By Andrew Webber
As a startup a key skill and capability as you network is to figure out the value exchange. You will always be clear on what you want as an outcome from an engagement but you also need to understand what the person or organisation you are engaging with also wants to achieve – the value exchange. The Microsoft team understand and use this approach a lot in terms of how we engage with student developers, student entrepreneurs and early stage technology startups. If you get the value exchange right you generate goodwill. Goodwill is that intangible value which supports repeatability and a continued fruitful engagement.
Microsoft not only talks about this but we use it to inform our programmes and offers for students and early stage tech startups:
Dreamspark: a free to access programme for students that makes available all our development software and Microsoft Azure Cloud platform free of charge for as long as you are a student. More details at www.microsoft.com/imagine
BizSpark: a free to access programme for privately held tech startups that gives over $150,000 of free Microsoft software and Microsoft Azure Cloud credits for up to 3 years. More details at www.microsoft.com/bizspark
Imagine Cup: a global competition for student startup teams to enter their business idea in either the Gaming, Innovation or Citizenship categories. With first prize of $50,000 and mentoring from Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, it is well worth looking to enter. More details at www.imaginecup.com