Microsoft x Slush 2019

Creative Solutions & Experiences

“Explore your opportunities.”

Microsoft for Startups is a comprehensive global program designed to support startups as they build and scale their companies. The ultimate goal? To help startups dream bigger…and realise those dreams.

Each year, the program makes a grand spatial statement at one of the world’s most important tech and startup events — Slush!

…and every year, we have created the space that ensures Microsoft make that statement.

This year – 2019 – we injected a sense of drama and excitement in to our sleek, yet multifaceted experience to emphasize the true value of the Microsoft for Startups program.

We took a highly functional approach to designing the user experience. Instead of solely striving for an incredible looking, aesthetically pleasing meeting spot, our aim was to bring something of real value to the visitor and their quest for success.

With our concept and experience design, we wanted to highlight the self-reflection and keen observation that is essential for a startup to reach its full potential: a mentality at the very heart of Microsoft for Startups.

Visually, we accented the overall concept with a captivating use of mirrored surfaces. Symbolically, this represented the search for new perspectives; practically, the endless reflections created a free-flowing space filled with fascinating and engaging details.

Being a personal experience, the space needed to celebrate the Microsoft for Startups community. The focus needed to be on accessibility for all; so, we created an area that was intimate, but not exclusive.

The second floor was devoted to the fully-booked round table mentoring session; elevating ‘human relations’ to the pinnacle of the stand.

Our spatial design incorporated functional details such as whiteboard tabletops; ready to be blasted with impromptu brainstorming by the technical audience.

In addition, we drew attention to a number of successful Microsoft for Startups cases to authenticate the infinite possibilities of the partnerships.

Following on from 2018, our focus remained on the strategic approach “We’re here to partner”, but for 2019, we wanted to explore it from a new perspective.

Rooted in ‘Partnering’, Microsoft for Startups is based on the idea that success is best achieved through collaboration – and this case is a perfect example of that philosophy.

Yes, startup success may be a collaborative effort – a result of meaningful partnerships – but those meaningful partnerships can only develop and thrive when we dare to challenge our needs and recognise new possibilities.

The concept of exploring opportunities is embedded throughout the experience; in Mentoring Sessions and Lightning Talks, and was ultimately embodied by the Startup Adventurer game showcased at the booth.

We visualised Startup Adventurer as a way to remove the barriers between small startups and the corporate giant. The game provided an easily approachable and entertaining way to get tailored information on the Microsoft for Startups offering.

The Slush presence was a hit; constantly bustling with an electric atmosphere and a fully engaged audience. Without any gimmicks or giveaways, everyone was drawn solely by the true value of invaluable information and human interaction — which you could say was the greatest feedback for Microsoft, and of course, for us.