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Salesforce’s Desk.com has partnered with notable incubators Y Combinator, TechStars, 500 Startups, FounderFuel, and more to give a ton of startups six months of free software designed to help with customer service and support.
As we wrote when Desk.com launched in January, the service competes with Zendesk and TalkDesk to give small and medium-sized companies cloud-based customer support management. With the desktop or mobile apps, business can field queries through phone, email, web, Twitter, Facebook, and other channels.
Basically, Desk.com is the sort of critical software that can make sure your startup is actually being responsive to precious early customers. Y Combinator, FounderFuel, and other incubators/accelerators that partnered with Desk.com already give their startups perks like seed funding, mentoring, and space to work, but they also toss in things like software to make their programs more attractive.
Montreal’s FounderFuel, for example, gives startups a $25,000 investment for 6 percent equity. It also has partnerships with Rackspace and Amazon Web Services for free cloud hosting and SendGrid for free transaction email support. Now it can add Desk.com to that list.
“We see great value with the partnerships we have in place,” FounderFuel general manager Ian Jeffery told VentureBeat. “It’s difficult to get into accelerators like ours. These companies are carefully selected.”
Desk.com, which was previously Assistly, knows about the challenges of being a startup. While it wasn’t part of an incubator, the company saw the things that could go right or wrong as a small San Francisco-based company.
“Even though we are part of Salesforce, we still consider ourselves to be a startup in many ways,” Desk.com vice president and general manager Alex Bard told us. “We had a lot of help from the community and now we’re giving back. Sometimes we give talks to incubators, and we do webinars for startups.”
Of course, Desk.com has self-serving reasons for giving away six months of free software. First, it wants to create paying customers from an elite group of startups that have already been vetted. And second, giving away the service creates goodwill and word-of-mouth with the influential and talkative startup scene.
On a related note, Desk.com is also a sponsor of The Startup Pizza Fund, cash dedicated to events hosted by cool early-stage startups. The Startup Pizza Fund gives a pizza party to one group a month.
Check out some of the other incubators Desk.com will provide its software to below:
Photo credit: Desk.com