Microsoft is Giving One Startup Seed Money and Mentorship at Its New “Surface Cafe”

Microsoft Canada is unveiling its new tablet and it wants to party.

The software giant will award one startup seed money and mentorship from Bizspark at an upcoming workshop at its new “Surface Cafe” in Toronto. One of five upcoming free workshops, this one on June 22 will see entrepreneurs pitching some of Canada’s “leading business minds,” including CBC Dragons’ Den investor Michael Wekerle.

Its all part of the launch for Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 3, the new lightweight tablet from Microsoft that “promises the power and performance you expect from a laptop.” The Surface Cafe will officially open this Friday, which will also be the first time people will be able to see the Surface Pro 3.

“Combining traditional coffeehouse culture with 21st century digital solutions, the Café is a collaborative communal environment that will also play host to a series of hands-on workshops with some of the brightest minds in music, photography, illustration and business.”

Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 3 comes equipped with the “Surface Pen,” which delivers a drawing and note-taking experience with a single click of the pen.

“Modern coffee shops represent the intersection of professional and personal space – they offer a unique environment where creativity, collaboration and productivity combine. This is exactly what the Surface Pro 3 represents,” said Microsoft Canada’s Henrik Gütle. “A uniquely productive device for everything in your life, the Surface Pro 3 lets you work any way you want, at anytime, from virtually anywhere – including your favourite coffee shop. And the Surface Café will bring to life all of the possibilities that the Surface Pro 3 represents.”

Along with the launch, these workshops will be offered:

Friday, June 20

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Mobile Design with Uri Minkoff

Attendees can explore the intersection of fashion and technology with one of the founders of the design company that brought us the Mini M.A.C. handbag and design their own fashion accessory on a Surface device.

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

InstaLife with Caitlin Cronenberg

Amateur shutterbugs and seasoned pros can get up close and personal with acclaimed Canadian photographer Caitlin Cronenberg to discuss some of her most iconic images and create one of their own using a Surface device.

Saturday, June 21

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The Digital Comic Strip with Francis Manapul

This session will explore how technology can fuel creativity and collaboration as attendees participate in the real-time creation of a new comic book storyline with Francis Manapul, award-winning writer and illustrator from DC Comics.

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Surface Harmony with The Darcys

Jason Couse and Wes Marksell of Toronto band The Darcys will host an evening of storytelling and creative collaboration, including an intimate performance.

Sunday, June 22

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Your Big Idea and the Surface Pro 3

An unprecedented opportunity for start-ups to learn from – and pitch to – some of Canada’s leading business minds, including legendary Canadian entrepreneur, Michael Wekerle. At the end of the workshop, one start-up will win seed money and mentorship from Microsoft BizSpark.

The workshops will all be free, although pre-registration is required.

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