I have been waiting for this post for a long time… 5 months ago, I moved to Seattle with wife and kid, after 3 years at MS France, to join a great team and launch a new initiative from Microsoft called BizSpark, a global program designed to help accelerate the success of early stage software Startup
This is a new partner program for startups, available today in 82 countries. In a nutshell, Startups generating less than 1m$ and younger than 3 years can get, right now:
– Development tools for their whole dev teams: VS08, TFS, etc..
– Unlimited production licenses of server products: Windows server 2008, SQL Server 2008, MOSS, Exchange, CRM, Biztalk, etc..
– Access to Azure’s CTP and other Live Services
– Professional technical support from Microsoft, including MSDN Subscriptions
– Community Support from ‘network Partners’
– Each startup will be able to create a company profile on microsoftstartupzone.com (a place where potential investors, clients, partners look for opportunities, wwde)
– Every day, Microsoft will highlight the Startup of the day, the most innovative and promising company that we have identified in the world that day.
There is no upfront cost, startups only have to pay 100$ at graduation, after 3 years. No commitment. Startups can leave the program anytime.
Concretely, it means that any early stage startups (as defined below) can get the latest dev tools from Microsoft, and build Software applications on our server platforms and make a living out of it, grow as big as possible, without paying any software fee. For 3 years. After 3 years, for an ISV, the cost of software represents less than 10 % of the datacenter/hosting costs. It s not significant.
We have also signed up hosters, in 82 countries, who will host ‘BizSpark startups apps’ without charging them for the software fees.
Startups get access to BizSpark either through a Network Partner (e.g. TiE, NVCA, select Venture Capitalists, and over 300+ entrepreneurial-focused organizations with a strong track record at helping young and promising technology companies success) or through Microsoft BizSpark Program Leads (called “BizSpark Champs”). Startups can find both at Microsoft.com/BizSpark.
In the US, partners like TechStars, KPCB, Angel Capital Association or the European Business Angel Network are on board with us. In france, we have Inria transfert, the incubator of the French ENST, Altaide, Banexi ventures, the French Software Business angels Associations, Olivier Ezratty, l’IE Club and many others
BizSpark is the result of seven years spent getting feedbacks from ISVs, startups and competitive ISVs through the IDEES and Startup Accelerator programs. This is something that early stage software companies have been expecting for a long time. We believe it’s the right program, at the right time and we hope this will boost software entrepreneurship and ultimately, bring new innovative software solutions on the market.
A partner of mine called it the ‘Rolls Royce ‘of software development, and the must-have kit for any software entrepreneur. Successful internet companies and ISVs like Myspace, Loopt, Jajah, Plentyoffish.com, ZocDoc, Xobni, OpenTable or Inspirational Stores, Criteo, Dismoiou, Excentive, Miyowa, brainsonic in france.. Built their businesses on our platforms. Starting today, small companies and garage-style startups can get the same tools than the big guys.
This is a very generous package, without any comparison in the industry, offering software AND technical/marketing support for software entrepreneurs, with the support of a huge community of experts.
– If you want to join as a startup or a network partner, please visit http://www.Microsoft.com/BizSpark or send me an email/leave a comment
– Check out who’s the startup of the day and profile your company on Microsoftstartupzone.com/BizSpark, if you want to be highlighted too, write to email@example.com
– Follow us on twitter http://twitter.com/BizSpark and Facebook
We’ve been working hard, and we Hope you’ll like it J