When we announced a program for startups called BizSpark, the idea that “Microsoft cares about Startups” was new to the Startup Community. That was November of 2008.

This month, BizSpark celebrates its 5th Anniversary. In five years, more than 85,000 startups have participated in the BizSpark program from 165 different countries around the world. 100,000+ developers have become BizSpark members and we’re partnered with over 1,500 organizations who, like us, are striving to help startups every day.

It has always been our goal to help startups succeed and over the years, BizSpark startups have been involved in big success stories, like Yammer being acquired for $1B and just last week, BizSpark grad, Criteo, raising $250M from their IPO. But, just as meaningful, are the many stories we have highlighted in our Featured BizSpark Startup Series. Through these interviews, we get the chance to hear, first-hand, about the journey of these startups and how they are making their dreams come true. These founders also share valuable advice for other startups. We have recently created The BizSpark Show -- interviews with startup founders and investors from around the world with a focus on BizSpark members who are building the next great companies from the ground up. We are inspired and fascinated by the ideas, tenacity and sheer will startups possess and we invite you to share your own BizSpark story with us: bizspark@microsoft.com.

We hope you will join us in celebrating BizSpark’s five years.  Throughout the month, we will be sharing opportunities to join your local BizSpark team and other startups. Follow us @bizspark and on Facebook so you don’t miss out.  

Another way we'll celebrate this five year milestone is to bring you Twitter Talks: instant, direct conversations you can have with the BizSpark team about topics YOU SELECT. We encourage you to participate! Look for updates on #bizspark. We know our work with startups is never done and we want to always find ways to adapt the BizSpark program to meet the changing needs of Startups.

Many thanks to each and every one of the 85,000 Startups who have joined BizSpark and helped bring us to this five year milestone!