Microsoft has been supporting startups for quite a while now, sometimes quietly, sometimes very publicly. This latest venture aims to provide these startups with development and license support and is now available globally through channel partners.
Some facts regarding Bizspark
- Network partners such as TIE and NVCA will nominate the startups.
- To qualify for the program the startups need to be less than three years old and should have annual revenues of less than a $1 million.
- The deal expires if the startups go past $1 million in revenues and/or celebrate their third birthday.
- If they leave after threee years, startups pay $100 and take all their data with them. The free ride ends if a larger player snaps up the company.
- Startups get a three-year Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Professional subscription that will allow them to download lots of tools, including those for building apps on the Microsoft platform.
- Startups get a free production licenses for application hosting and management servers including Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server, BizTalk Server and Systems Center and soon, Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
- Startups will be included in the BizSparkDB, an online startup directory. Microsoft cloud services including Azure will be available for free to these startups.
Ofcourse, they’re not doing it from the goodness of their hearts. The support is only available to companies developing SaaS applications and through this they’ll probably ensure hefty license fee’s from those startups which do manage to get past their 3 year initial period and turn profits. Afterall, if you develop and deploy on MS technologies first, why would you change later right?
This is also available to Pakistan (where the ceiling revenue amount is not $1M but $250k instead). I suggest hooking up with TIE if you wish to subscribe to this.