Editorial note: This is a sponsored post by Microsoft and is part of the Hear it from startups -series.

I had a chat with Drazen Dodik, a Microsoft Student Partner, about the Geeks on Wheels tour they did with the other Microsoft Student Partners in November and December. All in all the gentlemen toured some 12 different cities and universities in Finland, talking to students about the possibilities Windows Phone offers. The tour was also an answer to the numerous requests they had received regarding Windows Phone trainings from faculties and different partners around Finland.

They started the tour in Lappeenranta University of Technology on November 21st and finished off the tour in Helsinki Metropolia, University of Applied Sciences on the 13th of December. The full list of cities they toured can be seen on Microsoft’s website.

Not only did the events attract local students, but also local partners and developers in general. Overall, some 1500 people participated in all the 12 cities. The daily events also featured a Nokia Lumia 800 raffle, where a lucky attendant walked away with a free phone.

Dodik told me that they worked closely with their local Go Underground-communities which organize different types of trainings around Windows Phone. The communities consist of students and local companies which help and learn from each other through CodeCamps, seminars or be it the occasional 24h hackathon.

I have to say, even though this is part of the sponsored series by Microsoft, that the company is doing pretty exciting things in engaging local developer communities through different kinds of activities be it through student oriented events or something else. I sure hope this will inspire lots of developers to also develop for the Windows Phone which will certainly grow its user base across countries in the coming years.

Dodik also wanted to remind everyone to try it for themselves. You can download the free tools from Create.MSDN.com and if you think you come up with something interesting, let Microsoft know of it through CheckMyAppFi at Microsoft.

Below are a few images from the tour.

Hear it from the startups
This series of posts is sponsored by Microsoft and produced in co-operation with ArcticStartup to share experiences from startups in using Microsoft technology as well as in participating in the many different programs Microsoft has to offer.

How to get started on Azure
Head over here to get the tools and try them for free. You can also apply to Bizspark as the members get access to Windows Azure.

How to get started on WP7
Download the free tools. You can also use an emulator to develop on the WP7. Jukka Wallasvaara (Microsoft employee) also blogs about WP7 news in his blog.

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