Tribe uses the Azure cloud platform to provide a shared workspace task manager, without the hassles of download or installation.

The tribe called Tribe

A cloud-based SaaS platform that people can interact with by email, an iOS device or the web, Tribe is a cross-platform task manager application that works across desktops, mobile devices, and directly inside your email. Tribe makes collaboration easy by allowing people to share deliverables across a wide range of interfaces. The company’s dashboard-like project management tool synchronizes interfaces allowing for simple and fast problem solving. According to CEO Henry Vasquez, “When you are working in a group of people, perhaps located in different areas of the globe, it’s more difficult to coordinate tasks, especially when working on different platforms. Tribe solves this problem for project teams, without any download or installation.”

So how does Tribe work without any download or installation? Tribe allows users to send tasks to anyone with an email address, so you can work easily with colleagues from different companies, in different parts of the world regardless of their platforms. “Think of it as the inbox for your tasks and your new digital assistant” continues Vasquez, “We are really trying to solve a human problem – how people collaborate and how they organize their personal and professional lives.”

Tribe takes the arduous process of manually creating tasks and turns in into a simple click, CTO Sam Harris adds, “We are trying to help people build trust with external stakeholders. As the world moves towards more remote working, independent contractors, and temporary teams, businesses need a platform that allows people to organize their work individually, in their own way.”

A Microsoft BizSpark plus member, Tribe was recently selected for the 2015 Techstars Chicago class. Despite applying at the last minute, Tribe became the smallest and youngest company to ever be accepted into the Chicago Techstars program. Tribe’s team members have used their past business experiences, at multi-million dollar companies to make inroads in the competitive startup space.

With a multi-tier architecture hosted on Azure’s cloud based platform, Tribe’s relies on Azure for nearly all of their software needs. According to Harris, “Everything about the Azure environment has been awesome. We basically use it for everything - from hosting to marketing to storage, Azure does it all. We utilize Azure Websites, Azure Blob Storage, and Azure SQL. There is simply no way we could have created our product, in this way, without all of Azure’s components.”

In addition to Azure, Tribe leverages several Microsoft technologies to improve the quality and usability of their product. Their solution takes advantage of Visual Studio because its broad programming language support. Tribe also uses ASP.NET MVC to enable fast, TDD-friendly development giving the company full control over HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Tribe’s decision to leverage the Azure program was also based on its reputation for compatibility with a wide range of open source technologies, including JavaScript and SendGrid. Tribe also utilizes Kendo for all of their user interface elements. “It’s great how easy it is to install the necessary base packages and use them with Azure. There’s no messing around with port configurations and we have experienced almost zero downtime”, continues Harris.

Tribe points to the BizSpark program as one of the key reasons for their immediate success. According to Vasquez, “Leveraging the support of the BizSpark program and its supporting resources helped us get Tribe to market. Our Chicago contacts have gone above and beyond. Without BizSpark support, we wouldn’t be half as far as we are today.”


Microsoft is helping these startups succeed through its BizSpark program. To join or see other startup stories, visit us at our website here. To listen to our startups, check out these podcasts on devradio here.

About BizSpark:  Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps startups succeed by giving free access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, software and support. BizSpark members receive up to $750 per month of free Microsoft Azure cloud services for 3 years: that’s $150 per month each for up to 5 developers. Azure works with Linux and open-source technologies such as Linux, Ruby, Python, Java and PHP. BizSpark is available to startups that are privately held, less than 5-years-old and earn less than $1M in annual revenue.