Starting a software company involves a lot of risk, including (but not limited to) financial risk, technology risk, market risk, and timing risk. Microsoft is actively trying to remove at least some of the risk for startup companies who are developing a software product or service. Because the first few years of a company tend to have the highest risk, Microsoft is offering the BizSpark program to mitigate that extra risk until a company stabilizes. The BizSpark program is designed to provide free software, free cloud computing hour, and free access to technical resources to qualified startups.
Specific benefits of the BizSpark program are:
There is absolutely no obligation or cost to joining the BizSpark program. At the end of the 3 years, you keep the software you have installed. There is no fee for the program and obligation to buy more software or Azure hours (although, we certainly hope that you do.)
To qualify, the company must meet the following criteria
More details about the BizSpark program are available at http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/.
In the past, a startup was required to apply to the BizSpark program and wait for a response from Microsoft (sometimes for over a week). Now, however, I can provide a code to eligible startups that registers them in the BizSpark program immediately.
If you meet the above criteria and you would like to take advantage of the program, reach out to to your local Technical Evangelist (If you are in Wisconsin, Illinois, or Indiana, that is me) and describe your startup’s product.