the same way we use Everyscape for our restaurant interior panoramas, or ParkingFinder.com to help you find the cheapest garage before a Lakers game.
But there is room for many, many more. And when we went looking for how Bing could foster innovation in this space, we found some amazing accelerators and co-work spaces where entrepreneurs were working to define the next generation of the web. Microsoft already has an amazing set of resources for startups through our BizSpark program so we asked “what unique offerings could the Bing team provide on top of BizSpark’s resources?” The result of that brainstorm is the “Bing Booster” program.
Bing Booster is starting in three cities (NY, San Francisco and Boston) and our objective is to bring experts, connections, and resources to a few incubators and co-work spaces in each city. Our goal is to experiment with the willing folks in each city to see what we can provide beyond what BizSpark and the incubators already offer to help startups go from idea to execution. For Bing, it’s a chance to help guide new entrepreneurs to build the services and content we’ll need to transform search, make sure they know about the Bing APIs and foster connections between our internal teams and startups where it makes sense.
Each city has a program owner from our team. For Boston, Betsy Aoki is working with Dogpatch, Techstars, MassChallenge, and CIC to bring the Bing. Stefan Weitz owns the Big Apple and is working with General Assemb.ly, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, and WeWorkLabs. San Francisco gets Aya Zook who is working with RocketSpace, StartX, PariSoMa and Kicklabs.
You can follow the learnings and escapades of the team in each city (think of it like the Real World for Startups…) at our blog, http://www.bingbooster.com, and see how we evolve the program. We’ll also use that space to highlight some of the work the companies in these cities and spaces are doing. Our best stories will make it over to the BizSpark site if adding yet another RSS feed to your reader is just too taxing.
We’re beyond excited to see how we can help the next iteration of the web to come to fruition more quickly and can’t wait to help these amazing entrepreneurs deliver on their visions. Off we go!
Stefan Weitz, Aya Zook, and Betsy Aoki