On a Tuesday in late March, Vungle CEO Zain Jaffer arrived disheveled and jetlagged to Microsoft's developer space in San Francisco. He'd been on an overnight flight from Beijing following an Asian trip for his online advertising start-up.
Jaffer returned home early when the opportunity arose for a one-on-one meeting with a key figure at Microsoft: CEO Satya Nadella.
He sprinted through the airport to make it downtown in time for an intimate event with a handful of Microsoft's top-tier partners ahead of the company's Build developer conference. Nadella was flanked by corporate vice president and chief evangelist Steve "Guggs" Guggenheimer.
"We were the smallest company there," said Jaffer, whose ad business forged a deal with Microsoft in November to make video promotions available in games on the new Windows 10 operating system. "I was flattered to be in the room."