Microsoft Corp. unveiled Microsoft
BizSpark a global program
designed to help accelerate the success of entrepreneurs and early-stage
startups. BizSpark provides startups and entrepreneurs with fast and easy
access to current full-featured Microsoft development tools and production
licenses of server products with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.

BizSpark also provides technical support and market visibility. BizSpark is
structured to take advantage of the resources and support of a global network
of hundreds of organizations such as economic development agencies, university
incubators, hosters and investors, including The National Venture Capital
Association (NVCA) and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). These BizSpark Network
Partners provide guidance, mentorship and resources to help drive startup

“Entrepreneurs play a vital role in driving innovation and creating the
kinds of new jobs that are essential to sustainable economic growth,” said
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Microsoft BizSpark is an exciting way for us to
help provide business startups with the development tools, advice and exposure
they need. We look forward to working with organizations and development
agencies around the globe to foster entrepreneurship and help new companies

Building Startup Success Through Software Access, Market Support and
Global Visibility
As part of BizSpark, Microsoft is providing startups with a three-year
Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Professional subscription, which makes
available for download a broad set of development tools needed to build, test
and maintain an application on the Microsoft platform, including Microsoft
Visual Studio and the Microsoft .NET Framework. Through MSDN, BizSpark also
provides professional support services and expert information resources. For
startups building hosted software, BizSpark includes production licenses for
application hosting and management servers including Windows Server, Microsoft
SQL Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server, BizTalk Server and
Systems Center, with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to be added soon. The program also
will provide a worldwide network of hosting partners, offering discounted
hosting services to startups that would like to take their business or product
online using their BizSpark licenses. Finally, startups will have the
opportunity to be profiled and promoted on the BizSparkDB, an online startup
directory, where Microsoft will promote promising startups from around the
world every day.

In addition to the core BizSpark offering, BizSpark startups will be
eligible for other Microsoft offerings, such as Microsoft cloud services
technologies, including the following:

— Access to the community technology preview (CTP) of the Azure
Services Platform, a new computing platform that will help developers build
the next generation of applications that will span from the cloud to the
enterprise datacenter and deliver compelling new experiences across the PC,
Web and phone. The Azure Services Platform was announced last month at the
Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008 (PDC2008).

— Access to the community technical preview (CTP) of the Live
Framework, a simple, open and interoperable framework for developers to access
and consume Live Services. Live Services is a set of building blocks within
the Azure Services Platform for handling user data and application resources,
which includes Live Mesh technologies for synchronizing users’ data and
extending Web applications across multiple devices.

Microsoft will also ensure that BizSpark members are notified of all
programs of particular interest to startups, such as the Microsoft Web
Platform Installer and Microsoft Web Application Installer. These offerings,
make it easier for developers to bring compelling PHP and .NET Web
applications to market faster with a streamlined download, install and
configure experience, as well as design and development integration and
pre-packaged open source applications that run well on the Microsoft Web

“Through our work with thousands of startups over the years, we
understand that making strategic technology decisions early on is a key
challenge — one that sets up entrepreneurs and startups for future growth and
the ability to meet market demands,” said Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice
president of Strategic and Emerging Business Development at Microsoft.
“BizSpark simplifies this choice by giving startups an industry-leading
platform with no immediate cost and the support needed to achieve business

“We think Microsoft BizSpark addresses a fundamental challenge startups
face: access to current, full-featured tools and technologies that help turn
ideas into a thriving business,” said Suren G. Dutia, CEO of TiE Global. “We
will work closely with Microsoft to help startups bring their innovative
solutions to market more quickly and effectively by providing educational
programs, business mentoring and peer networking. We are excited to be part of
this new effort to propagate entrepreneurship globally, cultivating the future
generation of highly successful entrepreneurs.”

BizSpark Availability

BizSpark is available worldwide to privately held startups building a
software-based product or service that have been in business less than three
years and have less than $1 million (U.S.) in revenue. BizSpark provides
startups with software, support and visibility early in their life cycle when
those resources are most needed and least affordable. As a demonstration of
Microsoft’s commitment to startup success, a program fee of $100 (U.S.) is
payable on exit from the program rather than upfront when joining. More
information about BizSpark and other startup resources is available at the
Microsoft Startup Zone at